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Cristen Heather Martinez

Cristen Martinez’s Answers

124 total


  • One, is the pay or quit notice valid regardless of sale? 2) who does back rent get paid to? 3) is lease valid if I get current?

    Rent a commercial bldg, landlord sent 30 day pay or quit notice. On the same day, LL sold the bldg. Rent for new period is now due to new owner who is reluctant to accept it. The pay or quit period has not yet expired and does so half way through ...

    Cristen’s Answer

    Your safest bet is to pay your rent in full. The lease does not terminate because your original landlord sold the property. I would guess that the new owner purchased the property subject to your lease, which means that he or she has just as much right to enforce the lease as the original landlord. I would make sure you bring your rent payments current before the expiration of the 30-day deadline.

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  • Enhanced Life Estate Termination

    Is it true that any later signed and recorded transfer (new deed, gift, sale, mortgage, etc.) automatically cancels a prior Enhanced Life Estate Deed and terminates the interests of the remaindermen? The Enhanced Life Estate Deed was properly crea...

    Cristen’s Answer

    I agree with my colleague that the answer is not clear. An enhanced life estate deed specifically permits the holder of the life estate to gift, transfer, lien, etc. the property during his or her life. The transfer of title to the remaindermen does not occur until the death of the person holding the life estate. Typically these deeds are done between family members to avoid probate. The remaindermen usually are not paying any significant consideration for their interest in the property and it is not an arms length transaction. So, while the answer is unclear, I think there is a good argument that the remaindermen's interest would be terminated. Whether or not the enhanced life estate deed was recorded when signed will also affect the answer to this question. My suggestion would be to contact a lawyer.

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  • As a renter what are my rights if I have exposed my family to mold with no action from the landlord/association

    I am a renter & I have lived in my apartment for the past ten years. For the past 5 years we have noticed that the tiles in our apartment were changing shade from white to grey tone (started around the kitchen area). In addition Our building two y...

    Cristen’s Answer

    You have two options. First, you can pay out of pocket to have have the substance tested and, if it is mold, have it remediated. The amount you have to pay out of pocket can then be deducted from your future rent payment(s). Your second option is to give them 7 days' notice that if the issue is not repaired within the 7 days you are terminating the lease and vacating the apartment. Both options require specific notices containing specific language, so I suggest you contact an attorney to help you with this process. Good luck.

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  • Can I take someone to court if they moved out on you 2 days before the rent is due but you had no lease agreement?

    Room mates

    Cristen’s Answer

    Yes, even without a written lease agreement, you are still entitled to be paid rent for the the time they occupied the property. Although, as my colleague mentioned, proof may be an issue, things like text messages or emails discussing rent payment as well as cancelled checks for prior rent payments are all evidence of the verbal agreement. A Judge would be inclined to give you a fair market rental value, even in the absence of a written lease agreement, as it is very unlikely that you would allow someone, other than a relative, to live in your home for free. Check your county's clerk of court website for forms that will be helpful in filing a claim if you are interested in pursuing this. Good luck!

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  • Can I sue contractor and/or mortgage loan company for shoddy/incomplete work?

    I have a 203K loan. The bank is backing the contractor about our disagreement on work performed. The contractor charged me the full original estimate although there are deficiencies with much of the work that has been done and the kitchen is still...

    Cristen’s Answer

    Without reviewing your contract or loan documents, it sounds like you have a claim against the contractor and maybe against the lender. I am unable to give you a more detailed answer without reviewing the contracts. My law firm specializes in this exact type of work. I would be happy to review your documents and give you a better idea of any claim you may have. If you are interested you can contact me at cmartinez@martinezlawfla.com or (352)631-8558. Good luck!

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  • I have a problem I'm a renter and my apartment got flooded and my landlords are refusing to fix it just a quick question

    I had a leak in my apartment 3 times first two times I cleaned it up this last time it flooded my whole living room to mykitchen with brown water only thing they did was....they brought a plumber out cut holes in the wall in my bathroom and my liv...

    Cristen’s Answer

    There is a statutory provision in Florida that allows a tenant such as yourself to withhold rent in a situation where a landlord refuses to make necessary repairs. However, a very specific notice must be sent, and you must pay up front to repair the damage yourself. You then may legally deduct the amount you paid for the repair from your rent payment. I suggest you speak with a lawyer before doing this. If you fail to comply with any part of the statute, the landlord can have you evicted for nonpayment of rent.

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  • Real estate-foreclosure

    If up coming hearing on the 27th of July for a real estate case is there a motion that can be filled for opposing summary judement?

    Cristen’s Answer

    At least 5 days prior to the hearing you can file an affidavit in opposition to motion for summary judgment. This document will outline the facts that support your position that the opposing party is not entitled to summary judgment. It must be signed by you and notarized, then filed with the court with a copy to the opposing party's attorney. Good luck!

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  • Can pro se defendant's get court costs?

    I'm a defendant in a case that was filed in 2012. The last filing in the case was in March of 2014 and it was my filing (discovery documents). The plaintiff (who has a lawyer) has not filed anything since 2013. Here’s my question, if the judge dec...

    Cristen’s Answer

    It will depend on the type of case and whether there is a statute or contract that permits the recovery of court costs. Another option is that costs may be awarded as a sanction for the plaintiff filing a frivolous lawsuit against you. Look at Florida Statute 57.105 for more information on this option. I agree that parking will not likely be a recoverable cost.

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  • During an residential eviction process the tenant could argue that the debt be covered by the deposits held by the landlord?

    Might be possible that the judge considers delay on removal if the tenant answer to the court arguing that the outstanding debt be covered by the amount of deposits held by the landlord?

    Cristen’s Answer

    I agree with my colleagues, but will just specify that if a security deposit is to be used to cover unpaid rent, it will only be at the landlord's discretion after the landlord considers any physical damage to the property.

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  • Did they have the right to deny me?

    In 2010 I applied for a low income apartment here in Florida, the apartment advertisement stated $399 move in and about $500 after the first month. I was denied. Is there a law that states due to my social security income I have to be accepted?

    Cristen’s Answer

    No, there is no law that states that just because you receive social security income, a property owner or management company must accept you as a tenant. You can not be denied based on a discriminatory reason, however, short of discrimination, they can deny your application.

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