We have a lease that has the statement "Tenant must pay the first $100 of any repair". However, I thought that there are certain basics that must be provided for by the landlord. Working electricity and plumbing, refrigeration, etc. I thought a working air conditioner was among those basics in Florida. I also understood that for the things provided by the landlord, the first $100 does not apply. In fact, this air conditioner has been worked on several times and I have never been presented with a bill for the first $100 of any of the repairs. Now, I am being informed that I will be responsible for the first $100 of the repair on my air conditioner that stopped working yesterday.
This contractual term is slowly becoming more common among savvy landlords. If it is in the lease, you can be stuck with the $100 bill. However, you likely cannot be evicted for a failure to pay the $100 bill unless the lease says so, or unless the lease identifies this obligation as "additional rent." But be careful, a landlord could possibly sue for eviction for nonpayment of this bill by giving you a seven day notice and opportunity to pay the $100 under F.S. 83.56. The landlord can also possibly file a small claims action for the $100. If this provision was not previously enforced, you may have an argument that this it was waived. Keep in mind, if you do not pay this the landlord can likely withhold it from any security deposit. It is good to discuss all of this with an attorney who reviews your facts. But realistically, we are talking about $100 that you clearly agreed to pay. If I were in your shoes, I would pay it and try to keep a good relationship with the landlord, and try to negotiate this term out of the lease once it becomes time for a renewal.
This is an "up in the air" issue, as Fla. Chap. 83 merely obligates certain provisions like heat, says nothing of passing on the costs of some or any of the upkeep, whether built into rent or separately.Depending on the leasing situation, especially a single family home, certain issues and the maintenance of them can be FULLY passed on to the tenant. A lawyer will have to be retained to properly review your lease and the situation if there are significant concerns in this regard.
Responses provided represent entirely un-researched, casual opinions and cannot be relied upon in any way or manner as legal advice. No communication here is intended to establish an attorney-client relationship.
The terms of your written lease are going to control whether or not the Landlord can charge you for this item. You need to consult with a real estate attorney experienced in landlord/tenant matters who can review your lease and give you an opinion.
This answer is for general information purposes only and is not legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is created hereby.
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