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What do I do if I have called Code Enforcement on my landlords and because I did that they filed for an eviction?

Lakeland, FL |

My landlords has refused to make repairs on the water heater for three months now. Two months ago the roof started leaking and the floor has started to cave due to rotten wood. When I told them I was no longer pay rent until they made the repairs they threaten my family. I had to call the police on them after they drove by my house waving guns out their window. I have called Code Enforcement as well. On the 22nd I received a three day eviction notice. What do I do from here?

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Attorney answers 3


In order to withhold rent, you must follow the statutory guidelines and send a written request ahead of time. Did you do that?

If you did not send the written notice as required by law, then you should "Pay or Vacate."

You should continue to call law enforcement if they are threatening you and your family.

Good luck. You may wish to call a landlord/tenant lawyer to protect your rights.


Take a look at your rights as a tenant at

Rixon Charles Rafter III

Rixon Charles Rafter III


contact the Lakeland Bar Association and tell them you need legal assistance


Consult a landlord-tenant attorney. You may be able to get the eviction action dismissed. Pay the outstanding rent into the court registry and file an answer explaining the problems you have had with the landlord. Attach a copy of the code enforcement report and police report. All of this should be handled by an attorney but if you cannot find one you can try to do it yourself.

You are supposed to provide notice in writing but sometimes a judge will accept the code enforcement report as indication that written notice was provided regarding the repairs needed.

No attorney-client relationship is created by answering questions in this public forum. If you wish to create an attorney-client relationship, you must contact me directly and sign a representation agreement. Answers are provided based on general ideas and an answer specific to your situation would require a review of all documents.

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