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Apartment Lease Issues

Posted by attorney Jonathan Torres

Recently I have heard horror stories about what landlords are doing to their poor tenants. This post is meant for both tenants and landlords. The landlord tenant relationship is defined by law through Statutes and is also a contractual relationship. As a tenant in Florida you should know that you have some rights and obligations which a lot of people do not know about. On the other hand landlord...s also have rights and duties as far as the tenant and the premises goes. This is just a highlight of the major issuea that usually come up and which I have encountered recently. For detailed information on specific problems always seek advice from a lawyer. The majority of leases nowadays are for a set time. The most common lease is for a period of 1 year or 2 years with rent payable month to month. Most leases nowadays have early termination clauses which require the tenant to pay a penalty if he or she moves out early prior to the lease term. These are sometimes enforced by courts. However, there might be some defenses, such as termination of the lease by tenant due to unhabitable living conditions For example, lets say you have an insect infestation and you inform your landlord and the landlord does not remedy it. Well...a tenant in a way is being forced to move especially if the infestation is rendering the apartment or house unsanitary. .Moving on to a separate issue Well obviously if a tenant does not pay rent, the tenant may be evicted and also may still owe rent for the period from the date of nonpayment of rent to the Court date. If you are in this position, YOU, as a tenant must know that the landlord CANNOT evict you unless he or she gives you proper notice and files a proper eviction in Court. If you want to know your specific rights and duties under a lease, contact Attorney Jonathan Torres. I will be glad to review your case. Moving on to your deposit, make sure you read your lease. Landlords have usually 30 days to present a claim against the deposit for damages. Another issue that comes up is whether or not a landlord or an agent of the landlord (maintenance for example) can enter the premises without notice to tenant. THIS IS A BIG NO THEY CANNOT! Landlords must provide reasonable notice to tenants if they need to enter the premises. There are exceptions obviously (an emergency repair to protect other neighbors or an emergency repair for the leased premises). A notice by the landlord within 24 hours is usually held by the courts to be reasonable notice for nonemergencies. Tenants have the duty not to destroy. Normal wear and tear is OK. But as a tenant you are reaponsible for damages. A PARTING NOTE GET RENTER INSURANCE IT IS CHEAP AND GIVES PEACE OF MIND IF SOMETHING WERE TO HAPPEN. MAKE SURE TO COVER YOUR PERSONAL PROPERTY AND THE LEASED PREMISES.

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