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The renting of a home, condominium, or apartment in Florida comes with some form of understanding that your landlord is responsible for keeping the unit habitable. When the unit becomes inhabitable, such as broken exterior door locks, there are rats in the kitchen, or  mold in the bathroom, the responsibility falls on the landlord to make repairs. Before things get worse, you must speak with a rental lawyer about your options.

Speaking with a landlord tenant lawyer at the Ferrer Law Group can help discuss your options and what to do if a landlord refuses to make repairs. Call our office today to learn more about how we can help you deal with your lawyer.

Importance of Habitability

To qualify as inhabitable, your rental unit must have serious issues  involving your ability to live there and not just be annoying or look ugly. In addition, the problems in your rental must have a potentially harmful effect on the health and safety of tenants and their guests. Working with an attorney can help you develop a tenant habitability plan, which can determine if the problems in your rental are worth pursuing legal action to get corrected.

Although there are complaints against landlords not fixing things in the apartment, home, or condominium being rented, it is important to note that not all damages or issues to a rental unit are the landlord’s responsibility to make repairs. Your lease should identify what each party is responsible to repair. 

What You Can Do

Some people think that if the landlord does not make necessary repairs to ensure their unit is habitable, they can withhold their monthly rent. It might be possible to make the repairs yourself or hire a professional and deduct the costs from your next month’s rental payment. 

However, this may not always be the situation unless the tenant does not mind the possibility of facing eviction. Before withholding any amount of your rent, it is best to consult a landlord tenant attorney to learn more about the legalities of what could potentially be a lease violation.

As a tenant, you can make a formal request to have the problem fixed. Follow the steps in your lease to properly submit the request and document the date, time, and how the request was submitted. Take photos to document the purpose of the request.

If the landlord does not fulfill the repair request in a reasonable amount of time, submit a second request. If the problem is still not resolved after the second request, contact a lawyer to learn more about your rights as a tenant. The attorney may be able to file paperwork with the courts, send a letter to the landlord, or report a violation to the state or local housing authority. The risk of citation from local authorities may be the push to make the necessary repairs.

Your final option is to move out, temporarily or permanently. If the landlord considers this a breach of your lease agreement, an attorney can help you fight any Complaint the landlord may file in court and possibly receive compensation for your troubles.

How Long Does a Landlord Have To Make Repairs?

In Florida, a reasonable amount of time for a landlord to make necessary repairs or corrections to a property to make it habitable is seven days. Suppose the landlord does not make the repairs within seven days of you submitting a formal request. In that case, the landlord violates Florida’s guarantee of habitability laws and can be reported to the state housing authority.

How a Landlord Tenant Lawyer Can Help

An attorney can help you determine if your landlord violates making your rental habitable; if it is not, they can help determine the best course of action to correct it. Your attorney will investigate what caused the property’s condition, escalate the problem to the local housing authority, and file a lawsuit against your landlord if needed.

If you are having trouble getting your landlord to bring your rental unit up to code and habitable, speak with one of the attorneys at Ferrer Law Group. We can help get the necessary repairs completed and, if needed, seek legal action against your landlord for rental property neglect. Call our office today to speak with one of our many experienced tenant landlord attorneys.

Legal Disclaimer: The materials within this website are for informational purposes only. They are not legal advice and should not be used as such. Transmission of the information in this website is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Internet users and readers should not act upon this information and should seek professional legal counsel.