Florida  |  Landlord & Tenant Law

Legal Question

Asked on: 5/14/09, 12:08 am

Tenant malicious intent

A good relationship with a tenant of 4 years who lives next door soured to the point that I released him from the 3 months remaining on the lease which he did not take advantage of. When doing a 60day pre-move out inspection I noticed the water heater was oozing orange goo and had streaks running down the side. I called a professional and the tank had filled with water on the inside and could have started a fire or given off an electrical shock. Tenant said he didn't notice the black red and orange streaks nor the wet floor molding. His washer and dryer are right next to the heater and it is in a place where he has to walk by to get to his office and the garage. The professionals said this was damage that did not happen over night, but over a period of time maybe 6-7 months. He stored his mops and brooms next to the water heater and had put a trunk that we had given him in front of it. Everyone that saw the pictures and the real thing agree that it was not something you could ''not notice''. At the risk of his own family he could have caused serious damage. It cost me $650 to replace. How much can I charge him and how? He has renter's insurance. He had no intention of letting me know there was a problem. His lease is up 6/30/0

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