Legal Question in Landlord & Tenant Law in Florida

We received a 3 day pay or quit notice in Florida. We signed a rent to own agreement, 1 yr. to be renewed every year. We have not signed a new agreement this year. We are late, in the expired agreement there are a few things we now know are not legal; such as a $5 a day late fee for as long as we are late, he also put any late payments will count as rent, not towards balance. The house was built in 1885 and sat empty for close to a decade. The floors are soft, I have fallen through a few places and they are now holes we rigged with a piece of wood over it, the roof leaks, there is black mold, and the kitchen sink does not drain, needs new lines. I understand buyer beware, but curious if we have any rights here. There is no CO for it so we are curious if he can collect rent, or even legally evict us when he cannot legally rent it in the first place. He refers to the agreement in his pay or quit notice, but that has expired. Also, as soon as we moved in he got a new phone & number and even though we have asked for it he has never given it to us, it is also not included on the notice.

Do we have any recourse? We are curious if there are any Florida law loop-holes to help us.

Asked on 2/07/13, 1:49 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Lucreita Becude Lucreita D. Becude, P.A.

If you signed an agreement - then it is legal. When you moved in you knew what the property looked like - I am not sure what kind of loop holes you are looking for. are you saying you want money back for the purchase portion of the rent? Whether you have a phone number or not is not an issue - you have an address that you pay rent to and obviously he is in contact with you. YOu need to have your lease read by an attorney but I am pretty sure that if you rented a house that is from 1885 - that you probably had the intent to do improvements to the property in order to purchase it.

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Answered on 2/08/13, 9:05 am
Barry Stein De Cardenas, Freixas, Stein & Zachary

You have an obligation to pay your rental. The late charges are not paid to reduce the rental obligation, they are in addition and $5.00 /day is enforceable. Your lease agreement and any provision in it for extension still controls. Seek some help and pay the rental due otherwise you will be evicted.

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Answered on 2/08/13, 11:43 am

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