Legal Question in Landlord & Tenant Law in Florida

I signed a lease from a private owner. I gave him a security deposit and first months rent. When I moved a week and a half later from another state, when I arrived there were baby roaches crawling on the baseboards on the lower level and in the bathtub upstairs. There was also the smell of urine after removing all the glad plugins. I got some pictures and video of the pests crawling before I ran and stayed at the Hampton Inn. The next morning we begged the owner to terminate our lease. He brought a handwritten paper saying that he would terminate the lease, but that I forfeited all rents and security deposits paid. I was scared that I would not be let out of the lease and that he could take me to court for the whole year if I did not sign, so I did. My question is do I have a civil case to get my deposit back even though I signed his paper. If I do have a case, can he come after me for the entire year of rent?

Asked on 10/01/13, 2:36 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Barry Stein De Cardenas, Freixas, Stein & Zachary

Likely not. there is consideration for the agreement in allowing you out of the lease in exchange for the forfeiture. I don't think you can undo the agreement. If you do, you are certainly at risk for him claiming the rental he has lost, if any, due to your premature departure.

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Answered on 10/01/13, 2:40 pm

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