Can I sue my landlord for my for unlawfully breaking into my apartment and stealing my items?

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Can I sue my landlord for my for unlawfully breaking into my apartment and stealing my items?

After numerous building code violations, the building was closed down and declared as an unsafe building. No relocation was provided at that time. During this period, I sent them a final 7 days repair list letter and the landlord failed to comply in repairing the damages within 7 days. Do I have right to withhold 1 monthly rent? Well, that’s what I did. Now, they want to charge me for this month and not return my last rent payment. The landlord did not return my security and pet deposit, and last months rent. The landlord did not pay the tenant’s moving expenses, packing and unpacking costs. Month-to-month tenant. What are my rights as a tenant in this situation?

Asked on March 23, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

There seems to be an awful lot going on here and I hardly know where to begin.  But I really think that none of these issues regarding the fixing of things in your apartment, etc., have any bearing if the building was what you call "shut down."  Do you mean condemned?  I think that you need to go down to court and to start a proceeding for return of your security deposit and see how this shakes out.  Be aware that courts do not generally like it if you withhold rent.  But if the place was shut down or condemned that may have obviated the need for you to pay it.  I can not tell if you put the cart before the horse here, so to speak.  Get help.  Good luck.


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