What are a renter’s rights if they rented an apartment in a gated community and when the gate broke the landlord would not repair it?

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What are a renter’s rights if they rented an apartment in a gated community and when the gate broke the landlord would not repair it?

The reason I rented in this apartment complex is because it was gated. The gates broke and they would not repair it. I received a letter stating they would remove the gates. I had a car stolen from the property most likely because they where no gates present. I moved out and now this is on my credit report. Do I have any rights as a renter on this matter?

Asked on October 2, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You may have a cause of action against the landlord for either damages (such as the amount by which the market value of the apartment is diminished by not being effectively gated anymore) and/or an order forcing them to replace the gate. The idea is that by making a detrimental material change to the property after you leased it, they are violating the lease--you are no longer getting what you paid for. Alternatively, this breach *might* validate your termination of the lease--though it might not; you might still be liable under the lease, yet have your own counterveiling claims.

You might also be able to sue for the loss of  the car, on a theory of negligence--they assumed the duty to provide a certain type or amount of security (the gates) and where negligent in not providing that. It would be worthwhile for you to consult  with an attorney, one with experience in landlord-tenant law, to see what your recourse and options are.


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