If my landlord did not deliver the rental property to me, the tenant, in compliance with local housing codes, does that make the lease agreement void?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If my landlord did not deliver the rental property to me, the tenant, in compliance with local housing codes, does that make the lease agreement void?

Asked on October 31, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

James Jones Jr / The Jones Firm, PLLC

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Dear Tenant,

Your rights as a tenant under Florida law, including voiding the lease agreement, depend largely on what you mean by  your "landlord did not deliver".  Was the rental property occupied by another tenant at the time you were scheduled to move in?  Was the rental property uninhabitable at the time you were scheduled to move in?

Assuming the former, under Florida law regarding residential tenancies, you are entitled to private and peaceful possession of the rental property. Another tenant in possession of the rental property means that you are not in private and peaceful possession of the property.

Assuming the latter, under Florida law regarding residential tenancies, you are entitled to a habitable (fit for living) rental property. Faulty plumbing, pest problems or a structurally unsound property are examples of a property that is unfit for living.

As a remedy, you have the right to withhold rent until the problem is cured provided that you give the landlord written notice of the problem.  You can also notify your landlord of your intention to terminate the lease agreement for failure to comply with the lease terms so long as you specifically state how the landlord failed to comply in your written notice to your landlord.  After you give your landlord the written notice, your landlord has to cure the problem within 7 days.  After this period of time, you may terminate the lease agreement.  If you decide to withhold rent, you should probably place the rent in a separate bank account and contact an attorney so that the court can be notified of the landlord's failure to cure the problem and your intention to use all or part of your rent to cure the problem.  It is worth mentioning that withholding rent for the purpose of curing the problem does not make the lease agreement void.

Make sure to look at the lease agreement because there may be a clause concerning holdover tenants (a tenant in possession of the property at the time you are scheduled to move in) or a clause concerning the acceptance of the condition of the property. However, even these clauses may be void if it is an attempt by the landlord to avoid his/her duties under the law.

Additionally, if you still want to live in the rental property and you believe the problem can be cured within a reasonable time, you should consider working with the landlord to give him/her time to cure the problem.

 

 


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption