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I Need Legal Help!

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posted on May, 10 2004 @ 09:33 AM
Alright... here's the story. My Fiance'1 and I moved into this Apartment Complex on Feb. 20th of this year. Since then, we Have had Major Problems. The A/C Has Not Been Working until the 6th of this month. And we live in Florida. The disposer shoots up everything, the cabinets are falling apart, the smoke detector dont work. We pay $525.00 a month. I called 7 days before rent was due this month, and I told them 3 times on their voice mail that I will not be paying rent this month, due to the A/C not working for a full 30 days, smoke detector not working, etc. I filed a complaint with the Department of Justice and Commerce.

He called me down today, talking about Eviction... He got a letter from the DOJAC (Dep. Justice and Commerce), and so I think he was a little scared, considering he knocked my rent from $525.00 to $300.00. But it's not the amount, It's the fact that I will not pay rent, because # has not worked since I moved in. I dont want to get evicted... Can anyone offer me some legal advice or show me some laws I can throw at him so He decides to back off?

posted on Jun, 15 2004 @ 01:17 AM
If you signed a rental agreement, you need to go back and read it "carefully". If it states that the a/c and everything else that you mentioned is suppose to be in "good working order" , and it's not, you may have a case against the landlord, but it depends on what the laws are where you live.
Search the internet for " landlord-tenant law(FL)", and see what you can find.

In Iowa they have such laws and there is a handbook that a person can get in Iowa from the "legal services corp. " to help a person with their landlord. I know that in iowa, if something is broken , falling apart, not in right condition, then the tenant needs to (1) call the landlord and inform him/her of the problem that needs fixed, (2) send a letter to the landlord ( where he/she has to sign for it), ( keep a copy for yourself), notifying him/her of the problem and they need to fix it or you will fix it yourself and take the cost of the repairs out of the rent check and send the rest to them ( keep all proof of cost for repairs ). As long as a renter follows certain legal-steps, and keeps all proof ( pictures, repair bills, etc.,) , records, then they will have "legal grounds" to force the landlord to do right. This is one of the remedies in iowa, but like I said, it depends on the laws of your state.
look up landlord-tenant laws on the internet for your state.

hope this has helped.

posted on Jun, 15 2004 @ 02:39 PM
I would place a call to the Fire inspector and advise about the smoke detectors....

The above advice is pretty good in addition, and I too live in FL. If I remember correctly, it take some time to effect an eviction. One thing you can do, is make a very small payment (like $25), and that will really screw him in any kind of eviction proceeding, legally you are paying rent, but just not the full amount....

posted on Jun, 15 2004 @ 02:43 PM
If you sign a contract you are bind by that contract and that is. Never sign anything without reading the small prints.

I used to work for a lawyer. They are snicky littler bastards.

posted on Jun, 16 2004 @ 04:47 AM
very well put Gazrok and marg6043. I took 1 & 3/4 years of paralegal college. There's things that can be done, you just got to know, "what and how" .

posted on Jul, 5 2004 @ 10:29 PM
As Gazrok said, as long as you pay them something for rent, be it the $300 or $25. At least you are fullfilling your part to pay the rent.

In Minnesota, we were told:

  • to pay the full rent and
  • write a letter to the landlord describing the problems.

The landlord, then has 30 or 60 days (dumb brain not working) to fix the problems, before you can legally not pay rent without the threat of eviction.

Good luck to you.

posted on Aug, 3 2004 @ 04:11 PM
Hi there...

Did you sign a lease agreement and if so, how long is the lease? A lease is a contract that binds all parties. Are you still in the period of time covered under the lease? If not, then there is no document binding the parties and either one of you could terminate the relationship.

Nonpayment of rent could be construed as a breach of contract, unless the lease specifically states that you don't have to pay rent if the landlord doesn't maintain the place.

Your landlord may be committing breach of contract if the lease specifically states that he will maintain and repair the unit and it's appliances, and he is negligent in these responsibilities.

Every state has it's own laws regarding eviction. The Florida Landlord/Tenant laws can be found here in detail:

Since the landlord has reduced the rent amount, you should have him amend the lease to reflect this change in your monetary obligation.

In addition to State laws, there may be local City ordinances which oversee housing dillemas such as yours. I would contact your City Housing Authority to inquire about this situation to see if they might be able to recommend ways to resolve this.

I am unfamiliar with complaints to the Dept. of Justice & Commerce, so can't help you there.

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