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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 27621
Experience:  Attorney
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I think i am living in an ilegal unit that shares single ac

Customer Question

i think i am living in an ilegal unit that shares single ac with avid pot smoker (in take is next to her bathroom) it always smells like pot smoke and fresh poop in my apt and i complained and now and my landlord is being nasty demanding i take out my window ac and pay power bill when power was included in lease. she also has not finished work to apartment or grounds as promised. she is getting nasty with me and saying "fine i will do what i gotta do then" i even upgraded all lights to led and she said she would pay for half verbally but i hve not recieved ANY money frim her. i a,so oaid for finishing of partial backyard that she said she would pay me for since it was staying when i leave. if i go to city and file complaint can i get evicted and what rights do i have?' i read some states make the landlord give some rent back to tenant. i am in miami fl and paid first last and security my lease is up jan 12 2016 and i dont have money to get new apt and pay to move etc
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

My name is ***** ***** I'd be happy to answer your questions today.
Laws that a landlord must repay a tenant's rent for putting them in an illegal unit are usually done by local ordinance, not the state. What city is your home located in?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Miami
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
how can i check for sure? i looked online and my home is listed as a single family home but she took the in-law in the back and made it from a 2/1 to a 2/2 and i could not find any permits online or anything like that.
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
The best way to know if the property is illegal is to call the city and ask them if it's legal. It's illegal for a landlord to evict you because you reported a violation of the law in good faith (if the place turns out to be legal).
The problem is, if the apartment is NOT legal, then it's not legal for you to stay there. She can seek to have you evicted, and there's no legal defense, because you're not supposed to be there in the first place. She would have to return your security deposit unless you damaged the property, and she'd have to return your last month's rent because she's not legally entitled to collect rent from you. I'm not finding any law that requires her to return all rent paid, since she did give you a place to live, but if the place is uninhabitable due to improper ventilation, you may be able to get a prorated refund.
Your landlord cannot require you to pay any portion of the power bill if the lease says electricity is included, and you can sue her in Small Claims Court for a refund of that money. She also cannot prevent you from using a window A/C unit UNLESS the lease says it's prohibited.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
the money to upgrade the apartment. all the leds and yard work thats all a loss? it was all verbal agreements. i am just out of luck there right?
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
You can take the light bulbs with you and put regular bulbs back in. For everything else, you'd have to prove an agreement that she pay you, yes. Verbal agreements are tough to prove sometimes. For yard work, it's essentially the same - if the lease says you're supposed to do it, she doesn't have to pay anything. If she's supposed to do it, you can sue for breach of the lease since you did it yourself.