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Tina, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 8775
Experience:  JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
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My mom a senior citizen is paying 2000 for a home and there

Customer Question

My mom a senior citizen is paying 2000 for a home and there is no hot water since she moved in and it has to do with the heater . So we have contacted the management company and the owner no response so now we just want to get out of the lease how can we do that
JA: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Tampa Fl
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: Yes, I have sent a certified letter to the management company they received it 6 days ago they have not said anything to me
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I need to know how can we get out of that lease my mom is very unhappy and has no desire to stay there it's been 2 months
Submitted: 5 days ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  legalgems replied 5 days ago.

Hello! I will be reviewing your question and posting a response momentarily; if you have any follow up questions please respond here. Thanks!

Expert:  legalgems replied 5 days ago.

I am sorry to hear your mother's in this situation; a few minutes please as I get you some information.

Expert:  legalgems replied 5 days ago.

Every lease has an implied warranty of habilitability, and an implied warranty of quiet use and enjoyment.

Under the "implied warranty of habitability," the landlord is legally responsible for repairing conditions that seriously affect the rental unit's habitability; the landlord must repair substantial defects in the unit and ensure compliance with state and local building and health codes. The idea is that it is a safe living environment. However, the landlord is not responsible under the implied warranty of habitability for repairing damages that were caused by the tenant or the tenant's family, guests, or pets.
The implied covenant of quiet use and enjoyment means that the tenant is entitled to the peaceful use of the premises.

These are implied in every lease and cannot be waived.
Violation of these covenants/warranties constitute "constructive eviction"

Here is a statute that deals with the tenant's right to repair and deduct, or to withhold rent:

83.201 Notice to landlord of failure to maintain or repair, rendering premises wholly untenantable; right to withhold rent.—When the lease is silent on the procedure to be followed to effect repair or maintenance and the payment of rent relating thereto, yet affirmatively and expressly places the obligation for same upon the landlord, and the landlord has failed or refused to do so, rendering the leased premises wholly untenantable, the tenant may withhold rent after notice to the landlord. The tenant shall serve the landlord, in the manner prescribed by s. 83.20(3), with a written notice declaring the premises to be wholly untenantable, giving the landlord at least 20 days to make the specifically described repair or maintenance, and stating that the tenant will withhold the rent for the next rental period and thereafter until the repair or maintenance has been performed. The lease may provide for a longer period of time for repair or maintenance. Once the landlord has completed the repair or maintenance, the tenant shall pay the landlord the amounts of rent withheld. If the landlord does not complete the repair or maintenance in the allotted time, the parties may extend the time by written agreement or the tenant may abandon the premises, retain the amounts of rent withheld, terminate the lease, and avoid any liability for future rent or charges under the lease. This section is cumulative to other existing remedies, and this section does not prevent any tenant from exercising his or her other remedies.

This case ( Ransom v. Connelly 2011) was an anomoly because the judge allowed the tenant to repair and deduct without the required notice but most attorneys will advise to provide the statutory notice. So if that step is taken it is best to have an attorney provide advice based on the local judge that may be assigned to preside over the case. Some judges will find the situation to be such that the tenant is entitled to move out because of the implied warranty; but it is best to take that course upon the advice of an attorney familiar with the particular judge and his/her past rulings, since very few landlord tenant cases go to the appellate level, at which time the cases are published and are cited as legal authority.

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Information provided is for educational purposes only. Consultation with a personal attorney is always recommended so your particular facts may be considered. Thank you and take care.

Expert:  legalgems replied 2 day ago.

Hello again; just checking in to see how things worked out;
if you have further questions please don't hesitate to reach out to me here on Just Answer.

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