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Roger, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 30908
Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
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Good morning, I have a tenant in Miami-Dade. She has a 1

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Good morning,

I have a tenant in Miami-Dade. She has a 1 year lease on a studio apartment.
Since the rain season started it happened a few times that water got inside her apartment. We responded every time and sent someone to fix the problem. A few days ago there was a major flooding in our area and alot of water got inside her property. Its an ongoing issue and we are doing our best to fix it. Now she is refusing to pay the rent because of this. Can she do that?

Kirk Adams : Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a Real Estate litigation attorney. Thanks for your question.
Kirk Adams : Here's a very good link to the Florida law that pertains to this matter:$FILE/FORM%204.pdf?OpenElement
Kirk Adams : Basically, the tenant doesn't have a right to withhold rent UNLESS notice of the issue is given to the landlord, and then the tenant must give the landlord a reasonable time to make repairs.
Kirk Adams : However, if notice is given, and the property is deemed uninhabitable, then the tenant can withhold rent.
Kirk Adams : Thus, if the repairs can't be completed within 7 days, it's likely legal for the tenant to withhold rent IF the property is not inhabitable.

Thank you. can I give her 3 days notice to pay or quit? and if so does it need to be in a letter or I can text her?

Kirk Adams : If the tenant has a valid reason for refusing to pay rent, then the 3 day notice would likely be subject to a legal challenge.
Kirk Adams : However, if there's no valid reason for withholding rent, then yes you can issue a 3 day notice and proceed with an eviction if she doesn't pay or vacate.
Kirk Adams : The notice would have to be in writing and delivered to her - - I wouldn't use a text. A traditional letter is the best option

Thank you!

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