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RealEstateAnswer
RealEstateAnswer, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 24922
Experience:  10+ years in handling Leases, Landlord-Tenant, Foreclosures,Mortgages, and Eviction cases
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I am a tenant and I rent a house in Tampa Florida from a property

Customer Question

I am a tenant and I rent a house in Tampa Florida from a property management company. When it came time to sign a 2nd year lease, the property mgt company called me about 60 days before the end of my year lease and asked me if I wanted to renew. I said yes and was told that I would receive a contract to sign and return. I then received a digital contract, signed and sent it back to the property mgmt company.
The "lease" that I signed was never signed by the owner. The property management company told me that they have an email from her stating that after an inspection of the property she was going to renew. The owner never did sign the lease. The property mgt company told me that they asked her over a dozen times to sign the lease and she refused.
I was never made aware of this and never received a final lease back from the property mgmt company. I was given a 30 day notice to vacate on May 5 2015. My "lease" was supposed to last until September 2106.
I have talked to my property mgmt company and they have offered me $600 to help me move. I asked them for $2,500 to move to make up for their failure to disclose that the owner never signed the lease.
This is not acceptable and they must be held accountable for their gross and irresponsible behavior.
Can I sue them?
Can I sure my property mgmt company for negligence?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  RealEstateAnswer replied 9 months ago.
Good morning. Just to be clear, they provided you with the lease, electronically, then you signed it and sent it back to them?
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Yes.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
But I never got it back.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
The rental comp only told me all of this this week. I full believed that I had a binding contract for a year not month to month.
Expert:  RealEstateAnswer replied 9 months ago.
Thank you. Yes, you could have a valid argument to make. I say this because the management company has the authority to act on behalf of the owner. If an offer was made to renew the lease, by them and you accepted it, it would be binding. Prior to making this offer, they should have spoken with the owner and made sure they wanted to renew and if now, they waited until the last minute to tell you that you must vacate, you could try and go after them for damages. If they offered you $600 to relocate and help move, you can certainly make a counter offer for more money and advise them that you will not vacate and when they try and evict, contest this and try and prove you have an enforceable contract for another year lease and let the judge decide. This will cost them additional time and money to defend and if they do want you out, need to come up on their offer.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
What if it goes before a judge and I lose for some reason ? Do I have to continue to pay rent and so on during the eviction process ?
Expert:  RealEstateAnswer replied 9 months ago.
Yes, if you remain you would still need to tender and pay rent. Now, if they refuse to accept it, you can deposit it with the clerk of court, so the judge can see you are ready, willing and able to pay.
Expert:  RealEstateAnswer replied 9 months ago.
Please let me know if you have any follow up questions or need any clarification on something which I stated above. Also, remember to rate my service at the top of this page, before exiting the site, so I can receive credit for my help. I hope you found it to be Excellent! Only rate my answer when you are 100% satisfied. If you feel the need to click either of the two lower ratings to the left, please stop and reply to me. I want to make sure your experience with the site was as pleasurable as possible and that you are satisfied with the help I provided.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Should I reach out to the owner of the property? Get her side of the story. Perhaps she is un aware that I have been mis represented.
Expert:  RealEstateAnswer replied 9 months ago.
Yes it is possible and you can if you have her contact information. If you can advise her of the situation and make her aware she may be willing to work with you a little more
Knowing what they did
Expert:  RealEstateAnswer replied 9 months ago.
Is there anything else I can answer or clarify? I am here to help so please let me know
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
If I end up leaving the property within the 30 day notice... Will I still be able to sue them for negligence? I really don't think that I need to be out one penny for someone's gross neglect.
Expert:  RealEstateAnswer replied 9 months ago.
Glad to hear back from you and I am happy to respond. Please just make sure you remember to rate my help at the top at this time so the site will give me credit.Yes, even if you vacate you can still sue them. It would not excuse their actions if you are damaged and forced to leave.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
If I retain an attorney and when win will that cover the cost of the attorney ?
Expert:  RealEstateAnswer replied 9 months ago.
If you prevail out can ask to be award attorney fees and that they be paid by them. Moreover, the lease agreement which you had may even allow it
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
This is the part of the contract that concerns me. Does this mean that will have to sue the owner and she in turn will have to sue the property management company?Also, the owner is a lawyer for Walmart... :(
Expert:  RealEstateAnswer replied 9 months ago.
It means you need to sue the owner and can not go after the management. It does not mean you are prevented from suing and it will be the owner and management who need to resolve this on their end
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Earlier in this conversation (at the beginning) I stated the property management company are the bad guys, but now based on the contract presented - do I have to sue the owner? I am putting pressure on the Property Management - not on the owner.So which is it? You said I had a case earlier????
Expert:  RealEstateAnswer replied 9 months ago.
You still have a case but just now showed that language in hone contract. You can still speak and deal with the management but if you sue you need to go after the owner.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Are you in this country? You last few responses don't sound like attorney talk to me....
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I am good. No need to answer. I have heard enough.
Expert:  RealEstateAnswer replied 9 months ago.
Please just let me know if there is anything else.