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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 113505
Experience:  Licensed attorney practicing landlord-tenant, land use and other real estate law and litigation.
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I signed a contract to lease a furnished condo year with a

Customer Question

I signed a contract to lease a furnished condo for one year with a June 1 move-in date. I paid 1st last month and security equaling 7800.00 dollars. The lease states completely furnished. However, after move-in I found that every drawer in every room of the condo including kitchen cabinets was full of personal belongings of the landlord. Also, the closets were full of clutter. Unfortunately I did not look in the closets and the drawers when the Realtor showed the property. I only looked in the walk-in closets witch were reasonable clear. The personal items include men's and women's cloths, linens, bed sheets, golf clubs, cricket balls, all kinds of cleaning items, household appliances. None of the kitchen cabinets had any room for anything including groceries as they were filled with old plates, old coffee makers, etc.
My impression was that a furnished condo for an annual rental would not include all of these items. The listing agent told me that when you rent a completely furnished condo it includes all of these items, but she did back off on the clothes.
I offered to pack everything up in containers, and put into storage, but asking the landlord to pay for the monthly storage fee. The landlord declined. The landlord wants the listing agent to go through her personal items and throw out what is not valuable and put the remaining items in the walk-in closets.
At this point I would prefer to just walk away for the lease or find out from the landlord what she feels is reasonable for damages. I do feel somewhat responsible by not doing due diligence when first viewing the condo.
In the event that the landlord continues to be unreasonable, and decides to sue me; how much money can she get if it goes to court keeping in mind she already has 7800 dollars of my money. Does the State of Florida have a maximum amount for liquid damages? Would there be anything derogatory in public records?
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 8 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
A completely furnished apartment is generally held to mean everything someone needs to move in and live there without bringing in anything. Clothing of the landlord should not be there, but they can leave sheets, dishes, glasses, appliances, etc.
In the event the landlord refuses to remove his personal items such as clothing etc, then you need to notify them they are in breach of the lease and failure to comply will result in termination of the contract. Unless the contract specifies other damages, he can sue for all of the rent due under the terms of the lease and can keep the deposit for the breach, but in this case you are describing him to be in breach, which means you too would have a claim against him for costs of moving and to terminate the lease and not owe him a dime.
Her personal items should not have been in the premises, that is not part of fully furnished (although like I said, small appliances, dishes, cleaning supplies, sheets, curtains and things needed for a home and to live in the home can be left in the apartment). Thus, you have legal grounds to sue for breach and seek your damages including costs of the move.

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