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Loren
Loren, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 30273
Experience:  30 years of real estate practice experience.
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My landlord's Realetor who takes care of all his business

Customer Question

My landlord's Realetor who takes care of all his business received a in valid complaint from a neighbor. He texted me and said they value her as a neighbor and she is a person of integrity. He said, "when your lease comes due, we will take her reference into consideration before we will renew with you".
Do I have a leg to stand on concerning what I call "harassment" when threatening to kill my lease do to the false word of a neighbor?
Last time he threatened me when saying I was going to get an eviction notice if I was one day late. In 6 months I have never been late on my rent.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Loren replied 6 months ago.

Good afternoon. I am Loren, a Florida licensed attorney, and I look forward to assisting you. I am sorry to hear of your dilemma. I realize how frustrating this is for you and I hope to provide you information which is accurate and useful, even though it may not be the news you were hoping to get.

Unfortunately, the landlord has no legal obligation to renew your lease. The only limitation is that they can not take action against you or refuse to renew based upon race, religion, ethnicity, etc., as that violates the Fair Housing Act.

If the neighbor is intentionally making false factual allegations against you you may be able to sue her for defamation.

Actually, you would start with a cease and desist letter to anyone making these false accusations.

If this does not get a retraction, you will need to file suit for defamation. This cause of action is specifically for damage caused to one's reputation. To establish a prima facie case of defamation, four elements are generally required:

1. a false statement purporting to be fact concerning another person or entity;

2. publication or communication of that statement to a third person;

3. fault on the part of the person making the statement amounting to intent or at least negligence; and,

4. some harm caused to the person or entity who is the subject of the statement.

This involves complex litigation and it is strongly advised that you retain local counsel to assist you in protecting your rights before taking any action in this matter.

If you need assistance in finding an attorney, contact your state or local bar association. You can also try Martindale Hubble. Many attorneys themselves use this site to locate attorneys outside their jurisdiction or expertise:

http://www.martindale.com/Find-Lawyers-and-Law-Firms.aspx

It is a huge worldwide database of attorneys searchable by location and specialty.

Expert:  Loren replied 6 months ago.

If you have no further questions, and have not yet done so, please remember to leave a favorable rating (5 stars) so that I am credited by JustAnswer for assisting you. A bonus is not required, but is always appreciated.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Taking action against my neighbor would only cause him to definitely cease my lease. It's unfortunate landlords can get away with this because I have to assume worse case sanarea (possibly not getting a renewal on my lease) and make the obvious moves to make sure I am prepared to be told the day of renewal that their indeed will not be a renewal.Should I assume that if I had a yearly lease that he could not evict me for such reasons or could I be in the same situation even if I had a yearly lease?
Expert:  Loren replied 6 months ago.

Thank you for following up. He can only evict you if you are in breach of the lease. If the other tenant is alleging some sort of harassment or misconduct, that could be a breach of the lease, but it would need to be proven in court. If they could not prove it then you can not be evicted.

Expert:  Loren replied 6 months ago.

Are you still with me?

Expert:  Loren replied 6 months ago.

If you have no further questions, and have not yet done so, please remember to leave a favorable rating (click 5 stars in the rating section on this page) so that I am credited by JustAnswer for assisting you. A bonus is not required, but is always appreciated.

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