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AttyHeather
AttyHeather, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 546
Experience:  Attorney with 15 years experience
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Town of Ocean Ridge, Palm Beach County FL Landlord Tenant

Customer Question

Town of Ocean Ridge, Palm Beach County FL Landlord TenantHave been living in same location for 10 years. Signed 1 year agreement 2006. Renewed after that with little or no discussion nothing in writing. Were we on annual or month to month renewal? Does it mater for what follows?Recently, AC broke. Called landlords preferred contractor. They got it running again but said the fix will only last a few days. Died 2-3 days later. It took 7 days for landlord to replace the dead unit. Landlord was out of the country during all this and was not able to respond to text emails advising him of problems on a timely basis.Original lease said
1 landlord cannot directly or indirectly (being in Europe) cause unreasonable interruption is services.2. later contract states states - there is a seven day period for landlord to fix the
conditions that make the premise uninhabitable. (90 F 90% Humidity)Do the terms of original lease apply or since no lease are there other provisions that apply.Do I have any claim to the 7 days of uninhabitable living and rent reduction
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  AttyHeather replied 2 months ago.

Hi! I'm Heather. I've been a practicing attorney for the last 15 years, and I'd be happy to assist you for informational and educational purposes.

Expert:  AttyHeather replied 2 months ago.

One moment as I type. . .

Expert:  AttyHeather replied 2 months ago.

Normally, your contract/lease with your landlord is going to have language about how the lease renews. Most leases say that they turn into a month-to-month after the original term (one year) of the lease expires. Most likely your lease states this, but it is possible that it states it renews for the original term automatically. You will have to study the language of the lease to determine the answer to this question. If the lease truly does not speak to this, then it would most likely go to a month-to-month, which is the default under the law.

Since you moved in with a lease, unless the lease specifically states that it doesn't apply after one year as to maintenance, which I would be surprised if it said that, then the lease terms will apply even though you are past the one year.

This is a very frustrating problem. If the condition is very bad, you should get it fixed and deduct that amount from your rent, and/or move since by not fixing a problem as serious as this, the landlord is basically "constructively" evicting you. Your landlord should have not left the country without a plan for maintenance when he was gone.

Has that answered your question?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
He did have a new unit put in on the 7 th day. The delay occurred because he was in Europe and was not accessible
Expert:  AttyHeather replied 2 months ago.

Ahhh. Sorry for that confusion. Well, I think it would probably be difficult to get a rent reduction awarded in court, since he did fix it by the 7th day, as per the contract. I think your best bet is to approach him and tell him how badly it inconvenienced you and ask him if he would give you something like a 10% reduction for the month. He might agree to it since it was so hot for you for an entire week. You might also give him any information on inconveniences you incurred, such as spending the nights with family if applicable.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Contract states 1 year only. Must be renewed in writing.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Heather,. One final. The contract clearly states it must be renewed in writing.
If I can and try to enforce will I forfeit part of last month's rent and security payment.
Expert:  AttyHeather replied 1 month ago.

If the contract requires it to be renewed in writing, and that did not happen, but you and the landlord still performed as if it was renewed, then the court is still likely to impose the provisions of the contract, because the court will impose the terms that it believes the two of you otherwise mutually understood to be the agreement, which would still be the written contract. But the fact that you renewed, but not in writing, does muddy the water. There is not a black and white answer, but I think the court will still look to the contract provisions to see what it thinks the agreed upon terms are.

Forfeiture of the deposit will depend on the terms of the contract - again - and most terms state that the landlord can keep the deposit for money that the tenant owes him. If the landlord thinks you owe him money, then he has that deposit and he can keep it if he wants. If you don't agree with what he does with your deposit, then you will have to sue him.

Can you please provide a positive rating for this question?