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I have 2 questions regarding Florida state law. 1) I moved…

Customer Question
I have 2 questions regarding...
I have 2 questions regarding Florida state law.

1) I moved in with my sister who holds the mortgage to this house. We have no lease, but for the past 9 months I have been paying the $900 mortgage due to the fact that she only has $929.00 per month in social security benefits from her deceased husband. My income is approx. $2000.00 per month. The total household expenses come to $1500 per month including the mortgage. I agreed to pay more than my share because she wanted to preserve what she calls her "stash" and not have to dip into it in order to keep it for emergencies. Herein lies the problem; she has a drinking problem and spends more than $125 to $150 a month at the bars (without my being present as I am a social drinker). Am I within my rights to tell her that from now on I am only going to give her $750 per month because I do not want to continue subsidizing her drinking habits? Will she be able to kick me out with no notice? If she does tell me to leave and decides to let the bank take her house, how much notice does she have to give me?

2) I found an apartment that I am interested in renting if I decide to move out on my own, and I need to know how much information can be shared on a rental history report. I lived in an apartment complex prior to moving in with my sister. I was not evicted and I paid my rent on time every month. However, 2 days after I signed a new 2 year lease my physician determined it was not safe for me to live alone because I kept falling. They would not let me out of the lease and sent me a bill for $3000.00 plus for breaking the lease. Can all of this information be related to the new apartment rental agent, or just the fact of the dates I lived there and that I paid my rent on time? Thank you in advance. Sorry for the length and complexity of these questions. Let me know if you require further information.
Submitted: 6 years ago.Category: Landlord-Tenant
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Answered in 39 minutes by:
3/8/2012
Lawyer: Legalease, Attorney replied 6 years ago
Legalease
Legalease, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 16,439
Experience: 15 yrs residential & commercial leasing experience.
Verified

Hello there.

 

I will answer your questions as you presented them:

 

1. Under the circumstances you are treated just like any other tenant would be treated (the fact that you are related and paying the full mortgage makes no difference). Without a lease you are on a month to month tenancy and if you are paying your rent every month on time then she has the right to ask you to leave for any reason or no reason with thirty (30) days notice in writing (she can deliver it in hand to you or mail to you at your address (which is hers also)). If you do not leave by the 31st day then she could go to the local district court and take out eviction paperwork against you and set up a court hearing to ask a judge to order you to leave by a certain date. If you do not leave by a certain date set by the Judge then your sister can call the SHerif and have you and your belongings removed from the house. Now, because you have agreed to pay $900 per month, if you suddenly drop that to $750 or $775 per month, she has the right to pursue you for non payment of rent and evict you for it. Under FL law, she would have to hand deliver or mail a written notice giving you 3 days to quit or pay the rent -- if you have not paid the full rent or left by the 4th day then she can do the same as noted above and pursue eviction against you through the courts. In either case she cannot use "self-help" and simply throw your things and you out into the street -- she must go before a judge. Under the circumstances with her alcoholism and inability to support herself for the full amount of the mortgage and all of the bills I think she would be foolish to throw away this gift you are giving her every month -- but sometimes what a person with an addiction does makes no sense to the rest of the world and if you reduce the amount you pay each month then she may try to evict you out of spite rather than try to discuss it with you rationally and work it out.

 

2. The former Landlord can report that you breached the lease by leaving early -- and he does not even have to report that up to that point you were a good tenant and paid your rent on time. If you review your credit report and the tenant reporting networks and see the breach of contract issues on the reports then you can add in your own explanation regarding that you paid the rent on time and you had to leave due to medical reasons that you could not live alone. Then when you apply for apartments if the matter comes up -- if you have a doctor's report to show the new LL showing that you were unable to live alone at that time then that will go a long way towards explaining any adverse information that might be reported about you and your rental experience there at your former apartment.

 

Just FYI, I practiced in W Palm Beach FL for about 5 years with a large firm that has offices up and down the east coast (currently I am in MA) -- so I do know FL law and have been in the position of evicting tenants on behalf of wealthy LL's in West Palm Beach.

 

--MARY

 

 

 

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Customer reply replied 6 years ago
Thank you Mary...very helpful but there is more to the story re living at the apt. complex prior to moving in with my sister. By the way, my sister and I have nothing in writing...I only have proof that this is mycurrent and legal address for the past 9 months. All monetary agreements were made verbally. I really want to move out and get my own place again because of her drinking issues. But there is more to the story at The Villas where I rented prior. I hesitate to put it in writing, is this totally confidential?
Customer reply replied 6 years ago
PS...The reason I could not medically live alone was due to the fact that I fell frequently. The problem has since been diagnosed as an inner ear infection, and I do have a md note to say it was not safe to live alone at the time. I can now get a note from my physician saying that the medical problem is resolved and it is now safe for me to live alone.
Customer reply replied 6 years ago
PS...I'm from Worcester...small world!
Lawyer: Legalease, Attorney replied 6 years ago

Hello again -- I just had a question from someone in Worcester before you. Odd.

 

This is not completely confidential -- it can be searched and viewed. When we have finished our conversation and you press accept that means that you now own the Q & A and you can ask the customer service department to lock the thread so it cannot be viewed by anyone but you (I cannot even access it again).

 

The verbal agreement is enforceable in a court of law -- as I said in my answer at 1 above -- the verbal agreement makes you a month to month renter -- a tenant at will is the term that the law uses for your arrangement (you have a verbal rental agreement in the eyes of the law) and she can ask you to leave with notice in writing 30 days prior to the date she wants you to leave (one rental period notice is required by law for a tenant at will in a month to month verbal rental situation). Regarding the ear issues -- I figured that you can now live alone again because the situation is resolved otherwise you would not be seeking out another place to live (alone!). I think you will be fine with the proof from the doc that you could not live alone at that time and had to move in with family and now that the problem is resolved you can live alone again in an apartment by yourself. While your sister is an alcoholic, if you can get her to accept a few hundred dollars a month less then you might still be getting a better arrangement if you stay with your sister. The main issue is how difficult she is to live with and how much you are willing to tolerate to have an affordable place to live in (which is a house -- I have always preferred houses to apartments but some people do not care one way or the other).

 

If you have more questions please let me know. If not - can you please press ACCEPT below so I am paid for my time. After pressing ACCEPT you can contact customer service and I can also send the question to customer service to LOCK it so it will not be publicly searchable and viewable -- and then if YOU want to unlock it tomorrow and ask another follow up question you can do that (I cannot open it up - but you can do so).

 

--MARY

 

 

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Customer reply replied 6 years ago
Mary...so far you have been very helpful, but as I said there is more to the story about the apt. I rented prior to moving here. While sitting in my garage in a stadium chair one of my neighbors walking her dog in front of my unit caused my dog to get excited and he pulled a 100 lb water softener tank on top of me knocking me into my driveway. I'm 61 and could not get up. A pizza delivery boy actually picked me up and carried me into my apartment. The neighbor kept on walking and said, "sorry I can't help you!" One of my acquaintances living in the complex was so angry that "her friend was treated like this" and management would do nothing about it, took a magic marker one night and wrote profanity on this woman's garage, outside wall, etc. I was not with her when she did it, but told her I wanted no part of it. I was named as an accessory in any event, and had to enter into a pre-trial agreement with the courts. I was charged with a misdemeanor. There are 2 sides to every story, but I'm sure if the new apt. complex checks for a rental history they will be told what they believe to be the truth. The PTA is supposed to expunge any record of this, but I have a program that can look up criminal history on people and I found myself and the case was listed along with the PTA. I guess I'm just in a mess. Any recommendations on this last false issue of "vandalism" that I was accused of partaking in? Maybe honesty is the best policy after all !!!
Lawyer: Legalease, Attorney replied 6 years ago

Hello again

 

Typically the court will not expunge an adults criminal record on their own initiative and the person must file an application with the court to have the record expunged. So, you may want to inquire at the court (clerk's office) where the charges happened if you can complete the paperwork to expunge a criminal record and file it with the court (a judge has to sign off on the expungement -- and if you had no previous issues with the courts then you should have no problem getting something this minor expunged by the court and then no one should have access to that record except law enforcement). The expungement process takes just a few months. Hopefully that will take care of any concerns that you might have if any new apartment complex that you apply to is going to check your criminal record. To be honest, if it was charged as a misdemeanor it will most likely not have an adverse affect on your application for an apartment -- but because you cannot be sure of that you are probably just better off having the matter expunged from your record.

 

--MARY

 

Please press the GREEN ACCEPT BUTTON so I will be paid for my time. I am not paid anything unless you press the ACCEPT button at the bottom or side of this ANSWER box. This is not a hobby for me -- it is how I earn a living in a bad economy so I appreciate it when my customers press ACCEPT to pay me for assisting them. Pressing ACCEPT will not cost you any additional money -- it simply acts as a trigger for Just Answer to pay me for my time. THANK YOU !!

 




Legalease
Legalease, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 16,439
Experience: 15 yrs residential & commercial leasing experience.
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Lawyer: Legalease, Attorney replied 6 years ago

Hello there

 

Is there something further that I can assist you with? I answered a number of questions for you and I understand that you were not happy with my answers and requested a refund, which deprives me of a payment for the assistance I rendered to you. I would be happy to assist you further if there is something further that I can tell you about your situation, but as you can see I did answer a lot of questions for you so I am wondering what else I can tell you.

 

Thank you

 

--MARY

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