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insearchoftheanswer
insearchoftheanswer, Lawyer
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 55702
Experience:  Lawyer; developer/owner of RE developments.
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I'm a renter in palm beach, fl and have rat(s) in my

Customer Question

I'm a renter in palm beach, fl and have rat(s) in my apt. The landlord is not correcting the problem. She's had her handyman and a pest control man come in the apt and set traps. The traps are not working. I left bread on my counter 8 times and everytime I wake up in the morning the rats have eaten a big chuck of it. The pest control man doesn't want to come over anymore because the landlord doesn't want to spend the money and is always looking for a bargain price. What are my rights as a tenant? I want to break my lease. My anxiety level is so high I can only sleep a couple hours at a time.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  insearchoftheanswer replied 1 year ago.

Good morning. My name is ***** ***** I look forward to helping you.

Yes, you can break your lease. With every rental comes a warranty of habitability, which includes the tenant's right to the safe, healthy, peaceful and quiet enjoyment of the rented premises. Where you have a situation with rodents, which directly puts your health and safety in peril, a tenant would clearly not be afforded such enjoyment of the premises....and therefore the landlord would be in breach of the implied warranty of habitability. This puts the landlord in default. This gives you the right to terminate the lease and sue for damages, including the cost of moving plus include reimbursement of a portion of all prior rent to date to compensate for the reduced value of the rental property due to the reduced benefit of your rental bargain due to the inhabitability. Furthermore, although you have the right to terminate the lease due to the breach, you are not required to do so. Rather, you can file a claim against the landlord for damages due to this breach. Damages would include reimbursement of a portion of all prior rent to date to compensate for the reduced value of the rental property due to the problems, and to either reduce the rent going forward or pay you for temporary living expenses, at your option, until the problem is fully remediated. The above concepts are set forth in Florida Statute 83.51, 83.54, 83.55, and 83.56. You can find the text of these statutes at the following link: http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0000-0099/0083/0083.html

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