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My wife is being evicted as retaliation for complaining to…

Customer Question
My wife is being...

My wife is being evicted as retaliation for complaining to the county of multiple health violations. She has just been served a 5 day eviction notice.

Lawyer's Assistant: Because traffic laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

Florida

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

Yes. The county has cited him with multiple serious violations. She complained to the county after being repeatedly ignored by the landlord.

Submitted: 7 months ago.Category: Legal
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Answered in 1 minute by:
12/7/2017
Lawyer: Ely, Counselor at Law replied 7 months ago
Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 103,583
Experience: Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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1) What is the official reason for her being evicted as mentioned on the NOTICE or the eviction complaint?

2) Does she have a lease and if so, when does it end, or, is she month to month?

3) If she received a notice to quit, how long does it give her to move out?

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
The eviction notice says she hasn't paid rent In 3 months. She does not have the lease he promised to bring as well as repairing the badly damaged unit complete with mold due to a malfunctioning a.c.. Dade county just brought her a notice to be out in 5 days. The only reason he is doing this is because she complained to the county. The county found him in violation and ticketed him.
Lawyer: Ely, Counselor at Law replied 7 months ago

Thank you. Has she not paid in three months? Is this true?

And finally, has sent the landlord/management company a written complaint about the issues, and they have not fixed them? If so, HOW LONG ago did she send that complaint?

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Landlord also had violations for water, roaches, cracked tile. No stove, leaky fridge, outlets not wor*****, *****e with dishwasher
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
She stopped paying after months of being ignored of the place getting fixed
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
She has the back rent
Lawyer: Ely, Counselor at Law replied 7 months ago

has sent the landlord/management company a written complaint about the issues, and they have not fixed them? If so, HOW LONG ago did she send that complaint?

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
He has refused to provide an address.
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Promises, promises, promises.. He knew the place was damaged when he bought it from the previous owner. He raised the rent and promised to fix up and never came thru.
Lawyer: Ely, Counselor at Law replied 7 months ago

So she could not send a written complaint because she did not have an address to where to send it to? What about the address to where she sends the rent money? Or that is automatically taken out or otherwise, there is no address known to her? What about the address on the original lease contract (if there was any)?

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Always electronic transfer through bank accounts
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
The only least she had was with the original owner she's been there more than 10 years when he brought the property he was supposed to give us a new lease and fix the place up and he just sent never came through
Lawyer: Ely, Counselor at Law replied 7 months ago

Landlord's Duty
The landlord is required to rent a dwelling that is fit to be lived in. This is generally called the "warranty of habitability." "It is clear that the Florida Residential and Landlord-Tenant Act imposes definite obligations upon the landlord which continue throughout the term of the lease and which did not exist under the common law." Paterson v. Deeb, 472 So. 2d 1210 - Fla: Dist. Court of Appeals, 1st Dist. 1985.
This is also written into Florida Code. FS Section 83.51 specifies the extent of the landlord's statutory obligation to maintain the leased premises:
"(a) Comply with the requirements of applicable building, housing, and health codes; or
(b) Where there are no applicable building, housing, or health codes, maintain the roofs, windows, screens, doors, floors, steps, porches, exterior walls, foundations, and all other structural components in good repair and capable of resisting normal forces and loads and the plumbing in reasonable working condition. However, the landlord shall not be required to maintain a mobile home or other structure owned by the tenant."
This also includes:
"1. The extermination of rats, mice, roaches, ants, wood-destroying organisms, and bedbugs. When vacation of the premises is required for such extermination, the landlord shall not be liable for damages but shall abate the rent. The tenant shall be required to temporarily vacate the premises for a period of time not to exceed 4 days, on 7 days’ written notice, if necessary, for extermination pursuant to this subparagraph.
2. Locks and keys.
3. The clean and safe condition of common areas.
4. Garbage removal and outside receptacles therefor.
5. Functioning facilities for heat during winter, running water, and hot water."

Tenant's Options
"The tenant has the right, under certain very aggravated circumstances caused by the landlord's neglect, to withhold rent. This can only be done when the landlord fails to comply with an important responsibility, such as providing a safe and habitable home in compliance with local housing codes. Before rent is withheld, the tenant must give the landlord seven (7) days written notice of the problem so the landlord can fix it. Even after withholding rent, the tenant should preserve the money and seek court permission to spend part of it to do what the landlord should have done. If the tenant does not preserve the money and seek court assistance, the tenant may be evicted for nonpayment." *
*Florida Bar Association's summary of law.

Application of Principles
Now the problem is that she NEVER SENT THE LETTER. And as such, the landlord can claim that she never sent the letter, so that she never made a formal demand, and thus, her complaints are void - she can simply be evicted for non payment of rent. SHE has to explain to the Judge that she could not send the letter because the landlord REFUSED to provide an address, but that also the landlord KNEW of the issues. Hopefully given the mitigating factors, the Judge will not allow the eviction and then tell the landlord to fix the issues.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
How do i get before a judge? My understanding is that Dade county is going to lock her house next week.
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
The county official implied that my landlord might be sued by us for the conditions we've endured and paid rent on.
Lawyer: Ely, Counselor at Law replied 7 months ago

There are three steps to an eviction process.

1) NOTICE TO QUIT - a written notice for her to leave or an eviction would be filed

2) ACTUAL EVICTION, and then a HEARING

3) WRIT (constable comes out to remove her)

Which step is she at?

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