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My husband & I have rented a room from an individual. Its…

Customer Question
My husband & I have...
My husband & I have rented a 'room' from an individual. It's actually 2 rooms and a bath, with a very small hallway. As with all situations renting a room, all have access to the kitchen. Our landlord has a faulty refrigerator. Milk has gone bad after 2 days (with the date way in advance). This has happened 5-6 times already. I bought a container of strawberries 2 days ago, and they are now brown, green and fuzzy. The landlord has offered to get us our own, albeit smaller fridge, but he wants it in our bedroom. This is ridiculous & unacceptable. As a paying tenent, am I within my rights to buy the fridge myself and put it in the kitchen (of course not in the middle of the room or other unacceptable spot)? And what can I do if that happens and he moves my fridge to, say the laundry room or outside? Now I'm not talking about a full-sized item, more like a dorm-type appliance. Thank you in advance, Laura Sully-Shelton
Submitted: 4 years ago.Category: Real Estate Law
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7/28/2013
Real Estate Lawyer: socrateaser, Lawyer replied 4 years ago
socrateaser
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 39,586
Experience: Attorney and Real Estate broker -- Retired
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As a paying tenant, am I within my rights to buy the fridge myself and put it in the kitchen (of course not in the middle of the room or other unacceptable spot)? And what can I do if that happens and he moves my fridge to, say the laundry room or outside? Now I'm not talking about a full-sized item, more like a dorm-type appliance.

A: Hello. This is an interesting question. Florida law does not distinguish between tenants who rent rooms and those who rent an entire property unit. If you have a lease which grants you joint access to the kitchen, then you could place a refrigerator in the kitchen, subject to its not interfering with the access of anyone else.

If the landlord moves the refrigerator, then you would have a legal claim for interference with personal property. It would be no different than were you to put a coffee maker in the kitchen. If the landlord moves it to another location, then he is interfering with your personal property rights.

Now, if you have a written lease and it gives you access to the kitchen, but expressly denies you the right to place any personal property therein, then that would prohibit you from placing the refrigerator. But, otherwise, you could do as you propose, as long as you don't create a nuisance (such as by placing the refrigerator in a walkway or where it would prevent opening of a cupboard, etc.

Hope this helps.
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago


Well, what if it is a verbal month-to month? Thanks in advance, L.S.S.

Real Estate Lawyer: socrateaser, Lawyer replied 4 years ago

Oral/Verbal contracts, as the old saying goes, "are worth the price of the paper they're printed on!" If your lease is month-to-month, and verbal, then the landlord could prohibit you from placing the refrigerator after giving you 15-days written notice, and if you didn't remove the refrigerator, the landlord could terminate your lease on 15-days written notice, and if you do not vacate the premises voluntarily, then the landlord could sue for eviction.

Somehow, I doubt that the landlord would do any of this, because it's expensive and time consuming, and it's not worth the hassle to sue over a dormitory refrigerator. But, there is a risk, so you have to be prepared to deal with that possibility.

The only way to avoid the risk is to put the fridge in your room. That's inconvenient, when you're trying to cook a meal, but it's the only real option to avoid an argument and still have a working refrigerator.

Hope this helps.

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