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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 118200
Experience:  Licensed attorney practicing landlord-tenant, land use and other real estate law and litigation.
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We are renting a single family home years and have paid rent

Customer Question

We are renting a single family home for 3 years and have paid rent on time every month. For the past 8 months we have not been able to use half of the home, my studio, my husbands office and 2 bathrooms due to a Rat infestation. We live in Florida have not been able to turn the A/C on in that half of the house for the entire 8 months. The temperature in that half of the house has been 82+ degrees the entire time.
For the past 7 months the property manager has been sporadically sending workers to "fix the problem" and have had to act as GC for the dozens of companies that have been sent. I have been unable to use my studio so have not been able to work. My new series should have been complete by October for the winter season. My husband has had to move his office into the dining area making it unusable for entertaining, we have been eating in the kitchen.
We signed a lease that included use of the entire house. We still are unable to use those 4 rooms but were told we would be evicted if we didn't pay the entire rent. We feel we should be compensated for the months that we have only used 1/2 of the home. If you count only the past 6 months we have paid a total of $10,500.00 in rent which according to our lease includes the entire house.
Do we have any rights as tenants?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

The landlord is in breach of lease for failure to provide habitable peaceable use and enjoyment of the whole premises you rented. You have a right to make a demand for refund of 1/2 of the rent payments you made since you could only use 1/2 the premises due to the landlord's failure to properly make repairs in a timely manner. If the landlord refuses, you actually do have a right in FL to sue the landlord for this, because he has failed to fulfill the terms of the lease, which guaranteed you use of the entire property.

So if he refuses to credit your money for the time you could not use 1/2 of the premises, you can sue for breach of lease.