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KimberlyLaw, Attorney and Real Estate Broker
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 4219
Experience:  13 years of experience in real estate law: Foreclosures, Landlord-Tenant, Condo/Coop, Property Law, Deeds, Purchases/Sales, Estates.
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Last Oct when we resigned our lease, we had to sign one of

Customer Question

Last Oct when we resigned our lease, we had to sign one of two additional forms by Willow Pond Apts in Ormond Beach. I am 71 yrs old and on a fixed income, at the time it was very stressful as we were not expecting to have to decide that if we needed to break a two yr lease (which we did sign to insure the rental rate did not keep going up) one form stated we had to pay two months rent , or the other option was to agree to continue to pay rent until they re-rented the apt. At the time - not knowing what the future would hold we signed the two month Pymt option. In April we met with Christine Pici and requested to be able to put out belongings in storage when we go to MN in Aug and asked that by giving that much notice they let us out of the agreement. Since Oct when we signed, there has been a cockroach problem, we have had issues with a neighbor who suffers mental illness, the appliances are very different old and need constant repair. The pool which was the big draw for us has no pads on the lounge chairs and has not had them for many, many months so we have to carry our own chairs to be able to sit. What happened to be able to just give a 30 or 60 day fair notice to vacate? We feel they are taking advantage of the tenants.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  KimberlyLaw replied 1 year ago.
Hello, I am happy to assist you today. This is a difficult question because although the lease does say that you have to pay the 2 month of rent for a fee to break the lease, you also gave 4 months notice which is substantial. The law actually requires the landlord to mitigate any damages, so that means they have an obligation to look for a tenant as soon as you let them know you are leaving. So as long as you have been open to letting them show your home, they should be able to find someone in time before you leave and you should not have to pay that fee. The cockroach issue is completely separate but may also help you. If you have let the landlord know about it, and they have taken no action, that is actually grounds for you to withhold at least part of your rent. You have the right to be in a home that is free from insects and vermin, and that is the landlord's obligation to take care of it if you report it, within a reasonable time. As for the lounge chairs, etc., that would only factor in if it is stated in the lease that those would be provided. So you do have some leverage here. I would ask that they try to find a tenant, and say that you will assist them by letting them come see your home. Then if they rent it you can make the claim that you don't owe the additional fee because they have no damages. They rented it out. You also have leverage to claim that you are entitled to keep those 2 months of rent in compensation for the cockroach issue, which could give you more grounds for negotiation. Let me know if you have any questions.Kim

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