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Loren, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 34076
Experience:  30 years of real estate practice experience.
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Since May 1st 2015 I have been renting an efficiency unit

Customer Question

Since May 1st 2015 I have been renting an efficiency unit behind the Main House (Property)at 3600 NW 207th St Miami Gardens, Fl. 33056 from a Mr. Alderberto Fernandez. There was no written lease agreement, just month-to-month monthly rent payments. I do have ALL rent receipts from May 2015 to date; of which I paid Mr. Fernandez a total of about $6,600.00.
About 12-14 days ago I found out that the property has been in foreclosure since 2011! A Notice To Tenant/Parties In Possession Of Termination [Foreclosure Case #*****], was filed on May 2, 2016, directing that the tenant(s) of the aforementioned property vacate the premises on June 2, 2016!
The efficiency unit I was renting is not even registered as a livable/habitable part of the property. No cooking stove, rats in the ceiling, not up to Miami-Dade County, or City of Miami; (Miami Gardens Code). 99% of any and all fixtures and minor repairs were done by myself (out-of-pocket).
Can I sue Mr. Fernandez to recover the monthly rental payments I made for an efficiency unit that he should not have been renting in the first place? While I am now homeless, and seeking emergency housing. Mr. Fernandez and his family are scheduled to vacate the property on or before June 10, 2016, and may very well flee back to their home Country in Colombia South America.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

Good morning. I am Loren, a Florida licensed attorney and I look forward to assisting you. I am sorry to hear of your dilemma. I realize how frustrating this is for you and I hope to provide you information which is accurate and useful, even though it may not be the news you were hoping to get.

Unfortunately, no, you can not get your prior payments refunded, but neither can Fernandez sue you for payments, if any, which you may owe for the unit.

If you had an agreement that Fernandez would repay you for the repairs you did then you can sue him to recover those sums.

Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

I realize this is probably not the answer you were hoping to receive. Also, please remember that this is not a moral judgement on my part. As a professional, however, I am sometimes placed in the position of having to deliver news which is not favorable to a customer's legal position, but accurately reflects their position under the law. I hate it, but it happens and I only ask that you not penalize me with a bad or poor rating for having to deliver less than favorable news.