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Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 38251
Experience:  17 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years
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I went to the office to get a refund on overpayments, the

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I went to the office to get a refund on overpayments, the girl told me They deducted refunds because I wwas not paying enough rent They raised my rent without my knowledge and stated they did not need to notify me I said how can I know what to pay if you don't let me know she said they did not have to let me know. Also manager told me I had been taped this also was without my knowledge
JA: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state the property is in?
Customer: Florida
JA: Has any paperwork been filed?
Customer: no
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: They 3will not respond to any emergent needs I was out air conditioning for over a month

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney and will try my best to help with your situation. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I type out an answer or reply.

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You may also be offered a phone call, but those don’t come from me and are offered by JustAnswer and you are under no obligation to accept.

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Were you under a written fixed term lease or were you month to month?

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Did you ever get any written notice of any rent increase from the landlord?

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I have a written lease. no I did not get info on the rais in 2015 which continued through today

Ok, so how much does your written lease state you have to pay as rent?

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Is that the amount you have been paying all along?

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I can't afford 59.00 dollars thank you for your time. I am being treated like an imbisil here

I don't make the phone call offers, the website does... I can continue to work with you on the site if you would like.. But if have to have all the information about what is going on before I can give you a correct answer..

The reason this seems odd to me is how could you not realize you had a rent increase in 2015 when you looked at your written lease?

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If there was no increase on it, then the landlord can't impose one, so they are unlawfully withholding your money and you can sue them in small claims court for breach of contract.

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The office girl's comments seem odd and wrong to me and make me think they are trying to cheat you, but without all the info, I can't be sure..

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As an aside, in addition to being an attorney, I have also been a landlord for over 26 years...

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
The written lease stated one amount supposedly for the year they increased several months before the year was out without letting me know.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
The rent usually goes up when you renew the lease I am now at 700.00 for a tiny space.

Ok, then if you had a fixed term lease, they can't legally increase the rent until that lease expires. And even then, they have to give you at least 30 days written notice of any increase before it becomes effective..

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So something smells fishy here if they never gave you written notice and increased your rent in the middle of a fixed term lease as that is not legal.

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If that is the way things happened, then you would have the right to sue them for any overpayments over what your fixed term lease stated your rent was..

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The girls explanation doesn't make legal sense to me and send up some big red flags that they may be cheating you..

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
the manager also recorded me without my knowledge, she said she has everything I have ever said within my apartment so I need to watch it or she will evict

That would be a criminal offense because in FL it requires both party's consent to record.. So if she said that, she just admitted to a felony..

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They are trying to scare you to cover up what they have been doing, I think.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I am a sixty five year old grandma I cause no problems but am being treated as a prisoner. I am on such a fixed income that I would be on the streets if this continues.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
That's enough don't you think.

Well, I can't really tell you what to do, I can only tell you what it sounds like they are doing to you... If you want to take action against them for what sounds like them overcharging you illegally, then that is up to you.

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And FL has a law against a landlord or his agents that prevents them from illegally retaliating against a tenant for exercising their legal rights.. See FL Statutes 83.64...

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83.64 Retaliatory conduct.—

(1) It is unlawful for a landlord to discriminatorily increase a tenant’s rent or decrease services to a tenant, or to bring or threaten to bring an action for possession or other civil action, primarily because the landlord is retaliating against the tenant. In order for the tenant to raise the defense of retaliatory conduct, the tenant must have acted in good faith. Examples of conduct for which the landlord may not retaliate include, but are not limited to, situations where:

(a) The tenant has complained to a governmental agency charged with responsibility for enforcement of a building, housing, or health code of a suspected violation applicable to the premises;

(b) The tenant has organized, encouraged, or participated in a tenant organization;

(c) The tenant has complained to the landlord pursuant to s. 83.56(1);

(d) The tenant is a servicemember who has terminated a rental agreement pursuant to s. 83.682;

(e) The tenant has paid rent to a condominium, cooperative, or homeownersassociation after demand from the association in order to pay the landlord’s obligation to the association; or

(f) The tenant has exercised his or her rights under local, state, or federal fair housing laws.

(2) Evidence of retaliatory conduct may be raised by the tenant as a defense in any action brought against him or her for possession.

(3) In any event, this section does not apply if the landlord proves that the eviction is for good cause. Examples of good cause include, but are not limited to, good faith actions for nonpayment of rent, violation of the rental agreement or of reasonable rules, or violation of the terms of this chapter.

(4) “Discrimination” under this section means that a tenant is being treated differently as to the rent charged, the services rendered, or the action being taken by the landlord, which shall be a prerequisite to a finding of retaliatory conduct.

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It was my pleasure to work with you and help with your question. If you ever need me in the future, you can post a new question with "For Barrister" in the caption and the JustAnswer employees will get it to me.

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If you feel I have answered all your questions, I would very much appreciate a 5 star rating by clicking on the rating scale on your screen as that is the only way I receive credit for my work. Bonuses are optional, but are highly appreciated.

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Thanks much

Barrister

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