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Since Hurricane Irma we have not had power or water; FEMA…

Customer Question
Since Hurricane Irma we...

Since Hurricane Irma we have not had power or water; FEMA inspected the rental property and deemed it uninhabitable. The rental company advised that rent is expected no later than October 6, 2017 but we have not been able to live in the property since September 10, 2017, and now the electric company advised that the house requires the weather head repaired before the power can go on which I informed the rental company yesterday. So the questions; aside from the standard 7 day notice to withhold rent can I request credit be issued on payments for both September and October and can I leave without being held responsible for the remainder of the lease and how fast would I need to vacate the premises if I so choose to?

Lawyer's Assistant: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

Florida

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

FEMA filed the paperwork on September 22, 2017 and I advised the rental company and maintenance department via email yesterday after receiving the call from LCEC.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

FEMA filed the paperwork on September 22, 2017 and I advised the rental company and maintenance department via email yesterday after receiving the call from LCEC.

Submitted: 8 months ago.Category: Real Estate Law
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
9/26/2017
Real Estate Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer replied 8 months ago
Law Educator, Esq.
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 125,308
Experience: Licensed attorney practicing landlord-tenant, land use and other real estate law and litigation.
Verified

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

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Thank you
Real Estate Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer replied 8 months ago

Legally, your lease entitles you to a habitable premises. Right now the premises is not habitable. So your landlord needs to 1) provide you a new place to stay that is habitable and you continue paying your rent under your lease, 2) pay for you to live somewhere else and you pay your current lease or 3) reduce your rent/forgive your rent for the time you cannot live in your premises because it is not habitable. The choice is your landlord's choice, but if they refuse to do anything other than insist on you paying rent, you would have the right to sue for breach of lease in that he is breaching the warranty of habitability.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
if I opt to vacate the premises am I liable for the remainder of the lease in an inhabitable home and how much time do I have to vacate a day, a week, as soon as I find a place?
Real Estate Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer replied 8 months ago

Thank you for your reply.

If you vacate based on the breach of the warranty of habitability, you should be vacating immediately, since you really should not be there under those conditions anyhow. You should certainly be out before the end of the month to stop the landlord from claiming an additional month's rent. If the landlord refuses to release your security deposit, then you can sue for breach of lease and you can seek refund of that deposit.

Please do not forget to leave positive feedback by clicking on the 5 stars at the top of your page, as the experts are not employees of the site and get no credit for spending time with customers unless they leave positive feedback. Thank you.

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