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I live in florida. My landlord has not fixed our plumbing…

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I live in florida. My...
I live in florida. My landlord has not fixed our plumbing since Nov 24. The main bathroom and one of the kitchen sinks backs up so we can not use them. This has been an ongoing issue things do not get fixed properly at all and it usually takes 30 plus days. I did with hold the rent and monies for hurricane prep which the landlord agreed in writing to pay for. I also told her to fix the issue and I would pay the rent and Jan rent after that we will move. That said we are out of our lease anyway. as of Dec 20 she filed an eviction notice to include rent the hurricane monies which I have in an email saying they would pay. I deposited all those monies to the clerk as well as Jan rent to hold. Aside from all of this we've improved the property with a few grand in landscaping as well as myself installing all window treatments for them on 41 Windows saving them 9k vs what they were quoted. There are many more issues that have never been resolved and I've given her time as well as what I consider to be fair adjustments on rent so I can fix what's needed. We've always paid the rent required. The landlords also said they would pay for any materials used in upgrades. Hindsight 20/20 I did them because I lived here so never asked for anything but everything I've done is well documented to them with photos including the landscaping, debris removal, window treatments, installing appliances correctly that they installed very wrong, and pressure washing which is their responsibility but to help out I have done it 3 times(if we didn't and a company did they would of flooded our house due to poor window seals and doors). we were sold on renting a newly updated everything in 2015 home. That is far from it but you don't get a home inspector for rentals. I told her 2 months ago we would leave Jan 31st and nows are dealing with an eviction? Again the clerk has all money owed plus the extra month of which I hope to see a good bit of it back but the eviction no matter the outcome will remain on my record regardless the judgment which I don't want and shouldn't have. From all of this do i have grounds to sue and if so what's the approach. Still no plumbing as of today and no response from their office since the 6th. The only excuse they've ever tried to use is that I need to be at the house but i travel a great deal so they can get in. I installed an electronic codedlock over a year ago for that purpose and have also told them every time I can have one of my employees there if need be to meet them so they don't have any reason to not fix what's needed. I think all my bases are covered but should I go after her for damages or just let it be
Submitted: 3 months ago.Category: Real Estate Law
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Answered in 20 minutes by:
12/30/2017
Real Estate Lawyer: TJ, Esq., Attorney replied 3 months ago
TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 12,651
Experience: JD, MBA
Verified

Hello and thank you for the opportunity to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do my very best to answer your legal questions.

Q: From all of this do i have grounds to sue and if so what's the approach.

A: Since you are being sued for eviction, you can countersue for any money that you spent that the landlord promised to pay for. In addition, you can countersue for money related to any work that you did that the landlord promised to pay you for. The key for both of those is to prove that the landlord promised those things. If you have emails to that effect (or other written evidence), then you have a very good case. You also have grounds to sue for reimbursement of partial rent since the plumbing is messed up. The argument, in other words, is that you are overpaying rent since you are not getting what you agreed upon in the lease (i.e., working plumbing, which is implied).

The best advice to countersue is to retain an attorney. That said, if you want to try to handle the case alone, then you certainly have that right. You can draft a counterclaim and file it with the court clerk and serve it on the landlord.

You can see a counterclaim for here: http://www.citrusclerk.org/DocumentCenter/Home/View/81

You can either use that if it's your district, or you can ask your local court clerk if they have a similar form, or you can simply use a word processor to create a document similar to that form.

Does that answer your question(s)? Please let me know if you need clarification, as I am happy to continue helping you until you are satisfied. Also, please remember to provide a positive rating via the stars (and note that your positive rating is the only way that I'll get credit for helping you, so it is much appreciated!). Thank you. :)

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
I know it's hard to prove but can I use oral contract in the suit due to her saying she would pay for any and all materials I used to upgrade the property? It's more of a threat I guess because I really don't mind either way but I think it's going to be difficult to get what is in writing back as well as my deposit. We should have no issues the house is better off since we've been here but I wasn't expecting an eviction either. As far as the plumbing what do I need to do legaly to get that done and show she is in violation. It's already in writing to her a few times to the clerk along with fed ex signature received letters and legal courier signed received letters. Lastly can I go for damages due to having an eviction on my record that's really my biggest concern for future landlords
Real Estate Lawyer: TJ, Esq., Attorney replied 3 months ago

Hi again.

Yes, you can certainly argue that you had an oral contract. If the judge believes that an oral contract was created, then it is legally sufficient to create that obligation. With regard to the plumbing, it would be most helpful to witness testimony as to the problem, as well as proof that you informed the landlord in writing. It sounds like you're in good shape because of the letters, etc.

Unfortunately, you cannot win any damages for being evicted. The reason is simply that if the eviction is not warranted, then you will win and have no eviction. In other words, if you lose the case and you are evicted, then legally speaking, the eviction was lawful. Thus, it would not be possible to claim damages for an unlawful eviction.

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Real Estate Lawyer: TJ, Esq., Attorney replied 3 months ago

Hello again. I didn't hear back from you, and you haven't yet rated me, so I'm just checking in to make sure that you don't need more help on this issue.

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