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I am an absentee landlord renting a condo to elderly sisters…

I am an absentee...

I am an absentee landlord renting a condo to elderly sisters with a pet dog. They lived in a similar condo in the same complex until the owner decided to sell. So they know or had the opportunity to know the history of the complex. There has been an ongoing legal dispute between the HOA and the builder for years. The HOA voted to repair the building, then sue the build for costs. The HOA obtained a $660K line of credit to pay for repairs, engineer consultants, lawyers, interest on the LOC, etc. HOA decided to start repairs this month. Repairs did start on the 13th of March. I have confidence in the accuracy of this information.The information that followes is 3rd hand and suspect. The tenants attended a HOA meeting where they learned about the upcoming repairs. They then contacted our property managers who asked us (my wife and me) if we would let them out of their one year lease immediately. When we balked, our propery managers confided that the tenants were concerned about their dog getting upset.I contacted the professional managers of the HOA, Plaza Property Services, LLC and talked to the General Manager there, a Mr. Andrew Beaudoin. He told me that the repairs involved 1.) removing all of the stucco from the building -- a noisey process that would only be done from 8 to 5 and should only last about a week. 2.) replacing all the windows -- a one or two day process per condo with the holes covered while the windows were absent.3.) Re-applying stucco and painting it. And 4.) Replacing the flashing under the HVAC units -- a task that involved disconnecting the units, reinstalling new flashing properly, and reconnecting the units. At most a 2 day job per condo.I have since received email from the contruction manager that confirms Mr. Beaudoin's predictions and indicate that each condo affected will be given two weeks warning before workmen will reaquest entry.Is this ground to cancel the lease? What course of action to you recommend?

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?

No, just re-read the contracts and talked to our property managers.

Lawyer's Assistant: Where is the condo located?

Jacksonville. Deerwood Place # 546

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

Our property manager things we should terminate the lease

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Answered in 23 minutes by:
3/21/2018
legalgems
legalgems, Arbitrator
Category: Real Estate Law
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What state is this in regards ***** *****?
The country states Hungary and this is the US forum so I'd like to confirm the state. Thank you.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Florida
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I’m physically in Hungary but our property is in Jacksonville Florida

Thank you;

generally the court will allow a tenant to claim "constructive eviction" or breach of the implied covenant of quiet use and enjoyment if the owner engages in activities that precludes the tenant from the use and enjoyment (exclusive) of the rental; so extensive remodeling would generally be considered a basis for such a claim.

As for maintenance/improvements that are required, and are not extensive, the court will generally require the parties to abide by the terms of the lease.

If the unit is not habitable for a couple/few days due to say, plumbing issues in the kitchen/bathroom the owner may be liable for lodging during that time; if the work does not seriously impact the tenant's use of the premises then that is not general grounds for voiding the lease.

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Please see this article here

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
if we offered to put them in a hotel while at AC was out, we would solidify our position? Is this based on Florida law?

Yes, that is based on FL law.

Here is the specific statute addressing habitability:

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0000-0099/0083/Sections/0083.56.html

It does not specifically state air conditioning as a condition of habitability. Even if it goes to a habitable issue the landlord still has 7 days to repair a problem so generally a couple of days of no airconditioning is not deemed sufficient enough to break the lease.

This may be helpful as well:

https://www.freshfromflorida.com/Consumer-Resources/Consumer-Rights-and-Responsibilities/Landlord-Tenant-Law-in-Florida

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legalgems, Arbitrator
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