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Does a Tenant Have to Pay the Lease Early Termination Fee if the Apartment or Home has Mold?

We frequently receive inquiries from potential clients concerning whether the landlord is allowed to charge the two-month early termination fee / liquidated damages which are contained in the addendum to the Lease, if the tenant needs to move out of the unit due to the landlord's failure to maintain the leased premises.  If the tenant follow the proper steps, the tenant can avoid being responsible for these charges or penalties. Florida Lease Early Termination Fee Starting in 2004, Florida landlord were allowed to charge an early termination fee (also known as liquidated damages) not to exceed two months of rent.  In order to charge the early termination fee, a separately signed lease addendum is required to be attached to [...]

2020-10-24T13:04:09-05:00October 2020|Tenant Rights|0 Comments

Is Your Air Conditioning System Causing Mold in your Florida Home?

We often receive phone calls from potential clients inquiring whether the air conditioning system in their home could be the cause of mold exposure related health symptoms.  Mold typically develops in air conditioning systems when the system is not regularly maintained, including the regular changing of the air filters and cleaning of the evaporator  coils.  Mold will also develop if the air conditioning equipment is not properly dehumidifying the air.  Some signs that your air conditioning system may be circulating mold in your home is if you smell a strong mold/musty type odor when you run the air conditioning, if the home feels unusually humid, if your monthly electric bill is higher than normal, if you see dark circular [...]

2020-01-19T22:15:28-05:00June 2018|Moldy Buildings, Tenant Rights|0 Comments

Mold Exposure Case Against Waypoint Homes Featured on ABC World News Tonight

One of our toxic mold exposure cases was recently featured on the national television news program, "ABC World News Tonight with David Muir".  The same story also aired on the ABC News magazine, "Nightline".  The case was filed on behalf of our clients Bruce Nicholson, Lisa Daspit and their two year old daughter Brielle against Waypoint Homes.  Waypoint Homes and Invitation Homes are nationwide corporate landlords and are reported to have a combined 9,403 rental homes in South Florida and another 8,829 homes in the Tampa area.  The lawsuit alleges that Waypoint Homes' failure to address the maintenance requests of our clients resulted in the collapse of the ceiling in their living room and the un-mitigated water intrusion resulted in [...]

2019-02-01T15:04:53-05:00November 2017|Tenant Rights|0 Comments

What Laws Protect Florida Residents from Mold?

Unfortunately in Florida, the mold protection laws are relatively weak.  In comparison, states such as California and Texas have strong regulations regarding mold exposure.   Florida has two basic sets of laws relating to the presence of mold in a Florida dwelling. Florida's Tenant Protection Law First, are the general protections provided under Florida's landlord-tenant statutes which are contained in Chapter 83, Part II, Florida Statutes.  For tenants, s. 83.51, Florida Statutes, requires that the landlord "[c]omply with the requirements of applicable building, housing, and health codes" and if the premises is located in an area that doesn't have local building, housing or health codes, then the landlord is required to "maintain the roofs, windows, doors, floors, steps, porches, exterior walls, foundations, [...]

The Mold Lawyer Featured on WSVN Channel 7 News

The Mold Lawyers were recently featured on WSVN Channel 7 news in a segment called "Mold Mystery" for one of our toxic mold lawsuits against the Oakwood Manor Apartments in Hollywood, Florida.  Three of our clients filed suit against the building owners for toxic mold exposure resulting from water intrusion from an unrepaired roof.  Channel 7 news did a special report on the hidden health dangers of living in an apartment or home with toxic black mold and potential health effects that one can suffer from exposure to the mold.  If you have toxic mold in your home, it is important to take immediate action and we recommend reading our mold guide on the proper steps to take if you have been [...]

2018-04-28T16:26:22-05:00July 2016|Tenant Rights|0 Comments

Tenants Successfully Defend Eviction Due to Mold

Mold lawyer Matthew Militzok successfully defended an eviction action brought by the landlord of a home against the tenants.  Prior to the landlord filing the eviction, the tenants had put the landlord on written notice that the property did not meet minimum housing standards due to the on-going and substantial roof leaks and the rampant growth of toxic black mold in the property.  When the tenants withheld rent after the landlord refused to fix the issues with the home, the landlord posted a 3-day notice to pay rent or vacate.  When the tenants refused to do either, the landlord decided to sue the tenants for eviction.  After depositing the disputed rent money into the court registry, as required by Florida Statutes [...]

2018-12-02T09:20:13-05:00February 2016|Tenant Rights|0 Comments

Can a Tenant Break a Lease Because of Mold?

We frequently receive calls from tenants asking, "how can I break my lease because of mold"?  A tenant residing in Florida has certain legal rights when the landlord fails to maintain the premises.  Due to the warm and humid climate in South Florida, it is common for tenants to have roof leaks, air conditioning leaks and pipe bursts all of which introduces water into the property.  Once water breaches the inside of the property and it is not immediately dried out and left untreated, it can result in the growth of toxic black mold.  Mold can typically be visible as discoloration on the walls and ceilings inside the premises.  Tenants often tell us that they verbally inform the landlord [...]

2020-01-27T10:04:50-05:00February 2016|Tenant Rights, Top|0 Comments

Can a Tenant Withhold Rent for Toxic Black Mold in Florida?

Our office receives numerous requests from tenants regarding how they can legally withhold rent due to the presence of toxic black mold in the property that they are renting.  Due to the climate in South Florida, many residential tenants experience a high occurrence of water leaks which, if left untreated, can result in the growth of black toxic mold.  We usually get complaints from tenants who have verbally informed their landlords about water leaks and mold, but usually landlords do not take these complaints seriously or do not want to spend the necessary money to have the problem fixed properly and legally. Withholding Rent Under Florida's Landlord-Tenant Act The Florida landlord-tenant act requires landlords to maintain minimum housing standards when renting property [...]

2020-01-19T22:19:37-05:00February 2016|Tenant Rights|0 Comments