Tenant Representation and Protection
Tenants can often feel like they do not have any options when faced with poor conditions in their residential rental property, abusive behavior from their landlord, or an eviction notice. Palmetto Law, P.A. began representing tenants through pro-bono work with local non-profit legal advocacy groups. As a firm, we quickly realized how under-represented tenants were and how many people were living in less-than-safe conditions. There is no reason to be taken advantage of by your landlord or live with hazardous conditions. The state of Florida has established laws that allow tenants to exercise their rights to clean, safe housing.
There are numerous circumstances a tenant may be faced with during their residential tenancy. There may be situations where you feel you have a cause of action against your landlord. There are also many causes of actions your landlord may have against you. At Palmetto Law Group we will listen to your questions and concerns regarding your residential rental property or your landlord’s actions and advise what rights and remedies we believe you may have available to you.
An important thing to remember when confronted with potential landlord/tenant issues is that these cases often move quickly. The law in this area is also very specific about the requirements for filing or defending a suit. For these reasons, it is imperative to contact an attorney as soon as an issue arises and before you take action. What may seem like harmless, inconsequential actions on your part may result in the loss of your right to defend an action against you or initiate your own action.
What types of things are landlords NOT allowed to do?
Florida law strictly prohibits landlords from doing certain things without a writ of possession. Practices commonly committed by landlords that are prohibited by Florida law include:
- Termination or interruption of any utility service
- Self-help evictions – meaning an eviction not done through the courts
- Changing the locks of a tenant’s house or apartment
- Removing tenant’s personal property from the tenant’s house or apartment
If your landlord has committed any of these practices you may be able to recover damages. However, it is important to contact an attorney as soon as these prohibited practices are committed – otherwise you may lose your right to recovery.
I’ve been served with a 3-Day Notice, 7-Day Notice, or an Eviction Notice – what should I do?
Every case is different but if you feel that you have received the notice in error, that the notice is incorrect, or that you are receiving the notice from your landlord as retaliation for reporting a code violation or a similar action it is in your best interest to have the notice and your situation assessed by an attorney.
My landlord refuses to return my security deposit, what should I do?
You provided your landlord with a security deposit to ensure that you would leave the property free from damage beyond normal wear and tear and perform under the terms of the lease. Now you find yourself in a situation, that although you have fully performed under the lease and left the property in good condition, the landlord is refusing to return your security deposit or a portion of your security deposit. The amount varies, from a few dollars to several thousand. No amount is frivolous when the landlord is refusing to return what is rightfully yours. We have seen landlords try to keep as little as $80.00 thinking that the tenant will not assert their rights. If you have kept your end of the deal, there is no reason to let your landlord effectively steal what is yours.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment.