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Landlord / Tenant Law

For tenants who enter into a lease agreement and rent a house or apartment, a number of potential legal issues and disputes can arise, and the assistance of an attorney can be a true asset for tenants seeking to protect their legal rights. Whether you need help reviewing or negotiating the terms of a lease or rental agreement, are facing the prospect of an eviction or unlawful detainer action, or need help getting your security deposit back from your landlord, having the law office of Robert D. Devin on your side can help you get the best possible outcome for your situation.

Security Deposit 

A tenant may sue a landlord for a variety of reasons related to security deposits, including the failure to return the security deposit or provide an itemized statement within the time required by law,  or to dispute the cost of repairs and/or cleaning. In Florida, a tenant has up to five years to sue over a security deposit dispute.

If a tenant wins the lawsuit, the landlord may be liable for the entire security deposit withheld from the tenant as well as court costs and attorney's fees.

Eviction

You should know that, under eviction law, your landlord cannot simply kick you out of your apartment or other space that you're renting.  The landlord cannot change the locks, turn off the utilities or otherwise make it impossible for you to live there.  In almost all situations, a landlord must obtain a court judgment before evicting a tenant.

In order to evict you from your rental lease, your landlord must first give you adequate notice, normally in writing, that must conform to certain formalities. At this point, you have a few options. First, you can act according to the eviction notice and move out. On the other hand, you can fix whatever defect your landlord has complained about (smoking, pets, late rent...etc) and see if your landlord still wishes to go through with the tenant eviction procedures. Your last choice is to not do anything and continue to live in your apartment. If you choose this last option, your landlord will have to file a lawsuit against you, to keep the eviction procedure moving forward. To win this lawsuit, your landlord must prove that you did something in violation of the lease agreement that justifies ending the rental agreement. 

If your landlord files a lawsuit, changes the locks, or turns off the utilities, the Law Offices of Robert D. Devin can defend your rights.