Residential Property Management/lease, maintenance repairs
QUESTION: I am a FL tenant in good standing with four months left on my lease. My question is: how can I get the property management company to stipulate in writing who is responsible for what home maintenance repairs? Seven months into my lease, all of the sudden, the property manager stated that I was responsible for making two home repairs, when in the past, property management had made very similar repairs with no problem. Please note that the current and all previous needs for repairs were not as a result of tenant damage or negligence. I was very confused and concerned at this sudden change and asked property management for an explanation as to why these repairs were being deemed my responsibility when property management had made past repairs to similar maintenance issues. They would not answer my question or provide any explanation. There is no designation whatsoever in any of the lease documents of the tenant being responsible for any home repairs. For over a month now, I have written dozens of emails and made multiple pleas to property management and the home owner to please just stipulate in writing who is responsible for what repairs for the remainder of my lease, but they will not. I have reviewed Florida landlord tenant law and cannot find any answers as to how I can be informed of home repair responsibility. And my fear is that for the remainder of my lease, property management will continue to abuse their power and make arbitrary judgments on a whim as to what they will choose to repair and what they will try to make me pay for. I also fear they will attempt to retain my security deposit for retaliation, even though I have done no damage and have kept the house in excellent condition. I have a 25 year stellar rental history and have never experienced such abuse and bullying from a landlord. At this point, all I am asking of property management is to provide written stipulation of repair responsibility, but they will not. PLEASE help me.
ANSWER: Hello Lucy,
I have seen this happen before many times. You MUST read your lease for the terms and conditions of what is required. If you cannot find a copy, then ask for a copy of your lease. The landlord should comply, in Washington State it is the Law that landlords must give tenants a 2nd copy of their lease if they lose it. I am not licensed in Florida or any other state, plus I am not an Attorney, so of course I cannot guarantee or give advice on this.
Please read your lease carefully. Your neighbors may have a lease they can let you read also, which should be the same as yours if you have the same landlord.
BCI PROPERTIES, LLC
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Thank you, however as I stated in my initial question to you, I have thoroughly read my lease and there are NO terms and/or conditions for repairs listed AT ALL - NONE. This is why I am asking the property management company to provide this information, and they will not. I need to know what I can do to make the property management company provide this information to me. I live in a rental house in a neighborhood of homeowners so there are no other rental properties around me of which to ask to review their leases from this management company. Are you able to refer me to someone who can instruct me on what it is I have to say or do to make the property management company comply with my request to provide the terms and conditions for repairs? Thank you.
You did not say you read it. You stated: "There is no designation whatsoever in any of the lease documents of the tenant being responsible for any home repairs...." which leads me to believe you may be going on your memory or what you thought it said.
In fact I am so doubtful that there is not, as you say, any "...terms and/or conditions for repairs listed AT ALL - NONE" that I will offer to review your lease for FREE..... if you will email it as a PDF or Word document to Office@BCIrent.com
my official company email. Please remember however that I am not an Attorney and cannot give you legal advice
, nor am I licensed to do real estate business in Florida. I am only offering to review the lease to see what it says or does not say about tenant duties and responsibilities regarding maintenance.
Florida Bar Association has info at:
Florida State Law 83.51 Landlordís obligation to maintain premises.ó
(1) The landlord at all times during the tenancy shall:
(a) Comply with the requirements of applicable building, housing, and health codes; or
(b) Where there are no applicable building, housing, or health codes, maintain the roofs, windows, doors, floors, steps, porches, exterior walls, foundations, and all other structural components in good repair and capable of resisting normal forces and loads and the plumbing in reasonable working condition. The landlord, at commencement of the tenancy, must ensure that screens are installed in a reasonable condition. Thereafter, the landlord must repair damage to screens once annually, when necessary, until termination of the rental agreement.
The landlord is not required to maintain a mobile home or other structure owned by the tenant. The landlordís obligations under this subsection may be altered or modified in writing with respect to a single-family home or duplex.
(2)(a) Unless otherwise agreed in writing, in addition to the requirements of subsection (1), the landlord of a dwelling unit other than a single-family home or duplex shall, at all times during the tenancy, make reasonable provisions for:
1. The extermination of rats, mice, roaches, ants, wood-destroying organisms, and bedbugs. When vacation of the premises is required for such extermination, the landlord is not liable for damages but shall abate the rent. The tenant must temporarily vacate the premises for a period of time not to exceed 4 days, on 7 daysí written notice, if necessary, for extermination pursuant to this subparagraph.
2. Locks and keys.
3. The clean and safe condition of common areas.
4. Garbage removal and outside receptacles therefor.
5. Functioning facilities for heat during winter, running water, and hot water.
(b) Unless otherwise agreed in writing, at the commencement of the tenancy of a single-family home or duplex, the landlord shall install working smoke detection devices. As used in this paragraph, the term ďsmoke detection deviceĒ means an electrical or battery-operated device which detects visible or invisible particles of combustion and which is listed by Underwriters Laboratories, Inc., Factory Mutual Laboratories, Inc., or any other nationally recognized testing laboratory using nationally accepted testing standards.
(c) Nothing in this part authorizes the tenant to raise a noncompliance by the landlord with this subsection as a defense to an action for possession under s. 83.59.
(d) This subsection shall not apply to a mobile home owned by a tenant.
(e) Nothing contained in this subsection prohibits the landlord from providing in the rental agreement that the tenant is obligated to pay costs or charges for garbage removal, water, fuel, or utilities.
(3) If the duty imposed by subsection (1) is the same or greater than any duty imposed by subsection (2), the landlordís duty is determined by subsection (1).
(4) The landlord is not responsible to the tenant under this section for conditions created or caused by the negligent or wrongful act or omission of the tenant, a member of the tenantís family, or other person on the premises with the tenantís consent.
I hope this helps.