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Residential Property Management/Breaking a lease before start date for cause


Our lease starts June 15th and we paid 1st + last + security. As an addendum to the lease we specified that the landlord needed to clean the home (it was quite dirty) and repaint all damaged and scuffed areas.  On June 14th we did a walk-thru. The paint was not done and the grout in the marble floors was literally black with stains and dirt.  We said we expected these to be done and the landlord refused to do it stating that they had had a maid come and this condition was good enough.

Can we terminate the lease without taking possession of the house and demand a refund given that the landlord did not fulfill the conditions of the lease and furthermore is refusing to correct it?

Hello Damian,

I believe you have a valid point, but I am not licensed in Florida nor am I allowed to give you Legal advice. In Washington State, a tenant may do work that the landlord agreed to do but did not do.., and take it from future rent payments, however I do not know if Florida Law will allow that.

Also in my state, if a tenant vacates the property or never moved in, but pays rent and gives landlord notice....the landlord must try to re-rent the property. Once it is re-rented then that also invalidates a prior lease.

If you look over your lease carefully and review your states Landlord/Tenant Laws.., you may find other remedies as well. I hope this has helped you.

Best regards,

Don Sr.
BCI Properties, LLC
Tacoma, WA

Residential Property Management

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Donald J. Leske II


Advocate for Landlord & Tenant Rights. Based in Washington State as a Licensed Real Estate Broker and Property Manager. I am a Landlord but I am not a Lawyer. Ask any question dealing with the rental of residential properties, including; 1. Evictions. 2. Maintenance & repair issues. 3. How to set a fair rental price. 4. When to hire a property manager. 5. Selling and how to determine value. 6. Basic tax questions and Legal issues ok, but most will be referred to a professional in that field.


I have 30 years experience in Property Management with about 560 clients, plus I own my own Real Estate Brokerage ( with expanded experience & training in Short Sales, Foreclosure negotiations and rental property management. I write an informal online Real Estate News Magazine and am a member of NARPM, National Association of Residential Property Managers and have been quoted by News Agencies.


Rated and reviewed Editorials, Advice and short Articles at Trulia, Active Rain and All Experts online. Advice Contributor contributor
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2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 Presidents Gold Award for high achievement, John L. Scott Realty. - "Shining Star Award" 2006 - 03/04/05/06 All Star of the Year Award for excellence.

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