Slum Lord in Florida... refuses to fix the air conditioning.

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Old Apr 20th, 2011, 10:04 AM   #1
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Exclamation Slum Lord in Florida... refuses to fix the air conditioning.

I'm hoping that someone can help me out...
My landlord refuses to fix the air conditioning or fix the toilet that keeps backing up, and yesterday, informed my partner that they have not paid the water bill in 6 months and the water will be getting shut off. I am 8 months pregnant and can't move right now. The landlord never came to us with a lease, so I hope that we will still be protected. I am not section 8, so I don't think that housing can help. What can I do and who can help me in Broward county Florida?
BTW, I have tried speaking to the landlord, but language barrier doesn't help. I was told to purchase fans & stop flushing tampons (I am 8 months pregnant!) I have not paid the rent that was due April 18, but I am holding the money until I know what I should do...
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Old Apr 21st, 2011, 03:41 AM   #2
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Default Re: Slum Lord in Florida... refuses to fix the air conditioning.

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Originally Posted by Momma in FLA View Post
I'm hoping that someone can help me out...
My landlord refuses to fix the air conditioning or fix the toilet that keeps backing up, and yesterday, informed my partner that they have not paid the water bill in 6 months and the water will be getting shut off. I am 8 months pregnant and can't move right now. The landlord never came to us with a lease, so I hope that we will still be protected. I am not section 8, so I don't think that housing can help. What can I do and who can help me in Broward county Florida?
BTW, I have tried speaking to the landlord, but language barrier doesn't help. I was told to purchase fans & stop flushing tampons (I am 8 months pregnant!) I have not paid the rent that was due April 18, but I am holding the money until I know what I should do...
Rent withholding is NEVER a good idea unless you are well aware of the law as it applies to it. It's always a good idea to consult an attorney before doing so.

Florida LL/T statutes state that you may be able to withhold rent if your landlord fails to do what the law or rental agreement requires. You must however, announce your intentions in writing by mail, preferably certified, at least seven days before the rent is due to allow time to remedy the problem. If the problem is not corrected within the seven days and you withhold the rent, the landlord may take you to court to collect it. Under these circumstances, you must pay the rent into the court registry, pending the judge's determination in the case.

If you have failed to put your complaint in writing, this can significantly affect your ability to use a rent withholding remedy and can justify a LL evicting you for nonpayment of rent.

Additionally, rent withholding is only applicable when a repair issue significantly affects the habitability of the unit (health or safety). Lack of working air conditioning is not considered a habitability issue. Fixing the toilet might be, but you still must give LL written notice of your intent to withhold rent before doing so, to allow the opportunity to properly address the issue first.

You can find the Florida LL/T statutes here: Florida Landlord/Tenant Law Division of Consumer Services, DOACS
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