Now that over a week has passed since Hurricane Irma landed in Florida, it’s time to think about how things will look moving forward. If you’re a renter, like 42% of Floridians, that might involve taking on your landlord and breaking your lease.
As we saw in Colony Park, West Palm Beach, what renters face when challenging landlords and property managers isn’t always a pleasant experience. According to WPTV, the property owners stopped tenants from boarding up windows prior to the storm. For the renters, this meant putting their personal property at risk of damage from Hurricane Irma.
Or take what happened in Houston after Hurricane Harvey as an example. There, landlords were demanding rent from tenants, but apartments were uninhabitable. It really was—and still is—a mess.
Even though you might find the prospect of challenging your landlord on the validity of your contract daunting, if you have a strong enough case and take the proper steps, you have nothing to worry about.
Here’s what steps you need to take to break your lease:
Assess the Damage from Hurricane Irma
Hurricanes are destructive, as we recently witnessed. It’s not just the high winds that make these storms so devastating (though they do cause a lot of damage). Hail and flood damage are also to blame for the massive costs of repair and replacement that follow them. In fact, water damage can have lasting effects on the habitability and safety of your home. With moisture that goes unchecked and untreated, mold and structural rot could be close behind.
If you think that the damage from the storm is creating an unsafe environment for you and your family, then it’s time to have a talk with your landlord.
Ask Your Landlord for Repairs
After you’ve assessed the damage to your dwelling, ask your landlord about what plans they have to fix the situation. Be sure to ask for an estimate on how long the repairs are going to take. In a situation in which repairs will take a long time, tenants may opt to terminate their lease.
In the meantime, talk to an attorney about your housing options and to come up with a course of action.
Talk to a Tenant Landlord Attorney
In reality, the first thing that you should do when you find yourself in a situation that makes you consider whether to break your lease is to call an attorney who specializes in tenant-landlord disputes. As Hurricane Irma has shown us, having that expertise at your disposal through each step of the process will not only give you peace of mind—it will get you results.
Do you need to get out of your lease, but don’t know what steps to take? Call us today—305-760-4425—Se Habla Español.