Many landlords treat their tenants poorly, as if they are “cash cows” whose obligation is to pay whatever is demanded. They get away with this because the amounts are relatively small, and they rely upon the tenant’s lack of knowledge of their rights and inability to obtain affordable legal counsel. Many landlords write these unlawful fees and charges into the leases, claiming that the tenant agreed to it when they signed the lease. However, Florida law prohibits landlords from enforcing lease provisions which conflict with, or alter, the remedies contained in the Florida Residential Landlord Tenant Act.
Fortunately, there are tenants who are willing to stand up for their rights and many of these cases can be brought as class actions, which can make them cost efficient cases for lawyers to take on contingency fee. If your have been the victim of a predatory landlord who has imposed excessive or unlawful fees upon you, and you want to stand up for your rights, contact me for a free consultation today.
Here is a list of possibly unlawful fees and charges.
- Mandatory early lease termination fees, or early lease termination fees which exceed two month’s rent.
- Fees for failing to provide more than 60 days’ notice when not renewing the lease when the landlord does not provide written notice to the tenant, which includes a warning of the liquidated damages fee, at least 15 days prior to the 60 day notice deadline.
- Claiming remodeling or routine maintenance fees as “damages” charged to the tenant after moving out.
- Claiming the tenant’s security deposit without providing written notice of the landlord’s claim in writing, sent certified mail, and containing a notice that the tenant has the right to contest the landlord’s claim.
- Lease provisions which place conditions upon the return of the tenant’s security deposit or provide for its forfeiture in the event of early termination or other breach by the tenant.