Once a Contract to offer, Contract to lease & Walk-thru is signed by both tenants & the owner, can the owner keep 1mth rent if the tenants

Asked by Darren Hargrove, Sunny Isles, FL Thu Oct 17, 2013

cancel? Ok so my clients put in an contract for lease which was accepted by the owner/realtor I say that because the owner of the property is actually the listing agent as well. After several meetings about property & my clients being approved by the association they signed a lease for 1 year. Before the lease was signed we spoke to the owner about issues in the apt, he stated that all would be fixed prior to move-in. During the walk-thru all things were fix. Lease and walk thru is signed. Afterwards, owner say oh let me show you where the AC unit is than brings us into the Master Bedroom where the AC unit is in the walk-in closet in the ceiling he tells my clients he tells that by the way….the AC can potentially drip water or your clothes & potentially create a small flood, he said if this was to happen, you would need to go upstairs & ask the neighbors to turn up their AC a little & than call him & he will send an AC guy in the next day to blow the pipes. Owner now wants to keep 1 month rent

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Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Fri Oct 18, 2013
Pablo's correct. The unit must be in habitable condition.

Further, the owner/Realtor was doing worse than failing to disclose. A case could be made that he was actively concealing a known defect.

The owner/Realtor is in the wrong. A lawyer is a good option. Another might be to talk to the owner/Realtor's broker. That might provide some pressure.

Hope that helps.
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Yanoska Diaz, Agent, Miami, FL
Fri Oct 18, 2013
When you say "keep", who is in possession of the tenants funds to move in? If the listing agent is the owner then there is absolutely no excuse for the lack of disclosure, he should know better, this is clearly a material fact affecting the marketability of the property.
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Gustavo Diliz, Agent, Aventura, FL
Thu Oct 17, 2013
The landlord or the LA acted in bad faith, because he needed to disclose this problem before sign the lease agreement and do the walk through. He can't keep the 1 month rent. Good luck.
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Darren Hargr…, Agent, Sunny Isles, FL
Thu Oct 17, 2013
Daniel so you telling me information like that can be withheld??
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No Danielle, it was not disclosed prior to occupancy it was disclosed after the lease and walk thru was signed, maybe you read the statement wrong!! And the repairs that were promised to be made were things before move in which were three issue, screen door, dishwasher and toilet cover...those were fixed. How would you like to move in a place and after you sign the lease the owner tells you by the way there is a jazzcuzi tub on the second floor that leaks from time to time and if it does it will ruin your clothes in your closet, but if that happens just go upstairs and knock on the neighbors doors and ask to them not use the tub...Really Daniel...lol WOW!!
Flag Fri Oct 18, 2013
How was anything withheld? It was disclosed prior to occupancy & the owner agreed to repair anything if it became an issue.

I had a buyer 2 years ago that had renewed their lease 4 months before it was up. We ended up in contract 3 months before the renewal started. Even though the owner never signed it, per my attorney, it was still enforceable.

If this was a case of an owner being negligent & refusing to make repairs it might be a little more understandable that they would expect their money back. However you acknowledged that all repairs promised were made etc.
Flag Thu Oct 17, 2013
Anthony Khou…, Agent, Hallendale, FL
Thu Oct 17, 2013
He can't ,if your client wants to back out they can within that 30 day period an he can be sued.
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Pablo Torres, Agent, Miami, FL
Thu Oct 17, 2013
Seek the advice of an attorney.

Unit needs to be in habitable condition.


Pablo Torres,MBA
AF Realty,LLC
0 votes
Danielle Sha…, Agent, Cape Coral, FL
Thu Oct 17, 2013
They're breaking their lease. Lucky for them he isn't pursuing more.

And contact an attorney.
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