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Florida lease question for a friend...


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Not sure if this is in the right forum, but I'm trying to help a friend out as best as possible. Heres the situation any advice is (as always) greatly appreciated :)

 

So my friend moved to Holiday, Florida only a month ago and signed a lease on a privately owned house for herself and her 3 children with the intent of permanently relocating there. She just now found out that her mother has fallen very ill and now she must come back to Colorado to take care of her. Her new landlord is not very happy (obviously) and is now threatening to sue her for the entire year of the contract (it states she would be responsible in the contract) regardless of whether or not the landlady leases it out to another tenant. Is this legal in Florida? Any idea what kind of options she would have? My friend is NOT a citizen of Florida yet, although the contract was signed there so wouldnt the land lady have to come here to sue her since this is her place of residence?

 

Thanks ladies and gents :)

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Your friend can lose her deposit and owe an ETF if it's written in the lease. The landlord can't double dip and sue her and lease the place out again. And they have to make a reasonable attempt to lease it. If I were her, I would turn in a notice that meets FL requirements and offer to show the property while she's still there. Do everything possible to make it rent out quickly.

 

Here's some specific FL info: http://www.floridabar.org/TFB/TFBResources.nsf/Attachments/14AC850D60F9E5CB852578490073F44C/$FILE/Consumer%20Protection%20in%20a%20Minute%20Landlord%20Tenant.pdf

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Not sure if this is in the right forum, but I'm trying to help a friend out as best as possible. Heres the situation any advice is (as always) greatly appreciated :)

 

So my friend moved to Holiday, Florida only a month ago and signed a lease on a privately owned house for herself and her 3 children with the intent of permanently relocating there. She just now found out that her mother has fallen very ill and now she must come back to Colorado to take care of her. Her new landlord is not very happy (obviously) and is now threatening to sue her for the entire year of the contract (it states she would be responsible in the contract) regardless of whether or not the landlady leases it out to another tenant. Is this legal in Florida? Any idea what kind of options she would have? My friend is NOT a citizen of Florida yet, although the contract was signed there so wouldnt the land lady have to come here to sue her since this is her place of residence?

 

Thanks ladies and gents :)

 

The landlord has a legal duty to re-rent as soon as possible. The mistake some people make when breaking the lease is they keep paying rent which gives the landlord NO incentive to re-rent. If the LL did try to sue for the entire lease the court would make them demonstrate what steps they took to mitigate their damages.

 

She will forfeit her deposit. If it were me I would see if I could strike a deal for a one time payment of a specific sum cancelling the lease and all obligations. If the LL agrees your friend should get the deal IN WRITING before paying any money. That way she is off the hook and if the LL were to sue she has the paperwork as a defense.

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I would just go to colorado and call his bluff. he wont chase her.

 

He has to serve her to sue her.

 

if she is in colorado, and he did go through the expense of getting a process server to serve her (very unlikely), venue would still be in colorado.

 

if that happened, and he filed a case in florida, just submit a motion for improper venue and the case will be dismissed. he has to sue where the defendant resides.

 

he doesnt have any actual financial losses (IE: she didnt live there for a year and not pay for 12 months), so he cant go into anything other than small claims.

 

suing out of state is super expensive, and the extra costs are not a "reasonable expense" to collect with the judgment. in fact most small claims courts (i am in florida as well), only allow you to collect filing and service fees.. anything above that is not recoverable.

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