My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: FLORIDA
I will be facing trial in a few days regarding a lawsuit my landlord has against me for moving out early. My reasons for leaving are illness and what I feel are poor living conditions.
I am also countersuing...
Here are the details of the case:
1) I moved in and soon began to feel ill. I suspected mold that I found growing on many different surfaces to be the cause, so I emailed my landlord asking her about it and for an inspector to come out. She emailed me back confirming that the mold has always been in the house. About two weeks went by and she hadnt done ANYTHING. I had spent time away from the place and had recovered. Once I returned, I found myself ill AGAIN with flu like symptoms. I decided I had to leave. The place was extremely humid and this mold kept coming back. Once I moved, she waited a few months and then sued me. My case for moving out, AND suing her is that she KNEW about a mold problem (via her email) and failed to disclose this to me.
I am asking for my rent back (2.5months that I paid for) as well as my deposit and court costs. She also failed to impose a claim on my deposit, but claims it was sent in a certified package to me. The funny thing is that the notice to impose claim that she showed me in our pre-trial had a different date AND ADDRESS than her certified mail receipt showed! (Yes, this is an obvious lie). Since the law requires that I be notified within 30 days, I figure I ought to get this back no matter what she says.
Now, I didnt go to a doctor. I didnt have an inspection done. I am a student in college and have no health insurance let alone money for an inspection to be done. I feel that non-disclosure coupled with an admission of existing mold (which is a health hazard) means that SHE broke the lease the minute it was signed. The place was advertised as CLEAN and WELL MAINTAINED. When I originally saw the place and signed, it was clean. I didnt move in for 1.5 months and this was when I found the nasty condition.
Once I let her know I was leaving, she become quite the busy bee! She called some AC guy and he FOUND MOLD IN THE AC UNIT and called it an issue that needed to be addressed ASAP! Well, she paid for his visit and that was it. The next day, her boss at work has gotten involved and is having all his friends in our place doing random things that they are not licensed to do. When I came home, I found alot of black debris under the vents in the house. Never was ANYONE licensed to inspect for mold called to come out. She had PART of her AC cleaned and then called it a done deal. As you can imagine, this made the conditions even worse! I could barely move my things out due to the stirred up mold in the air. (The EPA reccomends that one does NOT clean the ducts if toxic mold is suspected, but this is what the landlord had done).
I am quite certain that I have a case, but not quite sure how to go at this. Once I let the landlord know I was suing her back, she got a lawyer. We all know what lawyers do. :-)