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Landlords have responsibility for habitable property conditions

When renting property for a business, you as a tenant must have certain assurances. A business needs a structure that is safe and functional. To this end, landlords have a responsibility to see to it that certain aspects of a property are properly maintained.

Typically, the majority of states require that landlords take measures for ensuring their properties are in habitable condition for tenants upon move-in. Subsequent to the tenant moving in, the landlord must see that the rental property remains habitable as they carry a duty of repairs and maintenance. For a property to be considered habitable, it must be sound of structure. It must also possess acceptable cleanliness, water and heating.

Landlords should acquaint themselves with the local codes that pertain to standard requirements for such items as electrical wiring, ventilation and light. Additionally, there may be safety requirements, which involve things like locks and smoke detectors.

A landlord must handle certain kinds of problems very soon after they arise. Plumbing and heating issues should be addressed within 24 hours of the point of notification. Less severe problems should receive repairs within a 48-hour period.

Failure to make repairs can create a situation where a property is uninhabitable. If this happens to you, you do have some possible legal recourse. For example, you can issue what is called a “construction eviction” lawsuit against the landlord. But in order to win such a suit you will have to prove that the property was inhabitable due to the landlord's failure to properly address the problems. Also, you must clearly demonstrate that you vacated the property within a reasonable period of time.

If you are forced by drastic circumstances to leave your commercial property, the costs to your business could be devastating. In looking to recoup your losses, you may wish to call upon a Florida commercial real estate attorney. The attorney could look at all aspects of your situation and may be able to help you pursue the financial satisfaction that you will require.

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Warren Gammill & Associates

Suite 400, Courthouse Plaza
28 West Flagler Street
Miami, Florida 33130

Phone: 305-579-0000
Fax: 305-371-6927

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