Law Office of Ryan S. Shipp, PLLC

Tenants may not know about sinkhole dangers

Under Florida law, landlords don't have to tell tenants about the potential for sinkholes to develop under their rental properties. One couple didn't find out about the sinkhole risk that they faced until they were already three months into their lease. After asking their landlord, they found out that the house had been underpinned and were told that it was safe. However, the tenants said that the house and driveway had cracks in it and that the foundation was shifting.

As part of a local media investigation, tenants in several rental properties and complexes were told that they were living on top of sinkholes. Many had no idea that this was the case, and they said that they wouldn't have moved to their current location had they known about the risk. A Florida state representative said that he would introduce legislation that would require landlords to disclose sinkhole information just like homeowners do when selling their homes.

Typically, once a tenant signs a lease, he or she is obligated to abide by its terms. This generally means paying rent, keeping the property in good condition and allowing the landlord reasonable access to the property. However, tenants may have the right to end a lease if it violates state law. Therefore, a landlord may wish to consult an attorney prior to drafting a lease document.

If the lease violates state landlord-tenant laws, a renter may be able to leave the property without making additional payments to the landlord. In the event that a tenant stops paying rent because he or she believes that the lease violates their legal rights, a landlord may still take steps to evict that tenant. This may be true if it is determined that a lease is valid despite a tenant's concerns.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Law Office of Ryan S. Shipp, PLLC | 814 W. Lantana Rd., Suite 1 | Lantana, Florida 33462 | Phone: (561) 699-0399 | Map & Directions