LANDLORD-TENANT LAW 6
Thelandlord-tenant law comprises of the concepts in both state andstatutory laws applicable in the management of commercial andresidential premises. Most of the American States have founded theirlandlord-tenant law on the Uniform Residential Landlord and TenantAct (URLTA) of 1972 while others borrow from the Model ResidentialLandlord-Tenant Code (Smith, 2015). In this case, these laws havecommon features in almost all states. For the sake of increasedunderstanding of the nature of the landlord-tenant relationship,specifically regarding Larry (landlord) and Roger (tenant) in thecase, this paper adopts of the State of Florida.Nevertheless, the legal ways the landlords and tenants interact oraddress the tenancy issues is well described in the contract andproperty laws.
TheLegal Rights and Responsibilities.
Boththe landlord and tenant have their expected duties to ensure peacefulcoexistence and enjoyment of the agreement. According to Bryce(2015), Fla. Stat. Ann §83.5(1) details many landlord’s legalrights and responsibilities including maintenance of the premise’sstructure such as roofing, and continuous maintenance of the rentalpremises to ensure conformity with the applicable statutes, codes,and restrictions.
Also,most states’ laws require landlords to effect a program that willuphold public health through control of infestation and eliminationof hazards (Crump, 2014). Moreover, the landlords should provideinformation on health and safety concerns to the tenants, failure towhich is an offense if the landlord was aware of the issue. Moreover,they should maintain the house or the premise in weathertightconditions such as repair of roofing to prevent damages during therainy season.
Similarly,tenants have rights and responsibilities. According to the Levine(2013), they are expected to pay rent both in the exact amount andtime, uphold sanitation and report any occurrence such as the needfor repairs. Also, they have to avoid destroying, defacing ordamaging the house’s structures including electrical appliancessuch sockets (Bryan, Deaton, & Weersink, 2015). Lastly but notthe least, Bryce (2015) explains that tenants should restore theconditions of the house to the initial states when evacuating exceptfor the normal wear and tear or any other advance damage caused bythe landlord`s negligence.
TheLandlord and Tenant Duty to Mitigate the Damages.
Accordingto Bryan, Deaton, and Weersink (2015), the landlord has a legal dutyto mitigate damages within the premise as detailed in Fla. Stat. Ann§83.51. The mitigation can be through maintenance of properstructure condition, maintaining the house fit and safe for humanhabitation and providing important information about the house to thetenants. Additionally, the landlord should always make agreements andrepairs to ensure the premise remains in good conditions (Bryce,2015). More importantly, they should make immediate responses to thetenant’s request for repairs to avoid further property damages andlegal processes. Therefore, through such commitment especially timelyresponses to repair request, a landlord can effectively avoid notonly damage to the property but also other misunderstandings with thetenants.
Similarly,tenants have a legal duty to prevent property damages. For instance,the Fla. Stat. Ann §83.52 provides that a tenant should notintentionally or negligently deface or damage the premises’structures (Levine, 2013). In this case, Roger failed to fulfill asper this restriction when he damaged the electrical socket. Also, inif the landlord delay to fix a problem, the landlord-tenant lawallows the tenant to effect a repair by licensed or registered personand then deduct the cost from the rent (Smith, 2015). Thus,facilitating prevention of further damages.
TheLegal Tenants’ Legal Eviction Grounds.
Inthe case, Larry does not have legal grounds to evict Rogers. The onlycrime Rogers committed was damaging the electrical socketnegligently. Although one can argue that Rogers act was an impact oflandlord’s delayed response, the law excluded the landlord fromsuch repair of the socket because it resulted from Roger’snegligence or intentional actions. Simply put, prevention oravoidance of such damage was within Roger’s control. Therefore, therepair of the socket is legally Rogers’s responsibility failure towhich landlord can pursue the legal process. In this case, the courtmay decide whether to fine, force Roger to do a repair or evict himas per Fla. Stat. Ann: 83. 21. However, if Roger responds well andeffects the repair, there would be no need for the court process.
Roger’s(Tenant) Legal Obligation to Pay for the Damage.
Aspointed out in the previous section, Roger has a legal obligation torepair the damaged electrical socket he executed so negligently.Besides, the landlord-tenant law such as the Fla. Stat. $ 83.63relieves the landlords from repairs caused by the tenant’s conductor that of a family member (Levine, 2013). The law assumes that theperson who caused the defect condition is under the control of thetenant (Crump, 2014). Therefore, the repair of the damaged socket isRoger’s obligation.
Determinationof Larry’s Liability to Direct Damages.
AlthoughRoger reported about the leaking roof to Larry several weeks ago, thereport only became legally acceptable when he sent a written note.However, Larry is still liable for the damages because he delayed toresponse even after reception of the note. According to the “Statutesand Constitution: View Statutes: Online Sunshine” (2016), themaximum applicable time limit for repair of a defective conditionwithin the premises during the tenancy period in the State of Floridais ten days, after which the landlord becomes liable for directdamages.
However,the time limit for defective conditions that are imminently hazardousis 24 hours. Considering that the leakage may allow flooding in thehouse which might cause electrical shocks leading to Roger’s deathwhen asleep, the court can rule Larry liable for the direct damages.Also, defective conditions preventing the use of electricalappliances such as ovens and refrigerators has a repair time limit of72 hours (3days). In this case, the direct impacts of damaged socketdue to Rogers’s misconduct cannot be Larry’s liability butRoger’s. It is clear from the study that Larry the landlordattended the issue ten days after the written note. In this case, thelaw requires Larry to pay for the direct damages due to the leakingroof but not due to the damaged electrical socket.
Inbrief, both the landlord and tenant has well-described duties thatensure the peaceful relationship and justice in their transactions.The law handles the violation of these landlord-tenants lawsseriously to prevent harassment of either party. However, despite theadopted legal requirements and process for maintaining justice inproperty managements, most tenants remains victims because mostproperty managers and landlords violate these laws. Similarly, in thecase of Larry and Roger, the landlord delayed responding to Roger’ssentiment of leaking roof leading to damage of personal propertiesand emotional imbalance evident from Roger’s actions leading to thedamage to the socket.
Bryan,J., Deaton, B. J., & Weersink, A. (2015). Do Landlord-TenantRelationships Influence Rental Contracts for Farmland or the CashRental Rate?. LandEconomics,91(4), 650-663.
Bryce,A. (2015). Termination of Residential Rental Agreements. FloridaBar Journal,89(7), 77-80.
Crump,D. (2014). SHOULD THE COMMERCIAL LANDLORD HAVE A DUTY TO MITIGATEDAMAGES AFTER THE TENANT ABANDONS? A LEGAL AND ECONOMIC ANALYSIS.WakeForest Law Review, 49(1),187-205.
Levine,M. L. (2013). Tenancy in Common Is Held to Be a Security. RealEstate Finance (Aspen Publishers Inc.),30(1), 7-13.
Smith,H. E. (2015). THE PERSISTENCE OF SYSTEM IN PROPERTY LAW.University Of Pennsylvania Law Review,163(7), 2055-2083.
Statutes& Constitution: View Statutes: Online Sunshine.(2016). Leg.state.fl.us.Retrieved 5 September 2016, fromhttp://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0000-0099/0083/0083.html