Apartment Residents File Numerous Complaints Against Negligent Landlord
Florida landlords are supposed to provide their tenants with safe living conditions. But sometimes they fall short.
There’s an apartment complex in Fort Myers called Sunrise Towers where residents have filed numerous complaints against the landlord. In fact, 70 complaints have been filed since 2010. Tenants have reported water leaks, roach infestations, mold and mildew, and other problems that the landlord has not dealt with.
And then in July, one of the building’s staircases collapsed. The city of Fort Myers ordered an emergency inspection, and an engineering company concluded that the stairs collapsed because the steel support plates had corroded. Now the building is under a “fire watch” until the stairs are repaired. (The fire department assigned someone to watch the building and prevent fires from starting since residents would not be able to safely escape down the stairs.)
Some of the residents say the landlord is now starting to respond to their earlier complaints. Anyone who has been injured because of the landlord’s inaction has a right to file a civil lawsuit. In fact, two lawsuits have already been filed, both involving inadequate security at the complex.
A Landlord’s Duties
It shouldn’t take a collapsing staircase to force a landlord to keep the building safe and livable. Florida law requires landlords to provide safe living conditions for their tenants. To that end, landlords must (among other things):
- comply with applicable building, health and housing codes.
- if there isn’t an applicable code, maintain the roofs, windows, doors, floors and all other structural components in good repair.
- make reasonable provisions for pest extermination, including rats, roaches and bedbugs.
- provide locks and keys.
- keep common areas safe and clean.
- provide for garbage removal, and
- make sure there is heat, running water and hot water.
The rules are a little different if you’re a tenant in a single-family home. Also keep in mind that landlords aren’t responsible for negligence caused by tenants or their guests. An experienced attorney can help you understand your rights in all types of landlord-tenant situations.
Suing a Landlord for Negligence
A landlord’s negligence can cause both property damage and personal injury. If you are injured because the landlord failed to maintain a safe living environment, then you have a right to file a personal injury lawsuit. The most important thing to remember is that you only have four years from the date of the injury to file your claim. Otherwise you lose the right to seek compensation.
It’s possible that several of the Sunrise Towers residents have a viable injury claim against the landlord. If you find yourself in a similar situation, contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
Contact Us Today
Contact a Fort Myers personal injury attorney at The Pendas Law Firm today for a free consultation if you are injured because of a landlord’s negligence. We will help you seek compensation for your injuries, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
The Pendas Law Firm also represents clients in the Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Tampa, Miami, Daytona Beach and Bradenton areas.