Tenant rights, when an eviction is illegal

Retaliatory evictions are illegal in Florida
Posted at 7:46 PM, Feb 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-02 19:46:31-05

In December management at Post Rocky Point Apartments offered to renew Lee Kaplan's lease. But in mid-January Kaplan, who has rented a two bedroom from the apartment complex for 18 months, ran into a maintenance issue. She turned on her heat and the smoke alarm went off.

Kaplan says she called maintenance that Saturday night and again on Sunday but no one responded.

That's when she decided to make a call for action over the heat issue and reached out to ABC Action News.

On day three, we asked the property manager's office to check the heating system in the apartment.Hours later Rocky Point management left a notice of non renewal. Meaning Kaplan would have to leave at the end of her lease in March. This just weeks after they delivered a letter asking if she would like to renew.

Bay Area Legal Services attorney Martin Lawyer explains retaliatory evictions are illegal in Florida. But the law does not specifically cover refusal to renew a lease.

He says if tenants can tie an action they have taken to the action of the landlord than that is against the law.

We visited the property manager seeking an explanation. They referred us to corporate.

Citing tenant confidentiality Rocky Point would not provide a reason for the non-renewal but they did notify Kaplan she could now renew her lease.

Kaplan says she no longer wants to live in the complex and is moving out.