Don't expect rent refund for 'illegal' lease

Rent it Right

By Inman News Feed
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 7 | Posted Feb. 2, 2012

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One way to impress upon your judge the inadvisability of allowing landlords to avoid the mitigation rule by contract would be to point to Florida, which also has a mitigation rule. Several years ago, Florida passed legislation allowing landlords and tenants to agree to a lease-breaking fee of two months' rent, but only when the issue has been clearly presented to the applicant as an option that can be declined without fear of being rejected on that basis. You might argue that if landlords in your state are to be allowed to sidestep the mitigation rule, that ability should be decided by legislators who can build in safeguards to protect tenants who don't want to waive their rights.

Janet Portman is an attorney and managing editor at Nolo. She specializes in landlord/tenant law and is co-author of "Every Landlord's Legal Guide" and "Every Tenant's Legal Guide." She can be reached at

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Comments 1 - 7 of 7
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1. Anonymous said... on Sep 10, 2013 at 09:51AM

“Im a single mother of three so when i moved in my apartment in the fishtown/pirt richmond area and found a huge apartment i was eager to sign my lease. My landlord seemed awesome at first. Than the refrigerater that was said to be included was leaking huge amounts of water by the 3rd day moving in , it took him 2 weeks to even come look at it and than almost a month after that he finally bought a new one . Then I showed him my oven door will not close not only are 2 out of my 3 kids toodlers making it a safety issue my gas bill was rediculas. I moved there late spring when fall came and i took the air out of the front window didnt fit the window frame causes my gas bill to really hit the roof. Top it off the 3rd bedroom which was really small i wanted to use as a little office sp my 10 yr old has a privite area to get away from her sisters to be able to focus on school work. When I start cleaning out the i pick this huge board up of the floor and under it was a hole so big and deep”

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2. Anonymous said... on Sep 10, 2013 at 10:26AM

“Continuance.... A hole so deep u saw the basement. People will say why not just move but as a single mother of 3 its pretty hard. So i called L&i , he failed so many things some I wasn't aware were a violation. L&i gave him 30 days to fix everything all he did was glue wood over the hole nothing else so he failed again. I was told stop payn rent put it in escrow. So of he took me to court to sue me, I went there with pictures n lables of everything, the L&i report of him failing twice , and his expired license he thought I probably wouldve never thought to check. In the end the judge lowered my rent all the to just $350 and I owed him nothing because the expired license and didn't have to pay till ot got renewed. I don't know how other counties and states are but Philadelphia really helps you especially people like me raising kids on ur own living check to check.”

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3. Anonymous said... on Jun 4, 2014 at 02:01AM

“Moved in my home 2009 found out 2014 after shut off notice from water department that my landlord rental license expired 2007 & no inspection since 2004. My landlord wants to evict me because I put her rent in escrow until I get confirmation from the water department that she paid $2800.00 water bill.”

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4. Anonymous said... on Jun 4, 2014 at 02:04AM

“Add to previous comment I posted I am also a single mother of two autistic sons.”

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5. Stephan said... on Nov 19, 2014 at 05:02PM

“My landlord live in maryland and owns property in rochester ny. All of her leases agreements are a mixture of maryland laws, home owner association, condominium, and made up rules with excessive fees and charges such as 10% late fees and $800 a yr pet fees, $200 smoker fees although smoking is not allowed on the property. Is this a legal lease?”

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6. Anonymous said... on Dec 11, 2014 at 10:28PM

“I started renting my house in July 2014. And there are many things that needed to get fix. My landlord makes no effort to fix anything. She comes up with many excuses. But on the first of each month my landlord is knocking on my door to collect rent always around eight am and refuse money orders. When asked about fixing the problems my landlord would say I'll fix it later. So I finally could not take it anymore and call building code. The house was inspected and so many problems were found ( sewer pipe leaking, electrical panel box, no railings on the second floor porch and so much more.) Also the city code department found out my landlord has never registered the property and has no building license which is required in Pennsylvania. My question is can she collect rent without a housing license?”

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7. Anonymous said... on Nov 14, 2015 at 08:49PM

“my landlord been renting to me for almost a year and a half. i feel behind in august went to get rent assistance which was approved but they didnt have a renters license and used another number. I stopped the check because they went to raise my rent. I got accepted to a program to pay my rent for 6 months he gave in a different renters license number. what should i do and he literally got the license a week ago. Would I be eligible for refunds?”


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