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Apartment Complex Hitting Tenants with Illegal Fees in Debt Collection Lawsuit

Posted by Sami Thalji | Nov 05, 2021

We have come across a number of cases recently where apartment complexes are billing tenants one to two months rent worth of liquidated damages when they move out at the end of their lease. Most apartment complexes are now placing provisions in their leases that require the tenant to give 60 days' notice prior to the end of their lease that they are moving out and not renewing. Most tenants do not realize this and are getting hit with bills running between $2,000 - $4,000 upon moving out. We recently filed suit in a case where this happened. The tenant paid all their rent, moved out and then saw a negative remark on their credit from a debt collector when applying for a loan. Upon further research they found out it was the apartment complex charging a liquidated damages fee for moving out on time. After contacting us we investigated the case and found that that if an apartment complex is going to put in a 60 days' notice clause that puts burden on tenant to notify complex they are moving out at end of lease then the apartment complex has the duty under law to give the tenant at least 15 days' notice prior to the expiration of the 60 day window.  Of course, the apartment complex did not so we brought a claim under Florida's Consumer Collections Protection Act. The case resulted in a waiver of the debt, deletion of any reporting on credit and $10,000 in damages and attorney fees. These cases can be very valuable for consumers and in this instance the result was the client going from being in collections, owing $4,000, and having a negative mark on credit to having all of that erased and putting cash in their pocket. Any time some one is trying to collect money from you call us before you pay. There's a good chance we will make them pay.  

About the Author

Sami Thalji

Sami Thalji is a native Floridian, born in Clearwater and raised in St. Petersburg, Florida. Sami graduated from Osceola High School in Seminole, Florida before attending and receiving both his Bachelor of Science and Juris Doctor from the University of Florida in Ga...


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