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Chinese Drywall Raises Questions for enters

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Much of the reporting surround the Chinese drywall debacle has centered on homeowners, but renters are affected as well.   A recent report in the St. Petersburg Times highlighted some of the legal questions faced by these Chinese drywall victims.

According to the Times, one of the most common questions posed by renters living with Chinese drywall is whether or not they can break their lease.  In Florida, landlords are required by law to provide renters with a “healthy, properly maintained” residence.  But renters have obligations too. The mere presence of Chinese drywall in a rental property may not be enough to justify breaking a lease.

A spokesperson for  Florida’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services told The St. Petersburg Times that if the drywall does not pose a definite health hazard, a landlord might be able to take legal action against a tenant who breaks a lease. According to the Times, the spokesperson recommended that renters with Chinese drywall problems take certain steps to protect themselves before they break their lease. These steps include consulting a lawyer, and contacting their local health department to review their situation to confirm if a health hazard exists that might justify breaking a lease.

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