Know your rights when handling shady landlords

In Tallahassee, it seems landlords are working overtime to get over on student tenants.

If you’ve ever had to deal with a landlord who said your apartment complex was bought by a larger company and your unit, which was considered an “apartment” yesterday, is now considered a condominium, or that had the audacity to send you a letter stating they were holding your security deposit because you supposedly owe them money to repair alleged damages made to the apartment, then you have seen firsthand how crooked landlords try to swindle students out of their last two dollars.

These landlords always want to quote their highly questionable understanding of the law as a means to back up their allegations against students. It’s time for students to stand up for their rights and become familiar with the law so they have a platform to stand on when it comes to fighting shifty landlords. Florida Statute 83.49(3) is a statute students should know. It concerns the retrieval of security deposits, but how many students do you think have heard of it? Get informed.

In this day and age of money-hungry, untrustworthy landlords, you, your parents, your lawyer and even your next-door neighbor need to review your lease before you sign it. Don’t let yourself be subject to some management company’s outrageous allegations just because you were too lazy to research your rights as a tenant.

Gheni Platenburg for the editorial board.