, , , , ,

repairmenAs a general principal, a commercial landlord has no duty to perform repairs or maintain the leased premises. Without a special agreement to repair the leased premises, a landlord is not under a duty to make repairs. City of St. Petersburg v. Competition Sails, Inc., 449 So.2d 852 (Fla. 2nd DCA 1984).   A lease provision stating that  the tenant is not obligated to repair or replace an item,  such as a roof,  does not by implication,   impose the burden on the landlord.  Fischer v. Collier, 143 So.2d 710 (Fla. 2d DCA 1962).  The fact that landlord voluntarily performed repairs on the past,  does not create an obligation to continue to do so.  Ibid.

Nevertheless,  it a landlord testifies in court that it was his duty to maintain the air conditioning,  even though the lease did not so provide,  it was not error for the trial court to award tenant the costs of repairing it.  MANNO vs. RELIABLE RADIOGRAPHIC SERVICES, INC. 11 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 797a. (Broward County 2004)

Florida Statutes Section 83.201  provides that where a landlord is under an agreement to repair, and fails to do so, and the premises in consequence thereof become untenantable, the tenant may abandon the premises without liability for further rent.  The mere failure, however, of the landlord to make repairs, the need of which does not render the premises untenantable, will not warrant an abandonment of the premises or relieve the tenant from liability for rent. 18 Am. & Eng. Enc. Law (2d Ed.) 231; 16 R. C. L. 691; Stewart v. Childs Co., 86 N. J. Law, 648, 92 A. 392, L. R. A. 1915C, 649, and note.

Where the repairs involved are inexpensive as compared with the rent, the measure of a lessee’s damages for breach of covenant of the lessor to make the repairs may be the cost of making such repairs. Where the repairs are extensive and the cost is excessive in comparison with the rent, as was the situation here, the rule of difference in rental value could be applied, but in such case the lessee may recover as damages compensation for injuries to his property or his business, including loss of profits. The lessee is entitled to be compensated for financial injuries suffered as a direct and proximate result of a defect in the premises due to the breach by the lessor of a covenant to repair. City of Miami Beach v. Ellis, 279 So. 2d 335 (Fla. 3rd DCA 1973)