If I sign an agreement of early lease termination, am I barred from being able to seek further legal action against the landlord for medical issues my 20-month old daughter might encounter as a result of our living there?
posted by Debaser626 to law & government (6 answers total)
Until last Saturday, my girlfriend, her 20-month old daughter, and I were living in an apartment where there was a intermittent leak which had been occurring since July 2011. Each time, the carpets were dried and cleaned and the problem would seem to go away for 3-4 weeks and then pop back up. Finally last week, the problem developed into a serious leak, and the carpeting was pulled, mold was discovered, and then two rooms in the house flooded. At that point we left immediately and sought termination of lease under Florida Statute 83.63 Casualty Damage.
The Property Management company and myself went back and forth for several days about the legality of this. Ultimately, they have not officially recognized this specific reason for lease termination, but they did offer a termination of lease agreement in which we can leave our stuff there until the 12th free of charge, and they will process our Security Deposit at that point. The issue is, there was mold found, and our 20-month old daughter has had several ear and sinus infections recently. This could be normal, or it could be something more serious, I just don't know yet. Due to this, I find this section troubling:
Except as otherwise stated in this document, TENANT and OWNER HEREBY remises, releases, acquits,satisfies and forever discharge, each other, management, its owners, employees, agents and assigns, for and from all manner of action and actions, cause and causes of action, suits, debts, dues, sums of money, accounts,
reckonings, bonds, bills, specialties, covenants, contracts, controversies, agreements, promises, variances,trespasses, damages, judgments, executions, claims and demands whatsoever, in law or in equity, which any Party ever had, now have, or which any personal representative, successor, heir or assign of said Party hereafter can, shall or may have, upon or by reason of any matter, cause or thing whatsoever, from the beginning of the world to the day of these presents if the terms of this Agreement are met. OWNER and TENANT agree to hold MANAGEMENT and its employees, agents and representatives harmless from any claims, damages or expenses of any nature in any way relating to the tenancy or this Agreement, The PARTIES hereby release, acquit, and forever discharge each other and their past, present, and future shareholders, directors, officers, employees, principals, agents, servants, property managers, realtors, independent contractors, representatives, parent corporations, subsidiaries, affiliates, predecessors, successors, assigns, attorneys, and insurers from any and all actions, causes of action, claims, counterclaims, demands, damages, fines, penalties, assessments, costs, loss of services, expenses, interest, attorneys' fees and compensation whatsoever, in any way relating to or arising out of the tenancy, the Lease or this Agreement as long as this Agreement is complied with.
If, in the unlikely event our daughter develops asthma or some other worsening of health that they are able to trace back to a mold/mildew exposure, am I barring myself from seeking further action if I sign this document? Or is there some superseding federal or state (Florida) statute which would allow us to seek this in any case. I would consult a lawyer, but this sudden and unplanned move has already tapped my resources. Mind you, I'm not litigious, and at this point I could care less about my stuff, recouping moving costs, cost of new apt., or even my own health. It is specifically my daughter that I am worried about. Any input, "IANAL" or otherwise is sorely needed and appreciated. I have until tomorrow evening to sign this document, so I'm kind of in a bind.....