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Florida First DCA rules that real estate rental contract’s exculpatory “As-Is” clause constituted waiver of claim by lessee against landlord for failing to safely maintain property

On April 16, 2019, in Casasanta v. Sailshare 296 LLC, No. 1D17-4862, the Florida First DCA withdrew a former opinion from December 27, 2018 and substituted a revised opinion in its place, affirming a trial court summary judgment in favor of the defendant in a premises liability lawsuit.  The plaintiff leased a single-family home from the defendant and as part of the written lease agreement agreed to take the property in “As-Is” condition.  When the plaintiff subsequently was injured on the property, allegedly as the result of the collapse of a picket fence, she sued the landlord for negligence.  The Florida First DCA noted that under the lease agreement the lessees agreed to waive any claims, rights or actions against the landlord for any alleged failure to disclose any defects in the premises, stipulated that the property was being leased in “As-Is” condition, and further agreed that there were no no representations as to the present condition or future repair of the premises. The First DCA concluded that the plaintiff waived her claim against the defendant  for failing to safely maintain, inspect, and repair the picket fence.