The Real Deal Miami

Venetian Islands renter sues landlord alleging issues at $20k/month home

Suit alleges landlord Murray Design & Construction refused to end the lease
By Ray Downs | February 13, 2017 04:30PM

720 West Dilido Drive and Jean-Pierre Murray

A Miami Beach renter wanted luxury-style living in a Venetian Islands home and was willing to spend $20,000 per month to get it. But when she moved into the high-end property, she was hassled by constant repairs and even deprived of hot water, according to a new lawsuit.

Barbara Bernard is suing the landlord, Murray Design & Construction for fraud, negligent representation, rescission, and breach of agreement, alleging that the company lied to her about the state of the property and refused to end the lease.

According to the lawsuit filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court, when Bernard toured the six-bedroom, seven-bath house at 720 West Dilido Drive, Los Angeles-based MDC assured her that all repairs would be completed by the time she moved in.

That promise was enough to convince Bernard to sign a one-year lease worth $240,000 with MDC for the 3,290 square foot property in a deal brokered by the Miami Beach agency Luxe Living Realty.

Bernard’s upfront move-in cost totaled $80,000, including a $40,000 security deposit and the first and last month’s rent, according to the suit.

But by the time she moved in on Oct. 15, 2016, construction workers were still on the property, “leaving Bernard without privacy and without quiet enjoyment,” the lawsuit states. And although she had paid for a luxury property, “basic amenities, such as hot water, routinely failed to function.”

To make up for the hassle, MDC offered Bernard a one-time rent reduction of $8,000 on the second month’s rent and promised repairs would be soon finished, according to the suit.

But by December, two months into her lease, repairs were still being done and Bernard moved out. She packed her bags and left behind her $40,000 deposit, $20,000 for the last month’s rent, and triggered a $20,000 early termination fee for breaking the lease.

Bernard now wants the court to have MDC return all monies she has paid, as well as attorney’s fees and court costs.

MDC is headed by Jean-Pierre Murray,  a co-founder of TransCash Inc. and the president of Eurosky Entertainment, LLC, in Los Angeles.

Murray did not respond to a message left at his office.