How does the LL know there is a sinkhole? Does he know the signs of a sinkhole? The tenant didn't until they looked into it further. He told the tenant or someone else there is one? He signed something that disclosed to him sinkhole activity on that property? Any reports or complaints send to him from the city or county?
You make many assumptions about what knowledge another person has in their head. The tenant should be writing a letter to the LL with these issues so there is no dispute that LL does not have knowledge of it. A judge will ask the tenant if they reported the issue to the LL because you know the LL will state he wasn't told about any cracks reappearing. He will say I repaired every crack prior to rental and was not told by the tenant that new issues appeared inside the home or the fixes failed.
Every LL has duty to maintain the home to some extent. The tenant also has a duty to maintain as well. A tenant, at all times during the tenancy shall: · Comply with all housing and health codes; · Keep the dwelling clean and sanitary; · Remove garbage from the dwelling; · Keep plumbing fixtures clean, sanitary and in repair; · Not deface or damage the premises; · Occupy the dwelling without disturbing the peace; and · Not abuse the appliances or other facilities furnished by the landlord.
How often a LL comes out to inspect the property can vary. It can be monthly, quarterly, bi-yearly, etc. In between those times, it's the tenant's duty and lease obligation to report anything wrong not just wait until the LL shows up.
"additional information from the county building and code enforcement office which proves 100% the owner knew about it prior to leasing the home." The tenant is not an authority on sinkholes and can not be held to the same requirements of a landlord to maintain the property under Florida laws. The tenant can send the landlord a '7 day notice to repair' in which the landlord is required to correct the conditions, after which the tenant can break the lease and move out without penalty if not done. It seems the landlord knew of the problems before any prior repairs where made and has a continuing duty to follow up on any repairs made to cure the problem. The Judge will not be concerned if the tenant notifies the landlord about a condition the landlord already knew or should have known about. The landlord would also know about the probability of sinkholes occurring when they purchased insurance for the home. This is the landlords responsibility as it falls outside the scope of the tenants responsibility as this is a major repair issue requiring professional intervention to correct.