Whether you are a tenant who rents property in the state of Florida or are a residential landlord in the state, it is essential that you have a good working knowledge of Florida eviction laws. Tenants must understand the law in order to protect themselves from illegal actions, and landlords must know the steps they need to take to properly evict a tenant without getting themselves into trouble. Though either side of the lease agreement may assume that the landlord has the power to simply turn out the lights and lock the door, this is not the case – and in fact, doing so can end up leaving the landlord subject to litigation and having to pay damages to the tenant, even if the tenant owes them rent. If you are a tenant who believes that your rights have been violated or a landlord who needs assistance in properly pursuing an eviction, then call the experienced real estate attorneys at Rothamel Law. We can help you understand your rights and obligations.
The first thing that needs to be understood is that notice needs to be given in order to evict a tenant, and the amount of notice that must be given depends upon the reason that the landlord is taking action. If a tenant has not paid their rent, the required amount of time is three days. The three days can not include weekends or holidays, does not include the day on which notice was served, and the notice must contain very specific information in order to be valid.
In the case of evictions that are being instituted as a result of some kind of disagreement or violation of the rental contract, the landlord is required to provide seven days notification. It must specifically include the reason for the eviction so that the tenant has the opportunity to mitigate the situation. Failure to do so will result in the contract being terminated. In order to ensure that the same problems do not arise again, Florida law insists that the tenant be informed that if the same issue arises within one year of the matter being resolved, then the contract will be terminated with no opportunity to resolve the problem again.
There are no requirements that a specific type of notification be made to the tenant. The state allows personal service simply by leaving the notification with the tenant, sending it by certified mail, or even attaching it to the door of the rental unit. Should the tenant not seek resolution and does not leave, the landlord is not permitted to take matters into their own hands. Doing so could result in civil charges being filed against them by the tenant. Instead, the landlord is required to provide a notarized notification of the eviction at the clerk’s office. This must be served to the tenant by either a sheriff or registered process server.
As a tenant in Florida who has been served with an eviction notice, there are a few defenses available, including improper notification, retaliation on the part of the landlord for complaining about a problem with the property, failure on the part of the landlord to provide a safe or fit property, and discrimination.
If you are facing an eviction or need to make sure that you are providing one that is in compliance with Florida state law, contact the real estate attorneys at Rothamel Law today. We will carefully review your situation and provide you with the legal counsel and assistance that you need to make sure that you are in full compliance with the law, and that your rights are being protected.