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What is an unlawful detainer?
Unlawful detainer is when friends, family members or other persons are allowed to stay on a property with no rent or payment and then refuse to leave. There is no lease or rental agreement and no landlord/tenant relationship.
What is an ejectment?
An ejectment is similar to unlawful detainer because there is no lease or landlord/tenant relationship. But in an ejectment case, the person the owner of the property wants to leave claims to have some sort of right to the property.
What are my rights as a tenant in Florida?
As a tenant in Florida, it is important to understand your rights and responsibilities. The state of Florida has specific laws that protect tenants from unfair treatment by landlords. Knowing these laws can help you avoid disputes and ensure that you are treated fairly.
- Right to a habitable dwelling: As a tenant, you have the right to live in a safe and healthy environment that meets basic housing codes and health standards.
- Right to privacy: Your landlord cannot enter your rental unit without giving proper notice, except in emergencies or specific situations outlined in the lease agreement.
- Right to quiet enjoyment: You have the right to enjoy your rental unit without interference from the landlord or other tenants.
- Right to fair treatment: Landlords cannot discriminate against tenants on the basis of race, gender, religion or other protected classes.
- Right to timely repairs: If something needs repair in your rental unit, your landlord must address it within a reasonable timeframe after being notified by you.
If you think your landlord has either violated your lease or the Florida Statutes, please schedule a consultation. We can help ensure your landlord is not taking advantage of you and we will make sure that you are able to assert any available rights against the landlord. This may include requiring the landlord to make certain repairs to the property or terminating the lease, if the situation allows for it.
What are my rights in Florida as a landlord?
As a landlord in Florida, it’s important to understand your rights and responsibilities. Here are some key things that you should know about your rights as a landlord in the Sunshine State.
- You have the right to charge a security deposit from your tenant, but there are limits on how much you can charge. In general, you cannot charge more than one month’s rent as a security deposit.
- Under Florida law, you have the right to enter your rental property for certain reasons such as performing repairs or showing the unit to prospective tenants. However, you must provide reasonable notice to your tenant before entering.
- As a landlord in Florida, you have the right to evict tenants who violate their lease agreement or fail to pay rent on time. However, there is a legal process that must be followed before an eviction can take place.
COMMON ISSUES FACED BY LANDLORDS AND TENANTS IN FLORIDA
- Non-payment of rent or lease payments
- Security deposits
- Repairs and maintenance of leased premises
- Breach of terms contained in the lease or rental agreement
- Residential and commercial evictions
- Landlord-tenant litigation
- Negotiation and drafting of commercial lease agreements and residential rental agreements
- Disputes referred to arbitration or mediation
Terminating a Tenancy Without Cause in Florida
Terminating a tenancy without cause in Florida can be a bit tricky. It is important to understand the laws and regulations surrounding this process before making any moves. Generally, a landlord can terminate a tenancy without cause by providing the tenant with proper notice.
In Florida, the law requires landlords to provide tenants with at least 15 days’ notice before terminating their lease agreement without cause. This notice must be in writing and should state that the landlord is terminating the tenancy without cause and provide an effective date of termination. The notice should also include instructions for returning keys, cleaning up the rental property and other details related to ending the tenancy.
It is important for landlords to follow all legal requirements when attempting to terminate a tenancy without cause in Florida. Failure to do so could result in legal consequences or even fines.
How to Terminate a Fixed-Term Lease in Florida
Landlords can’t terminate fixed-term tenancies without cause, they must wait until the term of the tenancy ends. Then, it’s simply a matter of not renewing the tenant’s lease. And, unless the lease states otherwise, Florida landlords don’t have to give tenants notice that the lease isn’t being renewed. For example, if the tenant has a lease for one year that expires in December and the tenant hasn’t requested a lease renewal, the landlord won’t need to give the tenant notice to move by the end of December unless the lease specifically requires it.
Steps of the Eviction Process in Florida
The eviction process can be a daunting task for both landlords and tenants. In Florida, there are specific steps that must be followed to legally evict a tenant. Here are the steps of the eviction process in Florida:
In Florida, the eviction process begins with the landlord providing written notice. This can be delivered in person, via mail, or by leaving the notice in a clearly visible place (ex. Front door). It is crucial that the landlord keeps a signed copy of this notice for proof.
If the tenant remains on the property after the notice period, the landlord may then file an eviction lawsuit in the court of the proper county. This can be done conveniently by using Florida Courts’ e-filing portal. This complaint should include the landlord and tenants’ names, the address of the rental property, the reason for eviction, and when any Florida eviction notices were provided. After being notarized, it’s sent to a process server or the county sheriff, who will then serve each tenant.
Once the tenant has been served with the summons and complaint, they have the option to contest the complaint. This response must be in writing and filed within 5 days. A tenant contesting the complaint may make the eviction process take longer. If the tenant has a valid reason why the landlord should not evict them (ex, false accusations from the landlord, or the tenant resolving a curable issue), then the court may dismiss the eviction lawsuit if they find the claim to be true. If the tenant does not contest the claims, then the eviction will continue with the following steps.
This step is when the landlord moves forward to obtain a Judgment for Possession. Both the landlord and the tenant must bring a copy of the lease or rental agreement, the written eviction notice, the complaint, and any evidence to help prove their eviction case to the hearing. If the tenant fails to show up to the hearing, the judge will rule in favor of the landlord.
If the judge rules in favor of the landlord, a writ of possession will then be issued. This is a court order served by a sheriff that gives the tenant 24 hours to vacate the property before being forcibly removed.
This is when the sheriff returns the rental unit to the landlord by placing a padlock on the unit’s door. If the tenant remains in the rental unit, they may be forcibly removed.
Terminating a Tenancy for Cause in Florida
Terminating a tenancy for cause in Florida is a legal process that allows landlords to evict tenants who violate the terms of their lease agreement. The term “for cause” refers to situations where the tenant has breached the lease agreement, such as failure to pay rent or engaging in illegal activities on the property. The procedure for terminating a tenancy for cause can be complex and it’s important to understand your rights and responsibilities as both a landlord and tenant.
Under Florida law, landlords must provide tenants with written notice of any lease violations before filing an eviction suit. The notice must specify the nature of the violation and give the tenant seven days to either correct the issue or vacate the premises. If the tenant fails to comply with this notice within seven days, then landlords may proceed with filing an eviction lawsuit in court.
Frequently Asked Questions
The differences between eviction and ejectment in Florida. An eviction in Florida is predicated on the concept that the occupant has a legal right to occupy the premises. In contrast, ejectments are based on the reality that the occupant has no such legal right.
It is similar to an eviction proceeding except that in an Unlawful Detainer case, there is no landlord/tenant relationship between parties, i.e., there is no agreement to pay rent, either verbal or in writing. If there is an agreement to pay rent, verbal or in writing, you should consider an eviction case.
Florida law does not require that a property owner provide the occupant with a notice to vacate before filing an unlawful detainer action. A notice to vacate is only needed in an eviction. Nevertheless, it may be worth providing the occupant with notice before filing suit because it may compel them to leave.
If your landlord has broken the law by locking you out, cutting off your utilities, or doing one of the other illegal things listed, you can sue your landlord in court.