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By: Roberto Vazquez

Evicting a Tenant for Lease Violations in Florida: What Should You Know?

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What Are Lease Violations?

There are many reasons why a landlord may choose to evict a tenant in Florida. If the landlord sufficiently warns the tenant with written notice, as required by Florida state law. If the tenant refuses to comply with the written notice, the landlord can file an eviction lawsuit in response.

Some of the most common reasons that a landlord can evict a tenant with cause are if the tenant was not paying rent, committing an illegal act, violating the lease agreement, and more.

Additionally, a landlord can end the lease agreement with a tenant without cause if they are on a month-to-month agreement rather than a fixed term by giving the tenant sufficient notice. This action usually requires at least 30 days’ notice to the tenant.

Three Day Notice To Pay Rent

Typically, as soon as a tenant is late paying rent, the landlord can issue a written three-day notice to pay the past due rent or vacate the premises. The written notice should include specific details regarding how much rent is owed and what date it’s required, taking into account that Saturday, Sunday, and legal holidays do not count toward the three-days.

If the tenant chooses not to abide, they have three days to vacate the premises, and the landlord can pursue the rent that was due and still owed at that time.

Lease Violations and Seven-Day Notice

According to Florida state law, a landlord who discovers a lease violation can send a written notice to the tenant explaining what the violation is and give them seven days from the day they received the letter to amend the breach.

Furthermore, suppose the tenant has been given a seven-day warning before and corrected the violation but is in violation for the second time in twelve months. In that case, they may not receive a second warning and can be asked by the landlord to vacate the premises immediately.

If the tenant does not comply, the landlord can file an eviction lawsuit immediately.

Common Lease Violations

Some of the most common violations are listed below. This list isn’t meant to be exhaustive but instead lists some of the most common violations.

Unlawful pets – in some cases, landlords will allow one or a pet under a certain weight. If the pet discovered living on the premises doesn’t meet the guidelines, this could be grounds for a lease violation. Other landlords don’t allow pets at all, so if one is discovered, it could lead to a seven-day warning or eviction.

Long-term guests – most landlords will have stipulations in the lease agreement relative to guests that stay with their tenants. Typically, there is a time limit for guests, such as a maximum of 48 hours or longer. If the tenant has a guest who stays with them longer than what is allowed, this could subject them to a seven-day notice or eviction.

Property Damage – you likely went through a final walk-through of your space before signing the lease. During this time, the landlord is observing any existing issues or that things are up to par and not in need of repair. If they discover that at some point after you move in, there is now property damage that wasn’t there before, they may choose to warn you to repair the damages within seven days or vacate the premises.

Commercial Use – in some cases, tenants will wish to use their leased space for commercial purposes. This use doesn’t include general work-from-home duties such as the use of your laptop; it applies to those who may have regular supplies shipped in or have clients that frequent their leased space often, and it’s becoming an issue at the property.

Landlord Lease Violations

Tenants aren’t the only ones subject to lease violations. Sometimes, a landlord can be responsible for a lease violation, such as the property being not habitable. If a tenant is living in a property that is unsafe or without regular maintenance, this may be a lease violation on behalf of the landlord.

Tenants also have privacy rights, meaning the landlord can’t just enter the property whenever they choose. Landlords must give tenants reasonable notice to enter the property to complete maintenance, perform repairs, or do regular property evaluations.

Tenants can withhold rent, report code violations, or pursue a lawsuit against the landlord should the violations occur without remedy.

Your Tireless and Fierce Ally

If you are up against a tenant that you need to evict and they are making things challenging, consider working with an experienced real estate lawyer. You don’t have to navigate the tenant process alone. Similarly, you have options if you are a tenant and your landlord is guilty of lease violations. Consult a trusted ally who can help you determine your options and handle the situation to the best of your ability, making you eligible to pursue legal options against them.

With decades of experience in helping our clients in all areas of real estate law, we are confident that we can assist you in protecting yourself and your rights. We specialize in real estate law but can also assist you with civil litigation, estate planning, and more. Our team is comprised of Florida natives who are familiar with laws and how to navigate them effectively.

Contact us today at (407) 904-9166 to learn more about how we can best assist you and formulate a strategy together to help you successfully handle this chapter of your life and move on to the next.