Eviction and Landlord/Tenant Litigation

Due to the somewhat complicated nature of leasing one’s property to others, it is not unusual for landlords to be misinformed about the laws applying to property rental. Being a landlord can be great opportunity to profit both the rental value of a property and the properties appreciation ver time while the tenants pay to service the debt. However, unfortunatelytenants do not always pay their rent and a landlord may be thrust into a difficult situationof having to navigate the court system to get their assistance evicting the dead beat tenant. The Eviction process can be complicated & tenants sometimes file response and defenses with the court which need to be properly addressed, especially if they deposit funds in the court registry. The Law Offices of David C. Levine, P.A. is ready to assist Landlords prosecuting eviction lawsuits and defend against any affirmative defenses asserted by the tenant. This process of assisting the landlord in prosecuting an eviction action begins with assisting landlord in issuing the proper notification, filing claims, submitting appropriate motions, and any other relevant counsel which may benefit the landlord expediting the eviction.

Termination of tenancy for non-payment of rent
When a tenant fails to make payment on their rent within the agreed-upon interval the first thing to do is give them notice. In the State of Florida a landlord should official notify a residential tenant that their rent payment is late immediately on expiration of any grace period that is provide for in the lease agreement. The Notice must provide the tenant with 3 business days to cure their default (the three (3) day notice must exclude the date of posting, weekends and any legal holidays). It is very important that the landlord does not accept partial payments as this will reset the clock to the very begin of the process. If the Tenant fails to cure their default by paying all of the rent that is owed, a lawsuit may be filed and a Summons must be served upon the tenant, whom must provided with five (5) days to Answer the residential Eviction Complaint.

If no response is received then the landlord may submit a Motion for Default and Default Judgment, as well as necessary affidavits, and a proposed final judgment for removal of the tenant. If the Court finds in favor of the landlord then the Clerk of the Court will issue a writ of possession, which will also be served by the Sheriff upon the tenant.

If the tenant does respond to the complaint filed with the Court, a Notice of Hearing will be issued. The tenant will be required to pay the proposed rent owed into the Registry of the Court. Then, after the hearing the Court will issue a judgment. If the court finds in favor of the landlord, judgment may also include Attorney’s Fees, if personal service was obtained. In all, a landlord may expect litigation proceedings to take up to 30 days until a judgment is issued.

Termination of tenancy for non-compliance other than unpaid rent
When a landlord has an issue with a tenant unrelated to payment of rent, such as property damage or other violations of the lease agreement, it is important to take the necessary step of notifying the tenant. In the State of Florida a 7-day Notice is given in which the landlord provides the tenant a reasonable amount of time to curethe default. If that issue reoccurs within a period of 12 months, or if the issue goes unresolved, then the landlord may file a complaint with the Court to begin litigation proceedings.

Abandonment of personal property post-tenancy
If tenants leave personal property behind after their tenancy is terminated, the landlord must first give notification to the person(s) he/she believes to be the property owners to retrieve the items. After issuing this notice the landlord may put the items into storage, but is not necessarily prohibited from disposing of the items left behind. If the previous tenant or other property owner wishes to reclaim their belongings the landlord may release it to them, as well as passing any costs of storage on to those individuals. Alternatively, should the property owners fail to reclaim their possessions the landlord may put them up for public auction.

Termination of periodic tenancy
A landlord and tenant may only have a periodic tenancy agreement, where it is understood that the tenant is renting the property for a certain period of time as long as they are paying rent. If the landlord wishes to terminate that rental agreement they must give notice so many days in advance according to the period paid for by the tenant. This notice period must also begin no earlier than the day after the end of the current period.

  • Rent paid Annually: 60-day Notice
  • Rent paid Quarterly: 30-day Notice
  • Rent paid Monthly: 15-day Notice
  • Rent paid Weekly: 7-day Notice