Expert Legal Assistance with Landlord and Tenant Disputes & Evictions
Most apartment rental agreements/leases are written documents and formal contracts today instead of oral agreements that are subject to misinterpretations, but contract disputes still arise frequently between landlords and renters. When a landlord/owner is considering eviction of a tenant/renter, it’s important to know the law, which varies from state to state.
Florida’s Landlord/Tenant Law has specific requirements for both tenants and landlords to follow. For example, a Florida landlord must:
- Comply with applicable building, housing, and health code requirements;
- Make reasonable provisions to exterminate pests, keep a clean and safe common area, provide garbage disposal facilities, and provide functioning facilities for running water, hot water and heat during winter;
- Give a tenant three days’ written notice before filing an eviction notice with the court;
- Give a tenant written notice by certified mail to the tenant’s last known mailing address of how much of the security deposit will be kept and why; and
- Return the tenant’s security deposit within 15 days if the landlord does not intend to impose a claim on it.
Tenants also must comply with several requirements, including keeping the dwelling clean and sanitary, not damaging the dwelling and using the facilities in a reasonable manner. In addition, the tenant must pay rent on time.
If the tenant does not pay the rent or vacates the premises within three days of the landlord’s written notice, the landlord can begin the eviction process by filing suit in county court.
The tenant, however, may withhold rent if the landlord fails to follow the law or the rental agreement. The tenant must notify the landlord in writing about this noncompliance and their intention to withhold rent.
When a tenant doesn’t pay the rent or breaches a rental agreement, the landlord can terminate the rental agreement, retake possession of the dwelling and hold the tenant liable for the rent that is due. In Florida, the landlord may not force a tenant out of a dwelling by shutting off the utilities, changing the locks, removing doors or windows, or removing a tenant’s personal possessions (unless it’s after a lawful eviction).
Every eviction case is different, so it’s imperative for the landlord to obtain legal advice from a qualified attorney before proceeding.
RTRLAW represents landlords in both commercial and residential evictions. We’re there to protect your rights and property. Our experienced attorneys can advise and assist you in resolving your disputes with tenants through arbitration, mediation or other legal remedies, including litigation.
You can meet with an RTRLAW attorney at one of our convenient office locations in Florida: Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Tampa, Lake Worth, Miami, Kissimmee or Jacksonville. At RTRLAW, we’re here for you 24 hours a day, seven days a week.