Evicting Non-Compliant Tenants In Florida
Landlord-tenant law is a forever-contentious area, often with both sides of legal disputes being firmly convinced they are in the right. However, when a tenant does something to deliberately break their lease or breach one or more of the terms, the landlord’s right to evict the tenant is crystal clear. If you are trying to evict a Florida tenant, but they refuse to leave, you have options to ensure that you recover possession of your property.
Lease Violations Are “Non-Compliant”
The most common form of eviction occurs over non-payment of rent. However, eviction for ‘non-compliance’ occurs when a tenant breaches their lease for any other reason – for example, if they willfully damage the property, or rack up several noise violations, or sublet the property without permission of the landlord, among other reasons. Some other, less common violations of the lease may include keeping unauthorized pets or engaging in illegal activity.
In general, it is recommended to give tenants up to 7 days to cure the defect – so, for example, rehoming an unauthorized pet, or repairing damage to the property. However, for some lease violations, this is not necessary – perhaps the most often seen is if your tenants have been engaging in illegal activity; in this scenario a landlord may simply terminate the lease immediately and give the tenants those 7 days to leave the premises, whether the defect is cured or not.
Abide By State Regulations
The actual process of non-compliance eviction in Florida is fairly straightforward. If a tenant has not complied with a previously-served Notice to Comply or Quit, the landlord can start the eviction process by filing a complaint in the appropriate District Court. The more detail included in the complaint, the better; very often, landlord-tenant cases boil down to the proverbial “he said/she said” situation, and the more facts contained in the paperwork, the better.
It is crucial for a landlord to remember that even if a tenant has violated their lease terms, their eviction must still comply with state regulations. If a landlord, for example, engages in harassment like turning off a tenant’s utilities or routinely entering the tenant’s property without notice or consent, the court may allow the tenant to seek damages even if the eviction was appropriate.
Contact A Tampa Eviction Attorney
A landlord has the right to evict a tenant who has deliberately not complied with the terms of their lease. However, they must do so in accordance with state and federal law, and not engage in “self-help” behaviors that can land them in hot water. A Tampa eviction attorney from the Seward Law Office can help to ensure that the process is respected. Contact our office today at 813-252-6789 to schedule a consultation.