Eviction for Non-payment of Rent
In speaking with several Orlando eviction attorneys, we have determined that an estimated 7 of out of 10 evictions are based upon a tenant’s failure to pay rent as required. This often results from a tenant’s inability to pay the full amount of rent or flat out inability to pay any rent whatsoever. Additionally, depending on the language of the lease, other items such as late fees and/or penalties may be considered rent under the lease. That means that a tenant might be required to pay all outstanding rent and late fees/penalties, in full, in order to avoid having an eviction filed against them.
As with any eviction, prior to filing the lawsuit itself, the landlord must provide the tenant with at least 3 days’ notice prior to filing. Three days is the minimum amount of time that a landlord can provide a tenant by Florida law. However, the timeframe within which a tenant must pay rent after receiving a notice can be expanded based upon the terms of the lease agreement.
Eviction for Expired Lease Agreements
Our office often receives calls from tenants whose lease is about to expire and they don’t know what to do. More often than not, those same tenants find out that their landlord will not be renewing their lease thirty days or less from the date that the lease is set to expire. While that is understandably a difficult situation to be in, landlords and tenants alike must realize that a lease is a contract with a set starting point and ending point. From the day that both parties enter into the lease agreement, that lease agreement is set to expire on the date provided. While either party may have the option to renew the lease agreement, this an option, not a requirement.
One of the consequences of staying in a rental property beyond the term of the lease is the possibility of being held accountable for holdover rent. If a tenant stays longer than the lease term, the landlord may pursue them for double rent in certain situations. All parties to a lease agreement should be aware of their responsibilities under the lease when the end point is approaching. Never assume your landlord will renew your lease, or assume that your tenant will continuing living in the property.
Eviction for Unauthorized Animals
Most lease agreements have specific terms regarding animals in the property. Sometimes lease agreements will contain breed restrictions or weight limits for the animals, while others may require a pet fee. If a landlord discovers that a tenant has an authorized pet in the rental property, providing the tenant with a seven (7) day notice, with an opportunity to cure, is often the best course of action. This statutory notice provides the tenant with seven days to remove the unauthorized animal from the property. If the tenant does not remove the animal by the deadline, the landlord is then able to file for eviction. It is also important to note that if the landlord discovers an animal in the property for the second time within 12 months of having provided the tenant with a 7-day notice, the landlord is often then able to provide the tenant with a different type of 7-day notice terminating the lease and requiring that the tenant move out.
Eviction for Failure to Provide Security Deposit
Landlords may sometimes allow a tenant to move into a property before the tenant has paid the full amount of the deposits due under the lease agreement. This sometimes results in a situation where the tenant continues to pay rent on time, but is still in the default of the lease for having failed to provide the full security deposit or last month’s rent. Landlords often make the mistake of thinking that if a tenant owes them any money, the best way to get that money is by serving the tenant with a 3-day notice. That thought process is often incorrect. A 3-day default notice is intended only for non-payment of “rent”—this does not usually include deposits.
One of the best ways to handle this situation is by having the landlord serve the tenant with a 7-day notice for non-compliance, with an opportunity to cure. This notice will provide the tenant with seven days to pay the outstanding deposits or face the possibility of eviction.
Eviction for Noise Disturbances
An eviction based upon a noise disturbance or other type of disturbance can sometimes be some of the most difficult cases for an eviction attorney to prosecute or defend. These types of cases tend to originate more from condominium rentals or apartment complexes than single-family homes. Whether you are the evicting landlord or defending the eviction, these types of cases often boil down to a he said, she said scenario. Establishing whether a noise disturbance took place, or even what qualifies as noise disturbance, can be a difficult task regardless of which side of the fence you are on.
Noise disturbance evictions generally begin with the landlord providing the tenant with a 7-day notice, with opportunity to cure. This notice provides the tenant with seven days to fix the issue causing the disturbance. Should the tenant receive another complaint for the same type of conduct within the 12-months following the initial notice, the landlord is then able to provide the tenant with a 7-day notice requiring that the tenant vacate the property. If the tenant fails to vacate the rental property by the seventh day the landlord is then able to file an eviction to have the tenants removed.
Eviction for Failure to Comply with Terms of Lease Agreement
Although many of the causes for eviction listed above can technically be considered to be based upon a failure to comply with the terms of a lease, there are many other types of defaults. An eviction for failure to comply can result from a tenant failing to maintain the yard, having unauthorized occupants, refusal to provide a landlord with access, or a violation of any other terms provided for in the lease. Generally speaking, a lease can require that a tenant take on certain responsibilities for the property. The tenant’s failure to comply with those terms can often give the landlord grounds to begin the eviction process.
The process for evicting a tenant who has failed to comply with the lease terms is no different than what would be done for a tenant who has unauthorized animals. The tenant is first given 7 days to remedy the issue. If the tenant does not become compliant with the lease within that 7 days period, the landlord may then proceed with filing an eviction. However, even if the tenant complies within the seven days, but then at some point within the next twelve months violate the lease in the same way, the landlord may still be able to move forward with the eviction.
Whether you are a landlord or tenant, our experienced Orlando eviction attorneys are here to help. Our Orlando-based lawyers represent landlords who need assistance evicting troublesome tenants. We also provide eviction defense representation to tenants throughout central Florida who are being wrongfully evicted. We provide a free case review to let you know if we are able to assist. Complete a case review form online or call us at (407) 426-7222 to speak with an eviction attorney today.