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Tenant's Guide to Eviction in Florida: What to Do If You Get a Notice


Receiving an eviction notice is never easy and is shrouded by doubt. While it's not the first step in the process, sometimes landlords skip other parts and move in right with eviction. Understanding your rights as a tenant is crucial and can help you take the following steps to either complying with or fighting against the claim. However, many renters aren't sure of the steps to take and are left mystified. If your landlord filled out a proper eviction notice template, make sure you read the four critical tips below before you sign anything. As a tenant, you have rights, and you should exercise them to your liking. 


1. Find out the Reason


When you enter into any residence as a tenant, it's considered a contract. The contract is generally made to protect both the tenant and the landlord, lining out the living situation's specifics. It is only under any circumstance that you do not follow the contract that the landlord can evict you so, the first thing you should do is find out why. 


First, check Florida state and your local county laws regarding the basics of those within a living arrangement. Then, consult your own contract that you signed when moving in. Within this contract, there should be specific details of which reasons for eviction are lined out. If you still have doubts, check with an attorney and bring your case. Common reasons include: 


  • Failure to keep up with rent

  • Destruction or damage to property or land

  • Unpermitted circumstances like subletting or renting 

  • Keeping the property in unsanitary conditions

  • Constantly disturbing the neighbors 


2. Check the Florida Laws 


Once you find out the reason why you're being evicted, you'll need to act fast. It's best to check the laws and ensure that your landlord is following or within the laws. For the state of Florida, you would need to check Chapter 83 of the Florida Statutes, specifically Sections 83.40 to 83.683, which cover all the procedures regarding residential tenancies.


Landlords must also abide by specific laws when attempting to evict a tenant. In Florida, they must first send a notice to quit, which is like a legal warning. Then, they must file the proper paperwork to evict. These documents must include the exact date on which you are to vacate and come with attached legal documentation for you to hold on to for your records.


3. Respond ASAP


Getting an eviction notice is never easy, but you must be prepared to put your emotions aside and respond as soon as possible. Not only is this a way to find out the reason, but it could give you a chance to work something out. In most cases, once you have received the notice, you're only given a short amount of time to respond. There are a few eviction types used in Florida, starting from a 3-day notice to quit to a 30-day eviction notice, which is commonly used for the termination of a quarterly tenancy. 


Therefore, it is essential to understand what type of notice you’re dealing with so that you can make sure to respond in time and avoid missing the date at all costs. This will work against you if you're hoping to make a counteroffer or try to fight your case. 


4. Make a Counteroffer 


A lot of residents don't know that an eviction notice is not set in stone. You still have a chance to speak with your landlord and make arrangements to avoid getting kicked out of your house. For instance, if it's an overdue rent issue, you could attempt to make arrangements with them to pay a little extra every month until you catch up. If it's something to do with property damage, you could agree to replace items or pay for the damages in exchange to continue living there. No matter your case, you have a chance to make a counterclaim and attempt to regain a good stance with your landlord. Though you do have the possibility, if the landlord is within the contract lines, they have every right to evict you legally, even if you promise to rectify the situation. 


5. Wrongful Eviction



There are situations in which tenants have been wrongfully evicted. For instance, in Florida, it is illegal to evict a tenant without sending them an adequate notice. In any case, you'll need to gather all of your paperwork and contract and head to your local renter's board. If you think you have a case and a reason (and proof) to believe that you've been wrongfully accused or discriminated against, then, you'll need to take a few steps before you take legal action. Some lawyers specialize in these kinds of contracts and will be able to advise you on your next steps. Keeping track of all conversations, contracts, and your eviction notice is critical to your case, so make sure you come prepared. 


Communication Is Key 


When you receive an eviction notice, the first thing you should do is not panic. Check the date of your eviction and make sure that you take action before it's too late. You are in your legal right to decide what to do next, but you should always choose communication over anything else. In a situation like this, things can often be resolved with communication between both parties without involving any lawyers or additional paperwork. 


Remember that without taking action, you're admitting that you agree to the terms. Thus, if you don't show up to a hearing, the court will award your landlord without considering your side of the story. Whatever the situation, make sure that you come prepared and save a copy of everything to make your case and try to avoid eviction or at least come to terms with your landlord before you lose your home. 

    

 

Moughees Butt

"Thirst to learn and explore till he finds ecstasy" are Moughees's pivot charms! He loves to craft and comprehend deeply anything happens around!

 

By Moughees Butt.

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