Landlords often have questions regarding when they can evict non-paying or destructive tenants. If your tenants violate the terms of their lease, you may be wondering what recourse you have and whether you can evict them.

The Residential Landlord-Tenant Act addresses this issue in Florida.

A few years ago, Florida legislators amended the Residential Landlord-Tenant Act, giving additional protection to renters, but also allowing landlords to carry out evictions more quickly.

Lease Violations

Under the amended legislation, tenants who violate significant provisions of the lease, such as having pets in violation of lease terms or not paying rent on time, must be given notice that they have seven days to correct the breach, also called curing the lease. If tenants still do not remedy the problem, landlords can initiate eviction proceedings after the seventh day without giving any further notice.

Previously, landlords had to issue an additional notice after the seven-day cure time. Many tenants, however, were abusing the grace period, taking longer to comply with rental agreements. Allowing you to terminate leases more quickly minimizes lost income, as you can get a new tenant moved in sooner.

Partial Rent Payments

When tenants make only partial rent payments, landlords who accept them can still begin the eviction process in the same month. However, they must give renters a receipt for partial payments and supply records of those payments to the court registry when filing for eviction. Landlords must give tenants notice to make a full payment or vacate the premises within three days.

In the past, some judges declared that landlords who accepted partial payments could not evict tenants in the same month those payments were received. Tenants who made partial payments gave themselves more time to pay in full by making up the difference when they paid the next month’s rent. Landlords no longer have to allow this untimely payment system.

As a landlord, you also have the right to evict tenants who commit crimes or do not consistently keep the premises clean and sanitary. Tenants are also considered to be in violation if they park in non-designated areas or have unauthorized guests staying with them. You can begin removal proceedings if they cause considerable damage beyond the normal wear and tear that occurs in the course of daily living. If renters or their guests disturb the peace, landlords can have them removed from the premises. For very serious violations, you do not have to provide the seven-day lease cure period.

As a landlord, it’s crucial to know your rights and responsibilities so you know how and when to proceed with an eviction. Not having the law behind you can result in delays and legal disputes, which can devastate your income from rental property. If you have questions or require legal guidance in performing evictions, feel free to contact our office.

Provided by Law Office of Sam J. Saad III