Can My Landlord Cancel my Lease in Florida Without Notice?

By  //  January 27, 2023

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In Florida, a landlord must terminate the tenancy before evicting a tenant for several reasons.

A landlord can legally evict a tenant/renter and write an eviction notice per state law. If the tenant does not leave after receiving the written notice, the landlord may seek eviction through the legal system (also sometimes called an “action for possession”).

What is an eviction?

When a landlord makes a tenant leave, this is referred to as an “eviction.” The regulations governing evictions are severe in Florida. To evict a tenant legally, a landlord must fulfill all the required procedures and appear in court.

Why do landlords evict tenants in Florida?

Here are the common reasons why an eviction process is started:

The rent was not paid. Before evicting you, the tenant, your landlord must provide you with a written notice. The notice must be in writing and give you 3 days to pay the rent or leave (vacate). The three-day period does not include weekends, holidays, or the day the notice is given. If you offer to pay the full rent within that time, your landlord has to take it. If the money is less than what is owed, the landlord is not required to take it.

Breaking the rules of their lease. In cases you violate the terms of your lease, your landlord has the right to remove you from the property. This “Eviction for Cause” is not the result of a tenant’s simple failure to pay rent, as with late payments.

Landlords typically evict tenants for being excessively noisy, damaging to property or failing to keep the place clean, careless parking, and permitting animals or unauthorized visitors onto the premises.

Before initiating the eviction process, the landlord must provide the tenant with a written notice of at least 7 days period. This notice serves as a warning to the tenant that they are being evicted and should detail the violations that have led to this. The tenant should be given at least one chance to fix the issue.

If the tenant takes care of the issue, there should be no more consequences (getting rid of the animal, no longer parking in the wrong spot, etc.).

In case of a repeat violation within the 12 months-period, the renter will get an additional 7-day notice. However, this second warning does not allow the tenant to fix the situation. In more severe cases, landlords may issue a 7-day notice with no opportunity for improvement. These situations may arise when a tenant damages, destroys, or misuses the property.

Not having a written lease or having a lease without a termination date. Without a signed lease, a tenant has the right to vacate the premises at any moment throughout the tenancy. The same holds if the lease itself specifies a termination date. In such instances, the tenant may “terminate” the lease for any reason. The tenant may do so without providing the landlord with any notice.

Month-to-month lease. If rent is paid once each month, the notification must be made 15 days before the payment is due. Weekly rent requires notice to be made 7 days before the due date. Any notification of termination must be in writing.

Dos and DON’Ts before signing a lease

If you can, take a walk through the property to see if any problems need to be fixed BEFORE you sign a rental agreement. Take pictures, videos, or notes of things that aren’t clear, and put the rules for fixing things in the rental agreement or on a separate document both parties sign.

A tenant has the same rights as the landlord. You are never required to agree to a rental deal. Make sure you fully understand the agreement’s terms before you sign it.

Don’t sign the agreement if you don’t understand it. There is no grace period for getting out of a rental contract, so if you sign it, you must follow its terms.

A landlord can choose to take different types of deposits and some rent in advance. You shouldn’t pay in advance unless you are sure you are going to move into the unit. If a tenant pays in advance but then decides not to live in the apartment, they MAY NOT be able to get their money back. The rental agreement should say if the money paid in advance is nonrefundable.

Does Receiving a Notice of Lease Termination imply you have to vacate immediately?

No. If you are being sued, you do not have to leave your house until the case has been settled. Before filing a lawsuit, you can relocate if you believe you will be found at fault. All information related to eviction is available to potential new landlords. This may affect whether or not they choose to rent to you.

You may have to pay much more if you lose an eviction case in court. A judge may rule that you must pay your landlord’s legal fees and court costs.