Eviction, An Introduction

Initially, when I set out to write this article it was to elaborate and elucidate the Florida Statutes regarding eviction; however, pragmatism gave way to a more general, lighter introduction for this first article on eviction. This article will serve to discuss the obligations of tenants and landlords, defining their relationships and discussing legal council, when appropriate. For those already familiar with the law, this may be rather boring, but for those that are just getting started it will hopefully provide a jumping off point.

Defining Tenants and Landlords

Most everyone knows that a tenant rents property from a landlord, but a few points should be noted before we skip ahead. For example, a tenant-landlord relationship does not require a lease (though, a lease agreement is extremely common). Also, a tenant-landlord relationship does not require a specific type of property, such as a house or apartment. The property may also be government housing, commercial structures or mobile homes, among others. And finally, a tenant-landlord relationship does not require specific individuals. Either party may be represented by a private individual, government entity or corporation.

Landlord Rights

The most obvious right for a landlord is the right to be paid rent for the use of property, but they also have rights to protect their property against the tenant's negligence and may make inspections to insure this (with proper notifications given). Beyond this, the landlord has more obligations (see below) than rights, but fortunately the law provides resources to protect these basic rights and solve problems through defined legal processes. Evictions require strict adherence to these processes, so working with an experienced and professional attorney is highly recommended (and quite affordable).

Tenant Rights

A tenant in Florida has basic rights provided for by the Florida Statutes in Chapter 83, Part 2. These rights might also be bolstered by federal rights depending on the situation and may be affected by the lease agreement. However, the Statutes take priority over the lease agreement.

So, now that you know where to look for more specifics, let's gloss over the more general. Tenant rights, a list:

  • Right to privacy (notification of required or requested visits is required of landlords, except perhaps under certain dangerous conditions).
  • Right to adequate housing (the structure has to comply with certain rules, like having a roof and being free of pests).
  • Right to notification (a landlord can't just kick someone out, they have to notify the tenant before any actions are taken).
  • Right to be heard (any time there is a discrepancy between a landlord and a tenant, the tenant has a right to present their side and may in some cases legally withhold rent).
  • Right to leave (there are rules regarding lease requirements, timelines, and notifications, but a tenant has options should they need to move).

Of course, all of this doesn't even nick the surface of the details contained within eviction law, but you already knew that. As always, we suggest the very practical advice of calling us for a free consultation and get a professional Eviction Attorney on your side sooner than later. Until next time, reader!