Can I Evict a Tenant Who Has Stopped Paying Rent?
A landlord may evict a tenant for failing to pay rent either on time or at all. In Florida, rent is due at the beginning of the pay period, unless the lease agreement provides otherwise. No legal right to a grace period exists, and there are no exceptions for weekends or holidays. If rent is not received on or before the day it is due, it is considered late. A landlord may then begin the eviction process.
What Are Other Grounds for Eviction?
In Florida, besides failing to pay rent on time, a landlord can lawfully evict a tenant for any of the following reasons:
- failing to fulfill his/her tenant responsibilities;
- staying after the lease has ended, regardless of whether rent has been paid on time;
- violating the terms of the lease agreement;
- remaining on a foreclosed property.
Can I Evict a Tenant Without a Written Lease Agreement?
In Florida, a landlord can evict a tenant at any time if there is no written lease agreement. A tenancy that exists without a lease agreement is known as a tenancy at will. A tenancy at will exists for an unspecified amount of time and the tenancy term is determined by the periods at which the rent is payable.
A tenancy at will can be terminated at any time by either the landlord or the tenant by giving the other party notice of termination. How often rent is paid determines how many days’ notice the party terminating the lease must give. If rent is paid yearly, 60 days’ notice must be given. If rent is paid quarterly, 30 days’ notice must be given. If rent is paid monthly, 15 days’ notice must be given. If rent is paid weekly, 7 days’ notice must be given.
What Is Retaliatory Eviction?
Retaliatory conduct is illegal in Florida. Specifically, it is illegal for a landlord to evict or refuse to renew a tenant’s lease because that tenant exercised a legally protected right.
Similarly, it is illegal for a landlord to increase a tenant’s rent or decrease services provided to the tenant for retaliatory reasons. For example, a landlord may not evict a tenant because the tenant complained about an issue with the property to the landlord or a government agency, withheld rent for a legally valid reason, or pursued legal action against the landlord for a valid reason. Landlords must have a good cause to evict a tenant and terminate a lease agreement. Otherwise, a landlord can be sued by his/her tenant.