what are the laws in florida for eviction

    i allowed a homeless person onto my property he has now essentially taken my property and it appears that under florida i have to spend money i dont have to put him out there is no lease or verbal agreement not taken any rent fom the individual

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    Florida's Landlord/Tenant Law
    Summary of Chapter 83, Part II - Florida Statutes
    View the Full Florida Statute | Download Brochure : English or Español
    Most renters are aware they have certain rights when they are involved in a dispute with their landlord, however they often don't know what those rights are. This brochure was developed by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to answer many of the questions frequently asked about landlord/tenant relationships. This brochure is NOT meant to be a complete summary of Florida's Landlord/Tenant law. This brochure is not intended for the purpose of providing legal advice. For additional information not addressed, refer to Chapter 83 of the Florida Statutes.

    This information applies to those who rent a dwelling unit as described in Section 83.43, F.S.

    Before you Rent...
    Walk through the premises to identify any problems that should be fixed BEFORE you rent. Take pictures, video or make notes of any questionable conditions and include provisions for repairs in the rental agreement or in a separate written document signed by both parties.

    A tenant is an equal party with the landlord. You never have to agree to any rental arrangement. Before renting a dwelling, be sure the rental agreement covers ALL the issues addressed in this brochure. Before you sign, make sure you thoroughly understand the terms of the agreement. If you DON'T understand, DON'T sign the rental agreement. There is no grace period allowed for canceling rental agreements, so if you sign, you are bound to the agreement.

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    Oral and Written Rental Agreements
    A rental agreement is an agreement to rent property (commonly referred to as leases). Rental agreements may be either written or oral. Most rental agreements are written because oral agreements can be subject to misunderstandings and are difficult to prove. A written rental agreement can be a formal contract, or simply a copy of a letter stating the rights and obligations of both the landlord and tenant.

    Florida law requires that notices to and from a landlord must be in writing, even if the rental agreement is oral. You should always retain a copy of any correspondence to and from your landlord.

    Section 83.46(2), F. S.
    If the rental agreement contains no provision as to duration of the tenancy, the duration is determined by the periods for which rent is payable (week-to-week, month-to-month, etc.). All other terms are either those specifically addressed by law or those that are part of the agreement between you and your landlord.

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    Deposit and Rent Requirements
    Section 83.49, F. S.
    A landlord has the discretion to collect various deposits as well as some rent in advance. These advance payments generally vary in range. You should be careful about making any deposit unless a definite decision has been made to move into the unit. A tenant who puts down a deposit but then decides not to occupy the unit, MAY NOT be entitled to a refund. If a deposit is non-refundable it should be stated in the rental agreement.

    A damage deposit is the most common requirement of landlords. At the time of the pre-rental walk-through with the landlord, you should make note of damaged items or areas, worn rugs, broken fixtures, etc. and give a copy to the landlord. Keep a copy for your files, which may help eliminate or minimize disputes later.

    When you move out, the landlord must either return your deposit within 15 days of termination of the rental agreement, if the landlord does not intend to impose a claim upon the security deposit; or justify in writing by certified mail, to the tenant's last known mailing address within 30-days upon termination of a rental agreement, as to why they are keeping a portion of or all of the deposit. If the notice is not sent as required within the 30-day period, the landlord forfeits his/her right to impose a claim upon the deposit, unless you fail to give proper notice prior to vacating.

    Section 83.49, 3(b)(c), F. S.
    Unless you object to the imposition of the landlord’s claim or the amount thereof within 15 days after receipt of the landlord’s notice of intention to impose a claim, the landlord may then deduct the amount of his or her claim and shall remit the balance of the deposit to you within 30 days after the date of the notice of intention to impose a claim for damages. If you object to the landlord’s claim you may file a complaint with the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services or institute an action in a court of competent jurisdiction to adjudicate the landlord’s right to the security deposit.

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    Who is Responsible???
    You and your landlord share many of the responsibilities. Maintenance of the premises is a good example. Your landlord must provide a healthy, properly maintained place for you to live. You are required to keep the premises in good condition and to occupy them as a peaceful neighbor.

    There are certain responsibilities that apply to each party as outlined by law.

    The Landlord
    Section 83.51(1), F.S.
    The landlord's responsibilities will depend on the type of rental unit. The landlord of a dwelling unit at all times during the tenancy shall:

    Section 83.51(1)(a)(b), F.S.

    Comply with the requirements of applicable building, housing and health codes; or
    Where there are no applicable building, housing or health codes; maintain the roof, windows, screens, floors, steps, porches, exterior walls, foundations and all other structural components in good repair and capable of resisting normal forces and loads;
    Keep the plumbing in reasonably good working condition.
    The landlord's obligations may be altered or modified in writing with respect to a single family dwelling or duplex.

    Section 83.51(2)(a), F.S.
    In addition to providing the above requirements, the landlord of a dwelling unit other than a single-family home or duplex shall, at all times of the tenancy, make reasonable provisions for:

    Extermination of rats, mice, ants and wood destroying organisms and bed bugs.
    Locks and keys.
    Clean and safe conditions of common areas.
    Garbage removal and outside receptacles.
    Functioning facilities for heat during winter, running water and hot water.
    Section 83.51(2)(b), F.S.
    If the dwelling is a single-family home or duplex, a working smoke detection device.

    This does not mean that the landlord is obligated to pay for utilities, water, fuel or garbage removal, although he/she may choose to. Other provisions relevant to a rental agreement may also be altered in writing.

    The Tenant
    Section 83.52, F.S.
    A tenant, at all times during the tenancy shall:
    Comply with all building, housing and health codes.
    Keep the dwelling clean and sanitary.
    Remove garbage from the dwelling in a clean and sanitary manner.
    Keep plumbing fixtures clean, sanitary and in repair.
    Not destroy, deface, damage, impair or remove any part of the premises or property belonging to the landlord, nor permit any person to do so.
    Conduct him/herself, and require other persons on the premises with his/her consent, to conduct themselves in a manner that does not unreasonably disturb the tenant's neighbors or constitute a breach of the peace.
    Use and operate in a reasonable manner all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning and other facilities and appliances, including elevators.
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    Access to the Premises
    Section 83.53(1), F.S.
    The tenant shall not unreasonably withhold consent to the landlord to enter the dwelling unit from time to time in order to inspect the premises.

    Section 83.53(2), F.S.

    The landlord may enter the dwelling unit at any time for the protection or preservation of the premises.
    The landlord may enter the dwelling unit upon reasonable notice to the tenant and at a reasonable time for the purpose of repair of the premises. "reasonable notice" and "reasonable time are defined as twelve (12) hours prior to the entry and between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.
    The landlord may also enter at any time when:

    The tenant is absent from the premises for a period of time equal to one-half the time for periodic rental payments. If the rent is current and the tenant notifies the landlord of an intended absence, then the landlord may enter only with the consent of the tenant or for the protection or preservation of the premises.
    The tenant has given consent;
    The tenant unreasonably withholds consent; and/or,
    In an emergency;
    The landlord shall not abuse the right of access nor use it to harass the tenant.
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    Failure to Meet Obligations
    If the Landlord Does Not Comply, Section 83.56(1), F.S.
    A tenant must notify the landlord, in writing, by hand delivery or mail, of non-compliance of the statutory requirements (s. 83.51(1)) or material provisions of the rental agreement. The written notice shall also indicate the tenant's intention to terminate the rental agreement due to this non-compliance. The tenant may terminate the rental agreement if the landlord fails to come into compliance within seven (7) days after delivery of the written notice.

    If the Tenant Does Not Comply, Section 83.56(2), F.S.
    Except for the failure to pay rent, a landlord must notify a tenant in writing of any perceived non-compliance.

    If the issue is curable as outlined in statute, the tenant will have seven (7) days in which to correct the issue. If the tenant still has not complied after seven days, the landlord can begin the eviction process based on non-compliance.
    If the issue is one in which the tenant should not be given an opportunity to cure it as outlined in statute, the tenant will have seven days to surrender the premises.

    Each eviction case is unique, so be sure to obtain legal advice. A landlord MAY NOT evict you solely in retaliation for the tenant complaining to a governmental agency about code violations or asserting other tenant rights.

    Non-Payment of Rent , Section 83.56(3), F.S.
    The landlord must serve the tenant a written notice allowing three days (3), excluding weekends and legal holidays, for the payment of the rent or vacating of the premises. If the tenant does not pay the rent or vacate, the landlord may begin legal action to evict.

    In order for the landlord to gain payment of rent or possession of the dwelling, he/she must file suit in county court. The clerk of the county court will then send the tenant notification by summons. The tenant must meet the requirements outlined in the summons within the timeframe cited. Failure to meet these requirements may result in a judgment being entered against you. The clerk of the county court will then issue a "Writ of Possession" to the sheriff who will notify you that eviction will take place in 24 hours.

    If the Landlord Does Not Comply, Section 83.60 (1), F.S.
    The tenant MAY be able to withhold rent if the landlord fails to do what the law or rental agreement requires. A tenant must notify the landlord, in writing, by hand delivery or mail, of the non-compliance. The written notice shall also indicate the tenant's intention to withhold rent due to this non-compliance. The tenant may withhold rent if the landlord fails to come into compliance within seven (7) days after delivery of the written notice.

    Please note, if these events transpire, the landlord can present the tenant with a three (3) day notice for payment of rent under s. 83.56(3).

    Section 83.595, F.S.
    Upon breach or early termination of the rental agreement by the tenant, the landlord's potential remedies may include:

    Terminating the rental agreement, retaking possession of the dwelling unit, and terminating any further liability of the tenant.
    Retaking possession of the dwelling unit, holding the tenant liable for the difference between the rent stipulated to be paid under the rental agreement and what the landlord is able to recover from reletting the dwelling unit.
    Stand by and do nothing, holding the lessee liable for the rent as it comes due.
    Section 83.67, F.S.
    Florida Law does not allow a landlord to force a tenant out by:

    Shutting off the utilities or interrupting service, even if that service is under the control of the landlord or the landlord makes the payment;
    Changing the locks or using a device that denies the tenant access;
    Removing the outside doors, locks, roof, walls or windows (except for purposes of maintenance, repair or replacement); and/or
    Removing the tenant's personal property from the dwelling unless the action is taken after the surrender, abandonment, or recovery of possession of the dwelling unit due to the death of the last remaining tenant in accordance with section 83.59(3)(d), or after lawful eviction.
    If any of these occur, the tenant may sue for actual and consequential damages or three (3) months' rent, whichever is greater, plus court costs and attorney's fees.

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