The Florida Landlord-Tenant Act, Section 83 of the Florida Statutes, governs the landlord and tenant relationship. Under Florida law, as a tenant, you have legal rights against evictions without notice. Landlords must provide you with at least three days’ written notice to pay or leave your apartment when you are behind in rent before they can pursue a legal eviction in court. For incurable lease violations, you have at least seven days to leave before your landlord can pursue a legal eviction.
Your rental agreement will define the notice your landlord must give you before filing an eviction lawsuit in county court. Landlords must provide tenants with at least seven days’ written notice of termination when they pay rent every week. If you pay rent every month and you did not sign a lease agreement, your landlord may need to give you at least 15 days’ written notice before terminating your tenancy.
Incurable Lease Violations
Under Florida law, if you violate your lease obligations, the amount of notice your landlords must give you depends on the severity of the violation. Incurable violations include intentionally damaging property, continuing noise violations and illegal activities. If you violated your lease agreement by engaging in any of these activities, then your landlord only needs to give you seven days’ advance written notice to vacate without providing you with an opportunity to cure. After seven days, your landlord can begin legal eviction proceedings to have a sheriff remove you from your apartment.
Curable Lease Violations
Curable violations are lease violations that tenants can cure. For these violations, your landlord must give you at least seven days to remedy your violation before she can evict you. Examples of curable lease violations include parking in unauthorized areas, allowing guests to stay overnight for extended periods and no-pet policy violations. If you cure your lease violation within seven days of your landlords’ written notice, then your landlord cannot legally evict you. However, under Florida law, your landlord can evict you without providing you with a second opportunity to cure if you breach your lease again.
Nonpayment of Rent
Landlords can proceed with legal evictions after just one missed rent payment. For nonpayment of rent, your landlord must give you three days’ written notice to pay your rent or leave your apartment, also known as a "pay or quit" notice. Your landlord may personally deliver this notice to you or send the notice to you. If you pay your rent obligations within three days, then your landlord cannot force you to leave. If you pay rent after three days and your landlord accepts your payment, then your landlord waives his right to pursue a legal eviction by accepting your rent or "tender." To evict you for nonpayment, your landlord must file a lawsuit in your county court, and serve you with the complaint and summons. After obtaining a “writ of possession” against you, you have 24 hours to leave before the landlord can ask the local sheriff’s office to escort you out of your apartment.
Since real estate laws can frequently change, you should not use this information as a substitute for legal advice. Seek advice through an attorney licensed to practice law in your jurisdiction.
- The Florida Bar Association: Tenants’ Rights in Florida (March 2011)
- The Florida PIRG Education Fund: Renter’s Rights Handbook (A Guide to Landlord-Tenant Relations)
- American Landlord. "State Eviction Laws for Curable Violations." Accessed Oct. 6, 2020.
- Justia. "Eviction." Accessed Oct. 6, 2020.
- Nolo. "How to Delay an Eviction." Accessed Oct. 6, 2020.
- Experian. "How Does an Eviction Affect Your Credit Report?" Accessed Oct. 6, 2020.
- Fair Credit Reporting Act. "§ 1681c. Requirements Relating to Information Contained in Consumer Reports." Accessed Oct. 6, 2020.
Jill Stimson has worked in various property management positions in Maryland and Delaware. Stimson worked for the top three property management companies in the commercial industry and focuses her career on property building logistics and tenant relationships. She holds a Juris Doctor and a Bachelor of Science in psychology.