Florida Statute 83.60 Defenses to action for rent or possession; procedure

If you expect this law to work you must first send a seven-day notice to the landlord stating what repairs are needed.  Even though the law clearly states two options, but the local judge only recognizes the 7-Day Notice to do the repairs even if you have court case after case from the Florida Supreme Court stating differently. The Florida Supreme Court also states that before an eviction can be given, a Rental Termination Notice must be given, but don’t believe that either.  On a local level, the judges do not recognize that law either.  

Non-written lease which is month to month, Florida Statue 83.57 (3), “When the tenancy is from month to month, by giving not less than 15 days’ notice prior to the end of any monthly period; and”.  The Rental Termination Notice is mandatory in an eviction case, Florida Supreme Court Ruling Ferry-Morse Seed Co. vs. Hitchcok, 426 S.2d 958, 961 (Fla. 1983).

1)    In order for a landlord to maintain an action for tenant eviction for non-payment of rent, the landlord must first give a three-day notice that complies with the statutory requirements of Section 83.56 (3) of the Florida Statues, and

2)    Second properly terminate a tenant’s rental agreement prior to filing a complaint for eviction, Florida Statue 83.56 (3). 

3)    If the landlord gives the statutorily required three-day notice, and

4)    Properly terminates the rental agreement, Prior to filing the eviction action,

5)    Then if the tenant raises any defense other than payment, only then

6)    The tenant must post the rent into the Court Registry or the landlord is entitled to a default judgment pursuant to Section 83.60 (2) of the Florida Statues.  Park Plaza Associates Ltd. vs Glenn D. Paraday and Deborah A. Paraday, Case No. 99-05843 COWE (81) [6 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 730c] decided by the Honorable Jane Fishman on August 20, 1999.

Step 6 is eliminated if the Rental Termination Notice is missing.  A quote from Vance Lee, Plaintiff vs. Robert Partone, Defendant.Due to the fatally defective Three-day Notice, and Plaintiff’s failure to terminate the rental agreement, prior to filing the complaint for tenant eviction, an essential element of Plaintiff’s cause of action cause of action was missing, and there was no requirement for Defendant to pay rent into the Court Registry.”

 

 

83.60  Defenses to action for rent or possession; procedure.–

(1)  In an action by the landlord for possession of a dwelling unit based upon nonpayment of rent or in an action by the landlord under s. 83.55 seeking to recover unpaid rent, the tenant may defend upon the ground of a material noncompliance with s. 83.51(1) [F.S. 1973], or may raise any other defense, whether legal or equitable, that he or she may have, including the defense of retaliatory conduct in accordance with s. 83.64. The defense of a material noncompliance with s. 83.51(1) [F.S. 1973] may be raised by the tenant if 7 days have elapsed after the delivery of written notice by the tenant to the landlord, specifying the noncompliance and indicating the intention of the tenant not to pay rent by reason thereof. Such notice by the tenant may be given to the landlord, the landlord’s representative as designated pursuant to s. 83.50(1), a resident manager, or the person or entity who collects the rent on behalf of the landlord. A material noncompliance with s. 83.51(1) [F.S. 1973] by the landlord is a complete defense to an action for possession based upon nonpayment of rent, and, upon hearing, the court or the jury, as the case may be, shall determine the amount, if any, by which the rent is to be reduced to reflect the diminution in value of the dwelling unit during the period of noncompliance with s. 83.51(1) [F.S. 1973]. After consideration of all other relevant issues, the court shall enter appropriate judgment.

(2)  In an action by the landlord for possession of a dwelling unit, if the tenant interposes any defense other than payment, the tenant shall pay into the registry of the court the accrued rent as alleged in the complaint or as determined by the court and the rent which accrues during the pendency of the proceeding, when due. The clerk shall notify the tenant of such requirement in the summons. Failure of the tenant to pay the rent into the registry of the court or to file a motion to determine the amount of rent to be paid into the registry within 5 days, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays, after the date of service of process constitutes an absolute waiver of the tenant’s defenses other than payment, and the landlord is entitled to an immediate default judgment for removal of the tenant with a writ of possession to issue without further notice or hearing thereon. In the event a motion to determine rent is filed, documentation in support of the allegation that the rent as alleged in the complaint is in error is required. Public housing tenants or tenants receiving rent subsidies shall be required to deposit only that portion of the full rent for which the tenant is responsible pursuant to federal, state, or local program in which they are participating.

12 Responses “Florida Statute 83.60 Defenses to action for rent or possession; procedure” →

  1. Michelle

    November 6, 2008

    I have a question. My landlord filed a defective 3-day notice. Her amounts were incorrect because she included late fees and security deposit for dog. The judge hammered out the correct amount and, although he ordered her to serve a correct 3-day notice to me, he ordered that I pay the correct amount into the registry that day.

    Is that legal?

  2. Actually No. The trouble is that the judges do not recognize the Florida Supreme Court Rulings. Do you have a lease? In not then the court is suppose to follow Florida Statute 83.57.

    Florida Statue 83.57 (3), “When the tenancy is from month to month, by giving not less than 15 days’ notice prior to the end of any monthly period; and”. The Rental Termination Notice is mandatory in an eviction case, Florida Supreme Court Ruling Ferry-Morse Seed Co. vs. Hitchcok, 426 S.2d 958, 961 (Fla. 1983).
    1) In order for a landlord to maintain an action for tenant eviction for non-payment of rent, the landlord must first give a three-day notice that complies with the statutory requirements of Section 83.56 (3) of the Florida Statues, and
    2) Second properly terminate a tenant’s rental agreement prior to filing a complaint for eviction, Florida Statue 83.56 (3).
    3) If the landlord gives the statutorily required three-day notice, and
    4) Properly terminates the rental agreement, Prior to filing the eviction action,
    5) Then if the tenant raises any defense other than payment, only then
    6) The tenant must post the rent into the Court Registry or the landlord is entitled to a default judgment pursuant to Section 83.60 (2) of the Florida Statues. Park Plaza Associates Ltd. vs Glenn D. Paraday and Deborah A. Paraday, Case No. 99-05843 COWE (81) [6 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 730c] decided by the Honorable Jane Fishman on August 20, 1999.

    Step 6 is eliminated if the Rental Termination Notice is missing. A quote from Vance Lee, Plaintiff vs. Robert Partone, Defendant. “Due to the fatally defective Three-day Notice, and Plaintiff’s failure to terminate the rental agreement, prior to filing the complaint for tenant eviction, an essential element of Plaintiff’s cause of action cause of action was missing, and there was no requirement for Defendant to pay rent into the Court Registry.”

    You will need attorney to get this straighten out and that cost money. If you are a Section 8 you can go the Legal Services of Greater Miami located at 3000 Biscayne Blvd and the service should be free.

    Good Luck and hope this will help. Just remember that if you do not put the money in the Court Registery you will be evicted. Read up on the Florida Statutes Chapter 83 Part II.
    You can find the Florida Statutes through my Website http://www.miamicomplaints.com.

    Get back to me if you need more help.
    Thank You
    Ron

  3. if the landlord excepted a part payment of rents owed after the 3 day notice is the eviction still good or does he have to start from day 1

  4. my landlord was in default when he did a lease as well 1 year behind on his hoa in which he charged me for ,he made a deal by email to give me my money back if i moved out by the day we agreed to i did but he backed out of that deal.as well as telling me not to pay rent and then giving me a 3 day notice to get out do i have any rights in florida.

  5. i got to mediate on 4-7-2009 what are my chances of winning this case due to me not paying him for the past 2 months inwhich he told me not to pay what would be a goood defenses since i dont have anything to prove verbal except the phone that she called that day on but i got all emails on the agreement i did except,


  6. wahm23

    May 18, 2009

    I never got back to thank you for the answer because I was evicted. The judge basically told the landlord to serve a correct notice and yet he also demanded I pay into the registry before she did so. She didn’t serve the notice; I didn’t pay.

    Ahhhhh the justice system… such a lovely thing.


  7. mvduvall

    October 15, 2009

    Ok….what if the landlord came up to the tenant’s residence and pulled a gun, in self defense the tenant had punched the landlord in the face and took the gun. Yes, the police were called. The tenant refused to press charges on the landlord. Anyhow the next day or so the tenant was served with a 3-day notice and now a 5 day notice and they have a court date. So the eviction is in retaliation of his own stupidity and got a nice black eye. Is this legal grounds for a eviction? The tenant has been paying the rent and has never been late.

  8. In your case I would talk to an attorney to be able to find out what you can do. I do not know exactly what happened and do not have a copy of your lease. Make sure you take your lease, if you have one, and check with an attorney. This will cost you unelss you are a Section 8 with the government in which you can have them handle this for you.
    An attorney will most likely cost a thousand to start but if you win your case the landlord will have to pay your legal fees. Do not try your case without an attorney because you will lose for sure.
    Good Luck
    Ron

  9. Our tenants did not pay the April rent, they told us flat out they will not be paying it because they are upset that we are not renewing their lease. It was said from the beginning that the lease was for 1 year only & that was why we did not run a background, plus the wife was pregnant, so we were dumb. We submitted the 3 day notice once the grace period was up & had not heard from them, & had gone twice to pick up the rent. We waited for the time in which they said they will not pay. We took them to court for eviction & they answered the judge, did not send us an answer, but I see why. They lied to the judge stating they paid the April payment with the March payment, simply not true! They always paid cash, we would give them a receipt & they also would have my husband sign their piece of paper showing the date & amt paid, which we did in good faith. They also wrote that they had found a place & were leaving at the end of April. We saw the answer on 5/6/14 by going to court & we astonished by the false statements she placed in her answer. We immediately ran to the house to see if they really had vacated but of course they have not. We are going to hearing on 5/15/14. Now 2 mos rent is due. Then since they told us they have been thru this many times I ran a public records search and found they are convicted felons, one of their charges is theft and also failure to return leased property and have been evicted 4 times since 2010, basically every year.Can I show the public records of their criminal charges and the prior eviction notices?

  10. Sorry to hear about your problem with your tenants. I hate bad tenants as much as I hate bad landlords. There are good tenants and good landlords out there adn I am tryoing to help both. Some of the laws are good but the enforcement are not. The problem your having is not uncommon. Since you did the three day notice you should read up on the Florida Statutes Chapter 83 Part II Residential Tenancies

    http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0000-0099/0083/0083ContentsIndex.html&StatuteYear=2011&Title=-%3E2011-%3EChapter%2083

    Read section 83.56 and there are a few others for you to read too. Understand the procedure. You are going to court on May 15, 2014 an at this time the Tenants should have to put any money into the court system if they plan to fight this. Chances are that they know this and will not show up or if they do then I would ask the judge to have them removed from your home. Just make sure yoou have all of your paid receipts from them and all other documents you think you need. Just in case the judge is a bad judge and you do not get what you want, them out, then hire an attorney. Just remember that I am not an attorney and I just give you information on how my experiences have been. Read over the Florida Statutes and also read over your contract at the same time.

    i hope the best for you on May 15, 2014.
    Ron Norman

  11. Thank you, Mr. Norman. This weekend we found they have abandoned the property. We still however would like to attend the hearing this Thursday, chances are they will not show. They have not deposited any monies into the registry. Are we able to enter the property to check for damages?

  12. Glad they are out. Check your lease on what it says about the owner going in and doing repairs. Also I don’t remember but checkout the Florida Statute Section where tenants abandon property. You will either have to check with an attorney on that or wait three days for the court decision. Just make sure you are there at the Court Room on your Court Date, very important.
    You can go after these people for your money but the chances are you will be taking good money and putting toward bad money. Unless they have a good income and property to attach it will be wasting your good money. You would have to check with attorney on that too. I have won law suits and have never collected the money.
    Hope they didn’t destroy the property and you can move on with just a little lost.

    Take care and good luck.

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