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.