Landlord Tenant Law Questions?
I am a landlord, and I leased a residential condominium to a tenant in Florida. The lease is for 12 months. The lease began November 2008.
In April 2009 the tenant began to delay rent payment, shorten the rent payments, and outright refuse to pay rent. In April 2008 the tenant did not pay rent. After attempting to communicate with the tenant by phone, mail, in person, and by email the tenant kept blowing me off or avoiding my attempts to collect the rent. Finally after pestering the tenant for weeks, he finally paid the April rent on April 28. However, his payment was short or deficient by 0.00.
Then in May 2009 the tenant then again failed to pay rent. Initially, the tenant stated that his wife’s brother passed away, and he had to to out of town to attend the funeral. Then, the tenant stated that he was waiting for payment or compensation on a work project he completed. Then the tenant stated that he had a heart attack, and was in the hospital. Then tenant stated that his wife has pneumonia. Then the tenat stated that he was waiting for his son to give him some money.
Then in late May 2009, the tenant started to complain about ants in the kitchen, and the thermostat not working properly. Shortly thereafter the tenant started to complain about dust conditions from restorative work that was being done on a flight of stairs by other property owners near the condo he is residing at. The tenant then demanded a deduction or adjustment on the rent payment for May 2009 for allegedly experiencing the ants, the thermostat not working right, and the dust conditions from nearby restorative work being done.
I then filed a 3 Day Notice of Notice to pay rent or vacate. The tenant then did not pay the rent within the alloted 3 days. However, the tenant did pay the rent on the 4th day. After speaking with counsel I was advised to proceed with the evicition filing, and reject the tenant’s payment. I did as advised by counsel, and the tenant was served with the summons. The tenant filed an answer within the 5 days, and deposited the past due rent into the court registry. A hearing was granted to determine whether or not the tenant would be evicted.
During the time frame up to the hearing, the tenant kept sending me nasty emails threatening to sue me civilly for property damages, terrible health conditions, loss of use, loss peace and private enjoyment, if I don’t drop the tenant eviction.
Finally the hearing came around over a month later into July 2009, and the judge ruled in the tenant’s favor as to not evict him because he paid the rent even though it was a day beyond or after the alloted 3 days of the 3 day notice. I then filed another 3 day notice in July right after the hearing, and the tenant and my counsel had heated arguments, and debates. The tenant kept pushing with his threats that he is going to file a major civil lawsuit against me for the dust conditions originating from restorative work that another property owner had done on the flight of stairs near the condominium. The tenant kept proposing that I let him stay at the condominium rent free for the remainder of the lease, and he will not sue me. However, neither my counsel, or I gave in to his threats. The tenant finally paid the rent to my counsel on the third day of the three day notice. The past due rent that the tenant had previously paid into the court registry was released to me.
The tenant then did not pay rent for August 2009. I filed another 3 day notice. The tenant did not pay the rent within the alloted three days. The tenant did not pay the rent any time after the alloted three days. I then filed another eviction proceeding. The tenant was served the summons, and filed an answer on the 5th day. However, the tenant did not pay any past due rent whatsoever into the court registry. The tenant also filed a motion to determine rent with his answer to the complaint. My counsel filed an immediate motion for default because the tenant did not pay any past due rent whatsoever into the court registry. The clerk would not submit, write, or grant the immediate motion for default because the tenant submitted an answer to the complaint. In the tenant’s answer to the complaint, the tenant complained about the dust conditions, and asked or seeked judgement from the court for an adjustment or reduction on the rent due for these alleged dust conditions. My counsel then amended the immediate motion for default, and asked for a hearing with a judge as to determine a writ of possession or not being that the tenant refused to pay the rent into the court registry. The hearing was granted.
During the hearing which was today, the judge ordered the tenant to pay the rents due for August 2009, and September 2009 by this coming Monday. Pursuant to the judges order if the tenant fails to pay the rents due by this coming Monday, he will sign the order of eviction, and/or writ of possesion, and the tenant will be evicted. The judge also scheduled
a hearing tentatively and contingent upon if the tenant pays the rent by this coming Monday. If the tenant does not pay the past due rents by this coming Monday, then the Judge will sign, and authorize the writ of possession, and eviction. However, if the tenant does pay the past due rents the judge will grant a hearing to hear the motion for default and decide againg whether to evict the tenant.
My quesions are:
Is there anything else I can do at this point to ensure victory, or is it all out of my hands now and into the hands of the court, and the judge?
When you initially encounter a tenant like this who refuses to pay rent, should you just immediately file the three day notice and not try to work it out with the tenant outside the courts?
Thank you for answering my question. I really appreciate it. What do you mean when you say this tenant will try to take away my property for my abuses?
Is it a good thing that I have counsel representing me in this matter?
Do you think that there is anyting else I could have done, or could potentially do now in the legal process? It is very frustrating because he just keeps lying, scamming, and using whatever means he can to buy time, and avoid paying rent.
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Tagged with: 12 months • ants in the kitchen • attempts • brother • flight of stairs • heart attack • landlord • money • phone mail • pneumonia • property owners • residential condominium • restorative work • summons • tenat • thermostat
Filed under: Florida-Law-Comments
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