3 Day Eviction Notice

 

Bass v. Combs, 6 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 438a (Alachua Co. 1999)

A 3-day eviction notice will be deemed insufficient as a matter of law where it demands amounts in excess of rent unless those additional amounts are agreed to in writing signed by the tenant.

Wade Bass, Plaintiff, v. Leanne Combs, Defendant. County Court, 8th Judicial Circuit In And For Alachua County, Florida. Civil Division. Case No. 99-196-LT.  Order entered on March 9, 1999 by Judge Ysleta McDonald.

Cite as: Bass v. Combs, 6 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 438a (Alachua Co. 1999).

In this eviction proceeding, the Plaintiff, Wade Bass (the "Landlord"), sued the Defendant, Leanne Combs (the "Tenant") for eviction as a result of the Tenant's failure to pay her rent under an oral month-to-month lease.  The parties agreed that the Tenant had possession of the rental property pursuant to such oral lease wherein the Tenant agreed to pay $350 per month.

When the Tenant failed to pay the rent as agreed, the Landlord served the Tenant with a 3 day eviction notice demanding payment of the rent or possession of the property.  However, the Landlord's eviction notice admittedly demanded monies in excess of the amount of rent then due, including charges for electricity and other fees to the mobile home park.

Florida Statute § 83.43(6) provides, that "rent" is defined as "the periodic payments due the landlord from the tenant for occupancy under a rental agreement and any other payments due the landlord from the tenant as may be designated as rent in a written rental agreement."

In an oral month-to-month tenancy, "rent" does not include electric bills, lates charges or any other fees, unless agreed to in writing. 

The eviction law is well-established that a three-day notice that demands amounts other than rent due is legally defective and fails to terminate the tenancy.  Douglas v. Tillman, 5 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 561a (Broward Co. 1998); Mendex-Weeks v. Hall, et al., 5 Fla. L. Weekly 728b (Broward Co. 1998); Ibrahim v. Nabors, 5 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 259 (Broward Co. 1997); Allen v. Blair, 3 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 131 (Palm Beach Co. 1995); Swan v. Jones, 3 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 36 (Manatee Co. 1995); Nilsson v. Medina, 2 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 300a (Broward Co. 1994); Pearson v. Sims, 1 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 408a (Broward Co. 1993); Pappas v. Kartub, et al., 2 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 59a (Broward Co. 1993); Palawski v. Duley, 50 Fla. Supp. 2d 207 (Manatee Co. 1991); Vinner v. Mason, 44 Fla. Supp. 2d 142 (Pinellas Co. 1990); Lawson v. Alavarez, 46 Fla. Supp. 2d 94 (Manatee Co. 1990); New Citrus Park Apartments v. Jackson, 38 Fla. Supp. 191 (Broward Co. 1990); Metropolitan Dade Co. v. Dansey, 39 Fla. Supp. 2d 216 (Miami-Dade Co. 1990); The Housing Authority of the City of Daytona Beach v. Smith, 27 Fla. Supp. 30 (Volusia Co. 1987); Barcelona West v. Ellis, 4 Fla. Supp. 71 (Orange Co. 1983).

As a result, the Court found that the notice of eviction was fatally defective and failed to comply with the statutory requirements of Florida Statute § 83.56(3).

Consequently, the Landlord failed to terminate the Tenant's rental agreement.  Due to the Landlord's failure to terminate the Tenant's rental agreement prior to initiating the lawsuit, the Landlord's eviction Complaint lacked an essential element of a statutory cause of action pursuant to Florida Statute § 83.59(1) and, thus, the eviction proceeding was filed prematurely.

Accordingly, the Court dismissed the Landlord's eviction action with prejudice.