3 Day Eviction Notice

 

Chavez v. Hunter, 5 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 469b (Alachua Co. 1998)

A three day eviction notice must afford a tenat a full three days to pay the rent or vacate the premises.  If the eviction notice fails to do so, it cannot serve to terminate the tenancy and cannot form the basis for a final judgment of eviction for nonpayment of rent.

Felipe Chavez, Plaintiff, v. Utahna Hunter, Defendant. County Court, 8th Judicial Circuit In And For Alachua County, Florida. Civil Division. Case No. 97-5340-LT, Division IV. Order entered on February 18, 1998 by Judge Peter K. Sieg.

Cite as: Chavez v. Hunter, 5 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 469b (Alachua Co. 1998).

In this eviction action, the Plaintiff, Felipe Chavez (the "Landlord"), sued the Defendant, Utahna Hunter (the "Tenant"), for nonpayment of rent.  As part of the eviction efforts, the Landlord served the Tenant with a 3 day eviction notice demanding payment of the past due rent or surrender of possession of the rental property.

Unfortunately for the Landlord, the eviction notice failed to substantially comply with the requirements of Florida Statute ยง 83.56(3) in that it failed to give the Tenant three full days in which to comply.

Instead, the notice of eviction was served on the Tenant on Friday, November 28, 1997 and only gave the Tenant until Monday, December 1, 1997 in which to pay the rent or vacate the property.  Here, the Landlord failed to take two things into account.  First, the notice must exclude Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays.  Second, the applicable time period does not start until the day after the noice is served.  As a result, the Landlord's 3-day notice was insufficient as a matter of law and did not terminate the tenancy.

Interestingly, the Landlord attempted to argue that because he did not file the eviction Complaint until thress days had expired from the date of the service of the notice, and because he did not serve the Tenant until more than one month after the eviction notice was served, the Landlord's error should be disregarded.  The Court disagreed with the Landlord.

Specifically, the Court found that the 3-day eviction notice was not valid and because a valid 3-day notice is a condition precedent to an eviction action for non-payment of rent, the Complaint must be dismissed.