If A Tenant Properly Serves A
Statutory Notice That The Landlord Has Failed To Maintain The Premises, The Tenant Still Must Pay The Rent Into The
Even when the residential tenant timely serves the statutory
notice complaining about the landlord’s failure to maintain the premises, Florida Statute § 83.60 mandates that, in
an eviction action, the tenant must deposit the past due rent into the registry of the Court. K.D. Lewis
Enterprises Corp. v. Smith, 445 So. 2d 1032 (Fla. 5th DCA 1984). If the tenant fails to do so, all of his or her
defenses, including the landlord’s failure to maintain the property, are deemed waived.
Alternatively, the tenant may serve the statutory notice stating
that the tenant intends to terminate the lease in the event the repairs or maintenance is not completed within
seven days. Of course, because the residential tenant usually desires to continue living at the property, this
alternative is invoked less frequently.
LANDLORD RIGHTS TIP: After the repairs have been timely completed
by the landlord, the tenant must pay the rent that they withheld.
CAUTION: If the landlord does not complete the repairs during the
allotted time, the landlord and tenant can extend the time period (in writing), or the tenant can terminate the
lease, keep the withheld rent and avoid any future liability for rent or other lease charges.