3 Day Eviction Notice

 

Notice To Quit

A notice to quit may seem like some arcane term that has not been used in a hundred years but, the truth is, may tenants received this type of document every day.

Under common law, a landlord was not entitled to terminate his or her tenant's tenancy for the tenant's failure to comply with the lease provisions without first making a written demand upon the tenant for performance. Therefore, a notice to quit or leave or quit or notice of forfeiture and demand for compliance with the residential lease provisions is necessary in a forcible-entry-and-detainer action. In other words, a valid notice to quit was a condition precedent to an action to remove a holdover tenant, an eviction action, or simply an action for possession of real property.

Here is a form of the Notice to Quit that is popularly used.

Date:....................

To:.......................[Insert Name of Tenant]
............................[Insert Address]
............................[Insert City, State, Zip Code]

Re: Notice To Quit

You are notified that as a consequence of your default of obligations under the lease dated [date of lease], for the following described premises: [description of leased premises], I have elected pursuant to paragraph [number of paragraph] of the lease to terminate your tenancy. You are notified to quit and deliver possession of the above-described premises to [name of undersigned] before [time of day] on [date of surrender of possession].

Signature: ....................................................

Printed Name: .............................................

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE

I certify that a copy of this notice has been furnished to the above-named tenant on ..............[Insert Date], at ................. [Insert Time] a.m./p.m by:

1. [ ] Delivery
2. [ ] Posting in a conspicuous place on the premises

/s/_______________________________________
[Insert Name of Landlord or property manager]
[Insert Address]
[Insert Telephone Number]

In Florida, however, a notice to quit is not the correct form of notice to use when a landlord wants to evict a tenant for non-payment of the tenant's rental obligations. Instead, the Florida Statutes mandate that a form substantially similar to the following be used:

Date: [Insert Date Notice Is Prepared - preferably it is also the date the eviction notice will be served on the tenant]
To: [Insert the Name of the Tenant - this needs to be the name of the tenant as it appears in the residential lease agreement]

THREE DAY EVICTION NOTICE

You are notified that you are indebted to me in the sum of $________________ [Insert Amount of Rent and Additional Rent Overdue] for the rent and use of the premises located at___________________________ [Insert Address of Rental Property], _____________________ [Insert City of Rental Property], ________________________ [Insert County of Rental Property], now occupied by you. That rent was due on _______________ [Insert Day Rent Was Due] and I demand payment of the rent or possession of the premises within three days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays) from the date of delivery of this notice, specifically, on or before ___________________ [Insert Date Calculated In Accordance With Florida Statute].

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE

I certify that a copy of this notice has been furnished to the above named tenant on ________________ [Insert Date of Service of Process], at ______________a.m. / p.m., by:

1. ( ) Delivery
2. ( ) Posting in a conspicuous place on the premises.

_________________________________________________
[Insert Name of Landlord or Property Manager]
[Insert Address of Landlord or Property Manager]
[Insert Telephone Number of Landlord or Property Manager]

Similar to the notice to quit, a landlord must properly prepare and serve this Florida 3 day eviction notice prior to being permitted to file an eviction action against the tenant for not paying his or her rent. Florida Statute ยง 83.56(3) governs the use of this statutory form for the 3 day notice.

The eviction notice specifically set forth the precise amount of rent left unpaid by the tenant. It is not permitted to include any other charges unless they are expressly defined as "rent" or "additional rent." These include interest, late fees and attorney's fees, even if the residential lease provides that the landlord is entitled to collect these charges if he or she if forced to file the eviction action. Of course, that does not mean the landlord cannot collect them in the eviction action. The landlord is simply forced to wait to demand such amount until the eviction action is actually filed.

Florida eviction law also mandates that the 3 day eviction notice demand the past due rent from the tenant or, alternatively, that the tenant surrender the rental unit back to the landlord. Both of these options must be given to the tenant. If the landlord demands only one or the other, the notice to vacate is defective and any eviction proceeding initiated based on this notice will be dismissed for failing to state a cause of action upon which relief can be granted.

The three day grace period in which the tenant is required to pay the rent or vacate the property must be properly calculated. If the landlord does this step wrong, the tenant will not be forced by the judge to leave the rental property.

Accordingly, there are a few ground rules that the landlord must know about this calculation. First, weekends and official holidays are never included in the tenant's three day grace period. Weekends are pretty easy to calculate -- just do not include Saturdays and Sundays. Legal holidays, however, are a different story. It is important for the landlord to know that "legal holidays" are not the dates celebrated by the Judge and his or her staff. Instead, it is the legal holidays that are specifically promulgated by Florida law and celebrated by the Clerk of Court that must not be included in the 3 day eviction notice. That means, of course, that the landlord will need to either check the applicable Florida statute or call the Clerk of Court to determine if there are any dates that must be excluded from the eviction notice.

Legal Disclaimer: This article is written based on the current status of Florida's landlord and tenant laws, including the 3 day eviction notice. However, this article is for general knowledge only and is not intended, in any way whatever, to constitute legal advice. Prior to following any recommendations listed in this article, please consult an attorney duly licensed in your state.