3 Day Eviction Notice

 

Sample Eviction Notice

Chances are that most landlords searching on the internet for a sample eviction notice have never really considered that consequences of using a form that does not properly comply with the applicable eviction statute. In fact, many landlords and their agents also improperly believe that if a tenant currently owes the landlord past rent for occupying and using a rental property, it is a "no brainer" when it comes to having that tenant evicted and that the judge would never stand in the way of getting them out of the landlord's rental property. Unfortunately, in Florida, that could not be further from the truth.

Anyone using a sample eviction notice in Florida must ensure that the chosen free eviction notice form absolutely complies with the eviction statute and that the form is properly filled out. If not, the eviction notice form will be held to be a nullity. Because serving a proper eviction notice (also called an eviction letter, a 3 day notice, a 3 day eviction notice, and a notice to vacate) is a statutory precondition to maintaining a lawsuit to evict a tenant for the tenant's failure to pay his or her rental obligations as they come due, any defects in the Florida 3 day eviction notice renders the entire eviction action void as well.

As alluded to above, the eviction process in Florida is highly complex and full of legal technicalities. The first step in the eviction process is for the landlord to make a formal demand upon the tenant owing the rent that such tenant bring the rent current or, alternatively, to return possession of the rental unit to the landlord or the landlord's agent. While this is always done prior to the eviction action beginning, it is often thought as the first pleading in the eviction action because it is the document that the eviction action is primarily based upon.

Florida Statute § 83.56(3) governs the Florida 3 day eviction notice and mandates a sample eviction form that must be substantial form.

Date: [Insert the 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]

You are notified that you are indebted to me in the sum of $________________ [Insert the Amount of Rent and the Additional Rent Overdue] for the rent and use of the premises located at___________________________ [Insert the Address of Rental Property], _____________________ [Insert the City of the Rental Property], ________________________ [Insert the County of the Rental Property], now occupied by you. That rent was due on _______________ [Insert the Day the 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 the Date Calculated In Accordance With the Applicable Florida Statute].

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE

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

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

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

As a threshold matter, the sample eviction notice must be in writing and expressly demand from the tenant the specific amount of rent then outstanding. The landlord is not permitted to demand any other charges, including interest, late fees and attorney's fees, unless those charges are specifically defined as "rent" or "additional rent." This is true even if the landlord is otherwise entitled to recover these charges in a subsequent eviction action against the tenant for not paying the rent or moving out as demanded. Of course, if the residential lease does, in fact, provide the tenant is responsible for those charges if he or she defaults in the payment of rent, those charges can be sought (and recovered) in a subsequent successful eviction action.

The 3 day eviction notice has several additional requirement as well. The sample eviction notice must expressly demand two things -- first, that the tenant pay the past due rent, and alternatively, that if the tenant does not pay the overdue rent, that the tenant give possession of the leased property back to the landlord or the landlord's designated agent. This is a conjunctive requirement meaning that both demands must be made, even if the landlord would prefer that the tenant do one or the other (i.e., that the tenant pay or move out).

The next requirement of the 3 day notice is that there must be a specific date set forth in the notice that tells the tenant what his or her deadlines are. This is really just common sense in that it would not be fair to demand the tenant act but not tell him or her when they are expected to do so. As the name of the eviction notice form indicates, the tenant is statutorily given three days to cure the defaults or move out (i.e., the "tenant's three day grace period").

Unfortunately, this is where most landlords fail -- the proper determination of what date constitutes the date upon which the tenant must comply. Such a miscalculation, however, results in the eviction letter be declared invalid. Weekends and legal holidays are not permitted to be included in the three day grace period. Legal holidays are those official dates as set forth in Florida Statute § 683.01.

LEGAL DISCLAIMER: This article is written based on the current status of Florida’s landlord and tenant laws. 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, preferably an eviction attorney that experienced in the ins and outs of landlord and tenant laws.