Legal Representation for Contractual Obligations
Since 2007, homeownership rates in Florida have slowly dropped below 65% as both higher and lower earning households are choosing to rent instead of buy property. Each year, over 1 million contracts are signed by landlords and tenants, but what happens if one party breaks the agreement or fails to comply with Florida’s housing laws? Both landlords and tenants have a legal responsibility to uphold their individual contractual obligations. When there is an unlawful breach of contract, the aggrieved party may require legal representation just to enforce the original lease obligations.
The last thing a landlord or tenant wants is to strain a delicate professional relationship. Even so, sometimes landlord-tenant disputes can be challenging to resolve without experienced and knowledgeable legal counsel. If you require legal assistance in the enforcement of statutory or lease obligations, contact the Fort Walton Beach landlord-tenant dispute attorneys at The Virga Law Firm, P.A. We represent both landlords and tenants in situations where a party fails to uphold their contractual obligations.
Call our Fort Walton Beach landlord-tenant dispute lawyers at (800) 822-5170 if you require legal guidance and representation.
Understanding Your Legal Responsibilities
Both tenants and landlords have certain responsibilities when it comes to upholding contractual agreements. It can be very complicated to navigate this legal process without an experienced guide. During your consultation, our legal team can listen to your circumstances and explain which steps you need to take. With our help, you can make appropriate decisions that are legally sound and reflect the unique circumstances of your case.
Before taking legal action, Florida landlords are required to send their tenants a written correspondence that explains the alleged breach of contract. Most tenants are inexperienced when it comes to state housing laws, and, in most circumstances, a written notice is enough to set the situation straight. However, if the tenant knowingly fails to comply with state statutes, you may be within your rights to serve a formal eviction notice. Per Florida law, this notice needs to clearly specify the reasons behind the eviction. You may provide your tenant with a viable defense option if you fail to cite the violations.
Per Florida law, landlords need to observe the following eviction time frames:
- If your tenant pays rent on a monthly basis, you need to deliver the termination notice at least 15 days before the end of the monthly period (unless the lease agreement states otherwise)
- If you mail the eviction notice, the tenant receives a 5-day extension to vacate the premises (Florida’s “Mailbox Rule”)
- If your tenant fails to pay rent, you must deliver a written 3-day notice to pay or vacate the premises (unless the lease agreement states otherwise)
Under Florida Law, tenants have 7 days to correct a curable or non-curable breach of lease. However, some offenses, such as unreasonable disturbance or property damage, may not necessitate an eviction warning. In these circumstances, the tenant has 7 days to surrender the premises upon notification.
Regardless of the scenario, it’s important to discuss your case with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. At The Virga Law Firm, P.A., our legal team can guide you through this process and make sure the tenant can’t sue you based on a breach of contract or a wrongful eviction.
There are also several guidelines residential tenants need to observe before holding a landlord legally responsible for the terms of a rental agreement. In Florida, landlords are required by law to comply with any applicable building, housing, and health codes. This means that a building needs to have working plumbing, be kept in a reasonably clean condition, and be free of pests. A landlord also needs to provide tenants with basic utilities such as running water, heat, and garbage disposal facilities. If a tenant notices a safety hazard or needs repairs completed, the landlord is legally required to correct the situation as soon as possible.
Per Florida Statutes 83.56(1) and 83.60, you must first send a written notice to your landlord if they are failing to fulfill their contractual obligations. This written notice must explicitly describe the breach of contract and explain that you will withhold rent or terminate the agreement if it’s not corrected within 7 days. Again, according to Florida’s “Mailbox Rule,” you need to add 5 additional days to this time period if you send the notice by mail.
Before delivering a notice, withholding rent, or terminating your lease, you should first discuss your case with a lawyer who can verify that you aren’t violating any Florida laws. Otherwise, you be evicted or subjected to legal action on the part of the landlord.
Explore Your Legal Options Today
It can be difficult to amicably settle a landlord-tenant issue when so many official notices are flying back and forth. At The Virga Law Firm, P.A., our Fort Walton Beach landlord-tenant dispute attorneys have a comprehensive understanding of state housing laws and can help you resolve any dispute. By listening to your story, we can develop a practical solution that meets your legal needs.
Contact The Virga Law Firm, P.A. at (800) 822-5170 to schedule a consultation.