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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 27244
Experience:  Attorney
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My roommate/boyfriend live in Florida in a boarding house situation.

Customer Question

My roommate/boyfriend live in Florida in a boarding house situation. A receipt was received when my roommate moved in but no lease was ever signed or received. There are 11 paying tenants/people living in a residentially zoned home.
There has been a series of thefts that have occurred in the house and the landlord has been receiving complaints about the security in the house for months. My roommate and another tenant tried to speak to the landlord about the situation yesterday and were served eviction notices (not dated or signed) within the hour.
What are tenant rights in this situation or what recourse do we have against the landlord?
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 5 months ago.
Hi, I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this is happening. It's a violation of Florida law for a landlord to evict a tenant in retaliation for a tenant making a complaint in good faith. Fl. Stat., Section 83.64. Retaliation is a defense to an eviction lawsuit. Your boyfriend and the other tenant can send a copy of the statute to the landlord, explaining why they are refusing to leave. And they also have the ability to dispute any eviction and go to court. A landlord may not remove tenants without a court order, or he can be sued for damages. If you have any questions or concerns about my response, please reply WITHOUT RATING. It's important that you are 100% satisfied with my courtesy and professionalism. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so I am paid for the time I spend answering questions. If you are on a mobile device, you may need to scroll to the right. There is no charge for follow-up questions. Thank you.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
What is the process and timeline for filing a formal complaint against the landlord? Isn't it 90 days in Florida? Also during the time of dispute, the tenant may or may not have to pay rent. Again, no lease was ever signed or received.Thanks -
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 5 months ago.
The tenant has to continue paying rent. Retaliation is a defense to an unlawful eviction, but the eviction isn't unlawful if rent is unpaid. There's unfortunately nothing in what you've said that would give a right to withhold rent. There isn't any sort of government agency for filing a formal complaint here. Retaliation is a defense, which means it can be raised if and when the landlord seeks to evict. That's done in the local civil court. If the landlord sues, you'll receive a summons stating when the response is due.
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 5 months ago.
Did you have any other questions about this?

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