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barristerinky
barristerinky, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 33794
Experience:  Attorney for over 15 years, landlord 26 years
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My landlady wants to terminate our lease early. I am a

Customer Question

My landlady wants to terminate our lease early. I am a single mom with 2 children. I told her I would comply despite not being in default of my lease but that I needed her to use my security deposit for May's rent, due the 15th, and the remainder for June as I plan on moving out at the end of June. She refuses to apply the deposit to my rent so I can fund the move and wants to charge me $500 for early termination of the lease despite the fact that she is the one that wants to terminate it. She has served me with official papers for pretrial. I must pay the county clerk the amount of money for May15-June 30 and I don't know what to do since I don't have it.
JA: Since estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Orange Park, Florida (Clay County)
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: No, the earliest I can see a legal aid is on 6/22 and I received a letter in the mail today saying the court date has been changed from July 19 to 6/23 because I can not post that money to the county clerk
JA: Anything else you think the lawyer should know?
Customer: No, just like I said. My rent was paid. I was late the last two months and paid the late fees as directed by the lease. I have two kids and will be homeless on the 23rd unless I find a way to stay in my residence til the end of the month. My deposit was $1500 and my rent is $965
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Lawyer about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  barristerinky replied 5 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question.

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If you aren't in default, what grounds is the landlady using to pursue a formal eviction? failure to pay rent?

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Has she given you a 3 day notice to pay or vacate?

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When she asked you to vacate and you agreed, did you tell her right then that you needed to use the deposit for last month's rent? And if so, did she agree or refuse to allow it?

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And are you saying that the first court date for the eviction is June 23?

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
If you aren't in default, what grounds is the landlady using to pursue a formal eviction? failure to pay rent? At the time of her request, I was not in default. I had paid my rent late the two prior months due to a lay off, but complied with the late fee requirements in my lease and paid only 4 days after the due date of the 15th. She said that being late was frustrating to her and that she felt it was best for us to terminate the lease early as she felt that I could not afford my rent. I told her I would consider it. I emailed her prior to my May rent being due and told her I would adhere to her request but that in order to do so, I would need her to use my deposit for my rent so I could fund the move..Has she given you a 3 day notice to pay or vacate?
Yes, and I also received a summons for eviction giving me 5 days to respond. I responded and the date was originally set for July 15th. I just received a letter stating that because I have not deposited amount that is being disputed that we have a pretrial and if I do not pay the disputed amount I would forfeit my rights to defense.
.When she asked you to vacate and you agreed, did you tell her right then that you needed to use the deposit for last month's rent? And if so, did she agree or refuse to allow it? I replied to her request via email and I explained to her what would be necessary for me to adhere to her request. That is when she said she would be charging me $500 for early termination and that I had to pay the rent. I explained to her that as a single mom I would need to find a way to adhere to request and to move out and continued to tried to work with her. The next day was Sunday, 15th, the day the rent was due. Although I have never paid her with a check she made demands of me that only bank deposits were the only form of payment (not on the lease, lease only states that we can make deposits as a convenience). The banks are closed Sunday. On Monday the 16th she had a 3 day to evict notice on my door????.And are you saying that the first court date for the eviction is June 23? I received a notice in the mail that is an order setting case for non-jury trial on eviction and motion to determine rent ad order directing defendant to deposit monies into court registry. The last paragraph states "if you fail to deposit the money, you give up the
right to present o the ourt any defense to the eviction other than payment of rent, and a default judgment for evition will be entered against you."
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Expert:  barristerinky replied 5 months ago.

Ok, thank you for that information... If you didn't deposit the rent into the court registry prior to the court date or by the date set in the notice, then you will have a default judgment entered against you since the landlord didn't agree to allow you to use the deposit as your final rent.

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The judge may refer the case to mediation first before hearing it and you may be able to reach an agreement there to vacate at the end of the month so as to avoid a hearing.

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However, if it goes to a hearing, even after the judgment is entered against you, you will still have some time before the landlord could evict. At the hearing, you can ask the judge to give you til the end of the month to move out before the landlord can get a writ. Since that is only a week or so, there is a good chance the judge would agree.

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If he doesn't, then you can still file an appeal and a motion to stay execution of the writ of possession. Once notice of the writ is served by the sheriff, a tenant has only 24 hours to prepare to leave the premises, so you should get a motion filed ASAP and call it an emergency motion.

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thanks

Barrister

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