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Bonnie, good evening. Can you please clarify for me what the situation is? Did you sign a lease for your daughter? Just trying to get a better idea of what is going on
So you rented a home for her and the landlord and you had the agreement but she lived there?
I am going to opt out and allow another expert to help. I think it will be best. Please hold on
I am another expert on the forum.
I reviewed your conversation above, and I want to make sure that I understand the situation as best as possible.
If you are in fear of imminent physical harm (meaning you think they may harm you), you can get a civil restraining order against them: https://www.pinellasclerk.org/aspinclude2/ASPInclude.asp?pageName=domestic.htm (please note there are different types of restraining orders - you would be looking for the one specific to violent individuals as opposed to sexual partners or domestic partners).
If you are in fear if immediate harm (someone is at your doorstep) - please do not hesitate to call 9-1-1.
You will need to go through the unlawful detainer (eviction) process.
This starts with giving them notice.
If you have not done this before, I would recommend either (a) hiring a lawyer to represent you - it is going to help you do this quickly and efficiently (you are less likely to have your tenant beat the UD on a technicality or procedural error); or (b) use a site such as this one: http://www.landlordguidance.com/eviction-notice-forms/florida-eviction/ (it is a pay for use site that has all of the documents in a template format for you to use along with a flow chart to help you keep your documents on track).
The overall process will look like this:
Terminating a tenancy-
1) Notice: The first step in any termination is giving notice, the landlord can simply give notice that they no longer want the tenant to live there (this is usually 30 days, or 60 days, and it can be done for no reason whatsoever, there is no fault, and while the tenant must relocate, they are not being "evicted" and there is no blemish on their rental history), they can give a "notice to pay or quit" (usually 3 day or 5 day depending on the state, and the tenant has this amount of time to pay rent that they missed or move out), "notice to "cure or quit" (the tenant has breached the lease - broken something, noisy, etc. and must stop it or fix it within the notice period, again 3 days, 5 days, or 10 days), or a "notice to quit" (this is a 3 day or 5 day notice that says the tenant has messed up so badly they can do nothing but move out within the notice period - there is no chance to "cure" - this often happens when there is illegal activity on the property).
2) Unlawful detainer/forcible entry and detainer (this is the legal proceeding where the landlord goes to court and sues the tenant to get possession - the tenant has an opportunity to appear and defend the action, common defenses include improper notice, breach of the lease (such as failure to maintain the property - "inhabitable conditions"). If the tenant answers the complaint, the parties can take "discovery" from one another and get additional information before a court trial before a judge.
3) A judgment of possession/writ of eviction - if the landlord wins the trial, they get a judgment of possession and the court will issue a "writ of eviction."
4) Forcible eviction - this happens when the Sheriff or Constable serves the writ of eviction - some jurisdictions give a courtesy notice the day or two before the eviction, others do not, but the end result is the sheriff overseeing the landlord's movers removing all of the tenant's possessions from the property and placing them on the curb, and the tenants are forcibly removed from the property. At that point, the landlord can change the locks and the tenant can no longer return (They have been "evicted").
You can still get a restraining order against someone if you are in fear of imminent physical harm, and you can still call 9-1-1 if you are in immediate fear of harm.
Is the power in your name or in hers? (I understand that it was agreed that she would pay for it, but whose name is ***** ***** under)?
If the power is in your name - you will want to continue to pay for the utility. You can pursue your tenants for the bill afterwards in a small claims action, but you will want to keep the utilities paid up.
If the power is in their name - you can contact the power company and ask them to transfer the utilities to your name, this will change financial liability to you for all prospective (future) billing, and you can ensure that your utilities will not be cut off.
If you are having trouble paying for your utilities - contact your local public benefits office (your power company may also have referrals) for public assistance. There are many different programs that can assist citizens to ensure that you do not lose power and/or gas.
I am sorry that you feel this has not helped. I do believe that I have identified resources that can at least potentially address your situation - I do understand your situation is stressful, but if you work through it systematically you can begin creating a solution.
Unfortunately, I do not have control over the matter, and I cannot create money or unique remedies for you.
You can evict tenants that are not paying their bills, you can sue people who breach their contracts, and you can get restraining orders against people who threaten you physically.
I also provided information for you to help you deal with this situation with your power:
"If you are having trouble paying for your utilities - contact your local public benefits office (your power company may also have referrals) for public assistance. There are many different programs that can assist citizens to ensure that you do not lose power and/or gas."
You can sue the defendants, get a judgment, and hold the judgment. If they become employed, receive money, or receive assets at some point in the future you can the enforce your judgment.
But you appear to have more pressing issues: you need to get these people off of your property (you appear to believe that they are now dangerous). You can do this by initiating the unlawful detainer process (and if necessary starting the restraining order process).
You also need to preserve your utilities. You can do this by applying for emergency aid/assistance.
Again, I am very sorry to learn of your situation, but I do not have control over it.
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I have reviewed the previous conversations. How can I assist you?
Since the bill is in your name, you are responsible for paying it. You also cannot let the electricity be shut off because they will say that is a constructive eviction you are bringing against them.
Also, because you don't have it in writing that they agree to pay the electricity, you are limited in whether you can come after them for the unpaid electricity bills.
Your best best would be to evict them because you are in a severe disadvantage in this situation.
The reason I thought you were the landlord is because you said you are the owner of the property.
I can continue to help you if you clarify for me if you actually own the property and if you are renting it to the people that are living there.
If you are not the owner or you are not renting them, I need to know so I can provide you with a better answer.
Right, but they reside on the property and they still have the same rights as a tenant, technically.
The only way to properly remove them from the property is to evict/eject them (eject in this case because they are a non-rent paying party). You cannot simply shut off the power because that is still a violation of their rights.
Do you have questions about the ejectment process?
The following is typically the process for an ejectment:
"The process by which an action in ejectment follows is the filing of a complaint in ejectment to which the defendant has 20 days to file an answer. If they do not file an answer, you will then proceed with a motion for default. Once the default is entered by the court, a final judgment will be issued by the court ordering the person to leave the premises. If they do not leave the home, then a writ of possession will be issued to the sheriff and they will come to the premises and remove the person for you.
If they do file an answer to the complaint, a hearing will be set assuming they have followed the proper procedures set forth in the complaint. After a hearing (which they will ultimately lose, as there are little or no defenses to a properly pleaded complaint) the court will issue a final judgment and order the person to leave your home."
I think a judge would likely make them pay if you were to sue them in small claims court.
If the electric company turns off the power due to your nonpayment (since the utilities are in your name), you can be held liable for a constructive eviction. In other words, they could sue you.
Yes. You have to sue them for damages and also eject them from the property so you can reclaim it.