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Richard
Richard, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 54307
Experience:  32 years of experience as lawyer in Texas. I'm also a Real Estate developer.
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I have a tenant that is repeatedly late with the rent and is

Customer Question

I have a tenant that is repeatedly late with the rent and is now over 30 days in arrears. It is unlikely that he'll pay February rent tomorrow. How soon should I act and what is the first step?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Richard replied 11 months ago.

Good morning. My name is ***** ***** I look forward to helping you.

Your tenant is in default and so you have the right to terminate the tenancy. As such, under Florida law, you will then need to give a 3-Day Notice to Quit...meaning he must vacate the premises within that period or face formal eviction. Unfortunately, if he will not leave voluntarily within that period, you do need to go through the legal process to avoid being accused of an illegal eviction. If he doesn't leave within the 3 day period, you will have to file a petition for an eviction order. Once that is granted...you can have the sheriff evict. Unfortunately, you are not allowed to move his stuff out, change the locks, or take any other means of "self-help" eviction prior to obtaining the eviction order. In the interim, if he poses any threat to your person or property, you can get a restraining order to get him out of the house immediately while the eviction process runs its course.

This is the part of my job I don't like...when the law is not in favor of my customer. I wish I could tell you that you could just force him out immediately, but I can only provide you information based on the law so that you can act on the best available information to you. ………..I wish I had better news, but can only hope you recognize and understand my predicament and don't shoot the messenger. I'm sorry!

Thank you so much for allowing me to help you with your questions. I have done my best to provide information which fully addresses your question. If you have any follow up questions, please ask! If I have fully answered your question(s) to your satisfaction, I would appreciate you rating my service as OK, Good or Excellent (hopefully Good or Excellent). Otherwise, I receive no credit for assisting you today. I thank you in advance for taking the time to provide me a positive rating!

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I should issue the default notice immediately? How best to deliver; in person, certified mail?
Expert:  Richard replied 11 months ago.

Thanks for following up. If I were you I would. You can always decide otherwise and not pursue the foreclosure, but in order to move forward this needs to get delivered first. So, there is really no reason not to send it immediately. I would either send it by certified mail or by independent courier...so you have independent evidence that it has been sent and when.

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