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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 29784
Experience:  Attorney
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I let 2 homeless people stay in a room in my apartment. The

Customer Question

I let 2 homeless people stay in a room in my apartment. The agreement was 200 per month for just a room. They are not on my lease, have stolen from me and brought drugs into my house, and now refusing to leave. I live in Florida. How do I get rid of these thieves?
JA: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Florida
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: Not yet. They eat all the food, use all my stuff without permission and smoke weed daily. I am also missing a bottle of prescription pills. Can I legally have the police search their room without their knowledge?
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: The agreement was month to month. Do I have to go to court to get them out. They have no proof they paid a dime
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
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Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 9 months ago.


I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear about your situation.

Police cannot legally remove someone from a rental property without an eviction order, but you can report them for stealing your prescription pills and for smoking marijuana in the house. A landlord cannot give consent for police to search a tenant's room, but you could authorize them to search common areas. You could also tell police what you have seen and heard, and they can use that information to get a search warrant for the room.

Note, though, that criminal charges only resolves part of your problem. Criminal charges take time, and they're considered innocent until they're proven guilty. Plus, not all criminal charges result in jail, so even if they're convicted, it wouldn't terminate your lease with them. To remove them from your home, you need an eviction order. And that means you'd have to first give them a notice to vacate - in Florida, notice to vacate only needs to be served 15 days before the end of the month. Fl. Stat., Section 83.57. That means you can give them a written notice TODAY to be out by the end of the month. Notice may be provided by handing it to them in front of a third party witness (any friend or neighbor would work, just an adult) or by posting a copy on the door and mailing it. Then, if they don't leave, you can go to court on November 1 and get an order for police to remove them.

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Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 9 months ago.

Did you have any other questions about this?

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