Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida

Q: Tenants breaking lease. Two couples. One couple left without notice. Remaining couple can’t afford full rent

Also they have invited their mother to live in and are smoking dope on the premises (according to the couple that left)

Both breaking the lease. What are my options?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Seril L Grossfeld
Seril L Grossfeld
  • Fort Lauderdale, FL

A: Not knowing the actual terms of the lease it is not possible to give you an answer to your specific issues.

I would assume the lease terms make all the occupants liable for the rent so the fact that one set of tenants left does not relieve the remaining set from paying the full amount of rent. The next problem is you can start an eviction for non payment of the full amount of rent since in Florida there is a moratorium on the clerk issuing writs of possession until September 1, 2020, meaning you can't get them out.

Moving in the mother is probably a lease violation and you would need to serve them with a seven day notice pursuant to F.S. 83.56(2)(a) informing them that they have 7 days to correct the non compliance, to wit: moving in another tenant with out notice or consent or the lease will be terminated. But again you will not be able to finalize eviction until the moratorium is lifted or expires.

When all of them are out of the apartment you might possibly have a cause of action for rents not paid and other damages against all of your tenants on the lease. Under the present circumstances, if you could find all of them to serve them, getting payment would be difficult.

Due to the times we are in you might want to talk to your tenants to modify the lease to terms they can afford and/or time period they can handle or agree to move out time.

As far as the smoking is smoking at all allowed under the terms of the lease, if so another reason to terminate in a 7 day notice. If not what they may be smoking is not a whole lot you can do about it since that is a police enforcement issue.

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