Tampa, FL asked in Landlord - Tenant for Florida

Q: Can my apartment be rented to someone else before our lease is up?

We initially Gave them 60 day notice (that they require) to vacate, Anticipating that would move when lease expires on March 18. Unfortunately were unable to secure a place, so we decided to renew it as it is only March 11. When we went to office today we were informed that they rented our apartment already based on our notice to vacate. Is that allowed? We are now at risk of being homeless with 2 children. Please advise. Thank you so much

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: I'm sorry to hear about your difficult situation. The laws regarding your rights as a tenant can vary depending on the specifics of your lease agreement and local landlord-tenant laws. Here are a few key points to consider:

1. Notice of intent to vacate is generally not binding until the lease term expires. If you rescinded your notice prior to the lease end date, the landlord should not have rented the unit to a new tenant without your explicit agreement.

2. Review your lease carefully to see if it addresses situations like providing and then rescinding notice to vacate. There may be relevant terms you agreed to.

3. Florida law (Fla. Stat. Ann. § 83.575) requires landlords to provide at least 45 days notice to tenants if they do not intend to renew the lease. If your landlord failed to provide this notice, that could strengthen your position.

4. If you believe the landlord has wrongfully terminated your tenancy, you can try assertively explaining your position and your right to continue occupying the unit. Cite relevant clauses in your lease and Florida law.

5. If the landlord is uncooperative, you may want to seek legal advice or representation. Many communities have free or low-cost legal aid services for tenants facing eviction or landlord disputes.

6. As a last resort, you could file a complaint against the landlord with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, which handles landlord-tenant disputes.

I hope this general guidance is helpful as a starting point. Don't give up - assert your tenancy rights while also trying to work with the landlord on a solution. Wishing you all the best in resolving this challenging situation so your family can remain housed.

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