A week or so ago you might have read or heard about a family in California who had a dispute with their live-in nanny. For example, look here. Regardless of who’s right and who’s wrong in that case, what might be a homeowner’s worst fear arose in the case when the nanny refused to move out of the home.
In Florida, what could a homeowner do if a nanny, or maybe even a roommate, decides to stick around after the homeowner wants her house back to herself?
First, think about the tenant’s position for a moment. When the tenant moves in, she is probably establishing her home. Do you think there should be some legal protections available to the tenant who has made her home somewhere? Most folks would probably say there should be.
Back to Florida. Florida law provides for a right of an action for possession in Florida Statute 83.59 (2013). By the way, Chapter 83 of the Florida Statutes (2013) is the chapter on landlord and tenant law.
If you read 83.59, you’ll notice that the first subsection begins with “If the rental agreement is terminated and the tenant does not vacate the premises . . . .” That is, 83.59 provides a right for the landlord to recover possession of the premises, but only if the rental agreement has terminated.
83.59 contemplates a rental agreement. If you are thinking about allowing someone to move into your house, you should have a written rental agreement that, among other things, specifies the conditions under which the agreement terminates.
The second subsection of 83.59 refers to application for the removal of a tenant. There the statute contemplates a tenant in possession whom the landlord wants to remove. Continuing on to 83.59(3)(a), you’ll find that a “landlord shall not recover possession . . . except . . . in an action for possession under subsection (2) or other civil action . . . .” Here is where there may be a delay in recovering possession from a tenant. The “action for possession under subsection (2) or other civil action” may take weeks to complete.
That requirement for “an action for possession . . . or other civil action” provides the tenant with the opportunity present her case to protect against an unfair landlord. That provides protection for the tenant, but costs the landlord a little time.
Nothing in this article should be construed as legal advice or as forming an attorney-client relationship. If you have any questions about your particular situation please do not hesitate to contact Jeffrey R. Nuckols at (321) 329-5449 ext. 2 for a free telephone consultation.