Landlord/Tenant Matters – Wrongful Eviction

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Landlord/Tenant Matters – Wrongful Eviction

Residential Leases are often entered very casually and with un-defined terms. However, a Residential Lease Agreement deserves much more attention and clarity in the agreement. It is the property in the ownership of the Landlord and deserves protection and preservation and respect as an investment. It is also the place where the tenant and his/her family will make their home. It is an expression of character for both parties and should be an object of pride for both parties. Although the Landlord may own the premises, he/she generally has granted its exclusive use and enjoyment to the Tenant and his/her family and their guests and invitees for a certain term. Both positions deserve full respect.

Sometimes, a Landlord who may not fully understand and appreciate the rights that have been granted to the Tenant will do things that impose undue and wrongful interference upon the Tenant. The Tenant has an implied warranty from the Landlord for his/her peaceful and quiet enjoyment of the property and his/her uninterrupted safe use and possession of the property. Violation of those rights can result in the Tenant suing the Landlord for breach of those warranties.

Just because the tenant is behind on the rent, or just because the tenant may not be maintaining the property as agreed, or just because the Tenant is not leaving when verbally requested, the Landlord CANNOT use self-help to make the Tenant leave. The Landlord cannot shut off the water or electricity or change the locks or physically force the Tenant out. The Law has provided certain procedures for the eviction of the Tenant. F.S. 83.56 should be reviewed. The procedures may require more patience on the part of the Landlord than seems reasonable under some circumstances, BUT they are designed for the protection of both parties.  Not using those legal procedures can result in extraordinary penalties for a Landlord.

The law is designed for the protection of both parties, and most of the time, it is effective. Both parties are urged to “look before they leap”.

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