GUEST WON’T LEAVE HOUSE FLORIDA
Do you have a guest that refuses to leave your Florida home? Problems with guests over staying their welcome are coming up now more than ever, especially with the eviction moratorium no longer in place. Many former tenants have been evicted as a result of a financial crisis and have been forced to move in family. Are you a Palm Beach County Florida homeowner that is involved in a situation with an occupant residing in your home that refuses to leave your home? Perhaps you had a recent break-up with a girlfriend or boyfriend and they refuse to leave. Maybe as a result of the COVID-19, you have a family member that refuses to leave your home. Possibly you have squatters occupying your home and they never even had permission to be there in the first place.
Navigating The Process
Unfortunately, many homeowners experience these situations and they occur more often than one would think. Our eviction lawyers are always asked:
1. Can I lock them out;
2. What are my options?; and
3. How long does the process take?
What first needs to be determined is if a landlord/tenant relationship exists. Was money or rent exchanged in order to stay at the property? Was a duration of time placed in writing for the occupant to stay? If NO, depending on a few factors that experienced Unlawful Detainer Attorneys will analyze, you most likely will have an action for Unlawful Detainer in order to regain exclusive possession of the home.
Definitions Not Associated With Unlawful Detainers
- “Landlord” means the owner or lessor of a dwelling unit.
- “Tenant” means any person entitled to occupy a dwelling unit under a rental agreement.
- “Premises” means a dwelling unit and the structure of which it is a part and a mobile home lot and the appurtenant facilities and grounds, areas, facilities, and property held out for the use of tenants generally.
- “Rent” means the periodic payments due the landlord from the tenant for occupancy under a rental agreement and any other payments due the landlord from the tenant as may be designated as rent in a written rental agreement.
- “Rental agreement” means any written agreement, including amendments or addenda, or oral agreement for a duration of less than 1 year, providing for use and occupancy of premises.
The Low Down On Unlawful Detainers
An Unlawful Detainer is a Florida lawsuit where it is requested that the court order the removal of an unauthorized occupant(s) from real property and for the rightful owner to be placed back in possession thereof. Although similar to an Eviction proceeding, there is NO Landlord-Tenant relationship between the parties. For example, there is no agreement to pay rent, either verbal or in writing. If there is an agreement to pay rent, an Eviction lawsuit should be considered.
In Florida, an Unlawful Detainer is filed in the county court where the real property is located pursuant to Florida Statutes, Chapter 82. The owner of the property is entitled to a summary procedure which is a shortened time-frame for the lawsuit proceeding. Therefore, all defenses of law or fact shall be contained in the defendant’s answer, which shall be filed within 5 days after service of process of the lawsuit. As for if you can lock out the person? The law says NO. We will address this issue and the consequences in an upcoming blog.
The experienced and knowledgeable Unlawful Detainer Attorneys at The Law Office of Ryan S. Shipp, PLLC are here to help you with all of your Unlawful Detainer, Evictions, and Ejectment needs. Don’t go through this process alone. Call us today @ 561.699.0399 or set-up an appointment to visit our Lantana Florida office location.
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