What Happens If My Florida Tenant Remains In My Property After The Lease Expires?

Florida Holdover Tenants
Florida Holdover Tenants

No matter where you live, if you’re a party to a lease agreement, each and every lease has a beginning and either a certain end date or what is needed to be done by either the landlord or the tenant to terminate the tenancy, thereby creating an end date.

Each day, leases throughout Florida are coming closer to their end or have ended. If a tenant remains in a Florida residential or commercial property after the natural expiration of the lease, the tenant becomes what is known as a “holdover tenant.”

For landlords that have leases with a known end date, our eviction attorneys always recommend sending a Florida Notice of Nonrenewal Letter to the tenant if the landlord is planning on not renewing the rental agreement.  In this notice, the landlord can also make a demand to the tenant stating that if the tenant remains in possession of the property after the lease expires, the landlord will seek double the monthly rental payment from the tenant for as long as the tenant remains a holdover tenant.

For landlords that have month to month tenancies with their tenants, it is required by law that if the landlord would like to terminate the tenancy, at a minimum, the landlord will need to serve upon the tenant a 15-Day Notice to Vacate.

Tenant Won't Leave

The Law

According to Florida Statute 83.58, which governs residential tenancies, “if the tenant holds over and continues in possession of the dwelling unit or any part thereof after the expiration of the rental agreement without the permission of the landlord, the landlord may recover possession of the dwelling unit…”  This is significant as it allows a landlord to immediately seek possession of the property if a tenant fails to vacate upon the end of a Florida residential lease.

Additionally, Florida Statute 83.58 allows the landlord to demand and recover “double the amount of rent due…for the period during which the tenant refuses to surrender possession.”  Based on this statute, the landlord can seek to recover double the monthly rent for as long as the tenant remains a holdover tenant.

What Do I Do When My Tenant Won't Leave?
What Do I Do When My Tenant Won’t Leave?

What Do I Do When My Tenant Won’t Leave?

After the notice goes out and/or the lease has ended, the tenant sometimes still refuses to leave the premises. Whether it may be because they can’t afford to move, they can’t find another place to go or simply may be taking advantage of a bad situation, legal action through the court system will become a necessary measure in order for the landlord to re-take possession of their property. Do not shut-off utilities or water.

Due to the looming COVID-19 Pandemic, many restrictions and orders at both the Federal and State Levels have  been implemented and are impacting how landlords remove their tenants that refuse to go voluntarily. This is why we recommend that you hire competent legal counsel that knows how to effectively navigate  through the court system in these challenging times.

The Law Office of Ryan S. Shipp, PLLC assists landlords and property managers in Palm Beach County and throughout the State of Florida in evicting tenants and delivering possession back to the landlord. Call us today @ 561.699.0399 to learn more.