Christian Van Riper
"We place a premium on open communications with our clients and hard work..."
Van Riper and Nies Attorneys represent landlords and tenants in eviction proceedings.
An eviction is a legal process by which a landlord regains possession of a leased house, apartment, condo or other real property from a tenant or occupant. The eviction process is not as simple as online eviction services seem to suggest. Because eviction of tenants is a serious matter, where residents will be put out of their home, the process of evicting a tenant involves specific deadlines and procedural rules that both landlords and tenants must comply with. Failing to follow the deadlines and procedural rules will likely lead to an unfavorable result and payment of attorneys fees to your tenant, which may run into thousands of dollars.
If you are a landlord who needs to evict a tenant, whether for non-payment of rent, breach of the lease agreement, or for unauthorized occupants, our attorneys can help you for a very reasonable fee, so that you may reclaim your property quickly. We understand that you cannot wait for an extended period of time to reclaim your property, whether to re-lease it, sell it or otherwise. We will work quickly to reclaim your property.
Tenants also have rights under Florida law. Only a judge can order a tenant evicted, and only the Sheriff can put a tenant out of his or her home. Florida law does not permit a landlord to force a tenant out of his or her home by shutting off or interrupting utilities, even if it is in the landlord's name; changing door locks, or removing the tenant's personal property. In representing tenants, we make sure that landlords comply with Florida law. That is our job. Our attorneys review lease agreements and notices from landlords to ensure that the eviction complies with Florida Landlord-Tenant law. If your landlord fails to do what the law requires, or comply with the lease agreement, we may be able to extend the time constraints or have your landlord's eviction complaint dismissed.
The trial attorneys at our firm have a comprehensive understanding and background in all aspects of landlord-tenant law.
For more information about our trial practice and for a free consultation, please call us day or night, complete the contact form below, or e-mail us at email@example.com.
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83.58 Remedies; tenant holding over.--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 in the manner provided for in s. 83.59 [F.S. 1973]. The landlord may also recover double the amount of rent due on the dwelling unit, or any part thereof, for the period during which the tenant refuses to surrender possession.
83.59 Right of action for possession.--
(1) If the rental agreement is terminated and the tenant does not vacate the premises, the landlord may recover possession of the dwelling unit as provided in this section.
(2) A landlord, the landlord's attorney, or the landlord's agent, applying for the removal of a tenant shall file in the county court of the county where the premises are situated a complaint describing the dwelling unit and stating the facts that authorize its recovery. A landlord's agent is not permitted to take any action other than the initial filing of the complaint, unless the landlord's agent is an attorney. The landlord is entitled to the summary procedure provided in s. 51.011 [F.S. 1971], and the court shall advance the cause on the calendar.
(3) The landlord shall not recover possession of a dwelling unit except:
(a) In an action for possession under subsection (2) or other civil action in which the issue of right of possession is determined;
(b) When the tenant has surrendered possession of the dwelling unit to the landlord; or
(c) When the tenant has abandoned the dwelling unit. In the absence of actual knowledge of abandonment, it shall be presumed that the tenant has abandoned the dwelling unit if he or she is absent from the premises for a period of time equal to one-half the time for periodic rental payments. However, this presumption shall not apply if the rent is current or the tenant has notified the landlord, in writing, of an intended absence.
(4) The prevailing party is entitled to have judgment for costs and execution therefor.
83.595 Choice of remedies upon breach by tenant.--
(1) If the tenant breaches the lease for the dwelling unit and the landlord has obtained a writ of possession, or the tenant has surrendered possession of the dwelling unit to the landlord, or the tenant has abandoned the dwelling unit, the landlord may:
(a) Treat the lease as terminated and retake possession for his or her own account, thereby terminating any further liability of the tenant; or
(b) Retake possession of the dwelling unit for the account of the tenant, holding the tenant liable for the difference between rental stipulated to be paid under the lease agreement and what, in good faith, the landlord is able to recover from a reletting; or
(c) Stand by and do nothing, holding the lessee liable for the rent as it comes due.
(2) If the landlord retakes possession of the dwelling unit for the account of the tenant, the landlord has a duty to exercise good faith in attempting to relet the premises, and any rentals received by the landlord as a result of the reletting shall be deducted from the balance of rent due from the tenant. For purposes of this section, "good faith in attempting to relet the premises" means that the landlord shall use at least the same efforts to relet the premises as were used in the initial rental or at least the same efforts as the landlord uses in attempting to lease other similar rental units but does not require the landlord to give a preference in leasing the premises over other vacant dwelling units that the landlord owns or has the responsibility to rent.
83.60 Defenses to action for rent or possession; procedure.--
(1) In an action by the landlord for possession of a dwelling unit based upon nonpayment of rent or in an action by the landlord under s. 83.55 seeking to recover unpaid rent, the tenant may defend upon the ground of a material noncompliance with s. 83.51(1) [F.S. 1973], or may raise any other defense, whether legal or equitable, that he or she may have, including the defense of retaliatory conduct in accordance with s. 83.64. The defense of a material noncompliance with s. 83.51(1) [F.S. 1973] may be raised by the tenant if 7 days have elapsed after the delivery of written notice by the tenant to the landlord, specifying the noncompliance and indicating the intention of the tenant not to pay rent by reason thereof. Such notice by the tenant may be given to the landlord, the landlord's representative as designated pursuant to s. 83.50(1), a resident manager, or the person or entity who collects the rent on behalf of the landlord. A material noncompliance with s. 83.51(1) [F.S. 1973] by the landlord is a complete defense to an action for possession based upon nonpayment of rent, and, upon hearing, the court or the jury, as the case may be, shall determine the amount, if any, by which the rent is to be reduced to reflect the diminution in value of the dwelling unit during the period of noncompliance with s. 83.51(1) [F.S. 1973]. After consideration of all other relevant issues, the court shall enter appropriate judgment. Florida Lawyers Home Page.
(2) In an action by the landlord for possession of a dwelling unit, if the tenant interposes any defense other than payment, the tenant shall pay into the registry of the court the accrued rent as alleged in the complaint or as determined by the court and the rent which accrues during the pendency of the proceeding, when due. The clerk shall notify the tenant of such requirement in the summons. Failure of the tenant to pay the rent into the registry of the court or to file a motion to determine the amount of rent to be paid into the registry within 5 days, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays, after the date of service of process constitutes an absolute waiver of the tenant's defenses other than payment, and the landlord is entitled to an immediate default judgment for removal of the tenant with a writ of possession to issue without further notice or hearing thereon. In the event a motion to determine rent is filed, documentation in support of the allegation that the rent as alleged in the complaint is in error is required. Public housing tenants or tenants receiving rent subsidies shall be required to deposit only that portion of the full rent for which the tenant is responsible pursuant to federal, state, or local program in which they are participating.
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