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What happens if tenants or landlords don't comply with the law?

When your landlord or tenant isn't working out, it can be frustrating and costly. There are laws that state what happens if a landlord or tenant doesn't comply with part of the lease.

For example, if a landlord doesn't comply with Florida law or the rental agreement, the tenant can issue a complaint. The tenant has to write it out for the landlord and present it to him or her through the mail or in person. The tenant can state that he or she intends to leave and terminate the agreement due to noncompliance. The rental agreement may be terminated one week after delivering this information if the landlord does not comply with the law or rental agreement.

For landlords, there are options if tenants won't comply. The landlord needs to address any issues in writing. The only act that does not require a written notice is the failure to pay rent. If the tenant can, he or she has seven days to correct the issue. After seven days, the landlord can ask the renter to leave the property and begin the eviction process. If the landlord issues a written noncompliance notice that does not allow for corrections, then the tenant has only seven days to leave the premises.

It's important to understand that a landlord can't evict a tenant if he or she is a day or two late with rent. Instead, the landlord has to wait three days, not including holidays or weekends, before starting the eviction process. The landlord may not evict a tenant due to the tenant complaining to a government agency about violations or noncompliance.

Source: Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, "Landlord/Tenant Law in Florida," accessed Feb. 16, 2017

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