Landlords Beware

Landlords Beware - Reyes Law Group BLOG posted by Carlos J. Reyes, Esq.

Landlords must tee-up the documents right the first time!

With so many “first-time” landlords in the market, it is time for a practical reminder. Despite the obvious, when rental payments are delinquent, how you proceed to evict a tenant is critical!  Failure to proceed according to the statutory rules simply sets you up for more stress and financial pressure.  Under Florida law, there is no doubt that the residential statute, F.S. 83, Part II (Residential Tenancies) is designed to be “consumer protection” oriented.  In other words, it is designed to give a non-complying tenant plenty of room to maneuver when landlords seeking to evict the tenant fail to follow the strict requirements of the statute.

  • The 3-day notice letter (dates being very critical).
  • Failure to serve under the summary procedures (a “must”).
  • Serving an improper summons.
  • Inadvertently failing to separate the “eviction count” from the “damages count” (and in some cases, failing to include the damages count at all).

The net effect of these non-complying or practical mistakes is to create a “money pit” for landlords out of what should be a cash-flow positive investment.
Beyond just evictions, a simply close-out of a landlord-tenant relationship can turn into a nightmare as well.   A common mistake we see is where landlords fail to realize that once the tenant is out, landlords have thirty days to notify the tenant in writing (by certified mail) that a claim is being made on their security deposit.  They simply keep the money and convey the message verbally to the former tenant.  The reality is that failing to do so, landlords forfeit the security deposit. And you can bet, today more than ever, tenants understand this point.

All these instances and more, create an environment which can quickly turn hostile.  And with more people renting and our society more litigious than ever (and frankly, many lawyers enabling even situations without merit), the cost of the landlord-tenant paradigm can increase exponentially for landlords.  When the process is conducted improperly, or strict statutory law is not followed, it only serves to compound a negative situation.  That’s why, it’s more important than ever to “tee-up” the documents – the lease, the 3-day notice letter, the letter advising your retaining the security deposit, and more –  right the first time!
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Carlos J. Reyes  is the Principal of Reyes Law Group. He has been a member of the Florida Bar since 1988 and practices state-wide.  Carlos has been awarded a rating of “AV Preeminent” which is the highest possible rating in both legal ability and ethical standards by Martindale-Hubbell – a well-recognized legal resource. The RLG Legal Team also include attorneys  Melissa J. Ulloa and the RLG Legal Support Team to bring you a dedicated, experienced and dynamic legal team to handle your legal needs.

We also assist clients in the areas of: Civil LitigationReal Estate LitigationResidential Purchase & SalesCommercial Acquisitions & SalesResidential Landlord-Tenant LitigationCommercial Landlord-Tenant LitigationShort Sales NegotiationsLoan ModificationsCriminal DefenseCivil Rights ClaimsFamily LawCorporate Work, and Labor & Employment Law.

Call us for a FREE consultation at (954) 369-1993  Se Habla Español.

Visit our firm website and review our credentials.

We are located at 150 S Pine Island Rd #210, Plantation, FL 33324


The Reyes Law Group BLOG is intended to provide information to firm clients, friends and potential clients about various legal related topics. Nothing in this BLOG should be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Readers should not act upon the information contained in this BLOG without seeking the advice of legal counsel.

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Reyes Law Group

Reyes Law Group represents clients in a multi-disciplinary legal practice involving real estate transactions and litigation with a “footprint” that covers the State of Florida. Over the firm’s first 10 years, Reyes Law Group has closed over $100M in commercial closings, representing buyers and sellers in contract negotiations, due diligence, and the related title review and policy issuance related to closings. In litigation, the firm has commercial litigation experience focused on prosecuting or defending claims such as breach of contracts, partition actions, trade secret violations, and breach of non-competes. However, our firm’s MAIN FOCUS is assisting asset and loan portfolio managers, investors and private lenders with a “ 4-PILLAR APPROACH” to the legal challenges they face with non-performing assets: 1) LOAN WORKOUTS; 2) COMMERCIAL FORECLOSURES (across the State of Florida); 3) COMMERCIAL EVICTIONS; and 4) REO COMMERCIAL CLOSINGS.30+ years’ legal experience means - WE CAN HELP!

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