I bought a duplex with non lease tenant and closed on 11/13, neither of the tenants paid rent on the 1st when it was due to the seller. I approached them now and They both claimed they are looking for other apartments but with no set dates. There is no monthly contract or lease agreement. What is my best course of actions?
Do you have copies of the original lease signed with the prior owner?
Do you have the security deposit made by the tenant to the prior owner?
If so, you can file an action to evict the tenants for non-payment of rent.
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Construction / Development Lawyer
If the was not a written lease, then they have a lease of an indefinite period. The rental period is presumed to be period that rent is paid. In this case that is a month to month lease. You or the tenant can terminate the lease at anytime by giving not less than 15 days’ notice prior to the end of any monthly period.
Now I doubt the tenant saying they are looking for another place without giving you a date counts as notice to terminate the lease. You can go ahead and send the a notice by certified mail. If you would like them to vacate the rental unit. This gives them until the end of next month, since you have missed the last fifteen days of this month.
Typically since it was an existing lease, the property comes subject to that lease. The seller should have prorated you the rent and deposits. If in this case they did not pay the rent, they owe you the prorated amount of the rent. If they actually did pay the rent, the the seller owes you the prorated rent.
If it's the tenants that owe, you should begin the eviction process. It begins with giving them the three day notice. You should consult with a local attorney regarding this process. There could a number of nuanced issues that could be involved.
For example, an attorney can verify that you had not already been prorated the rent in you closing documents. In that case you already have been paid by the seller you rental amount for this month. In that case the seller has a cause of action against the tenants, but you don't. You have been paid.
Now if the tenants fail to pay at the first of the month, then definitely begin the eviction process for failure to pay rent.
Landlord / Tenant Lawyer
You can give them a three day notice a/k/a Pay or Quit Notice now for November 1, 2012 rent or wait until December 2, 2012 to give them Pay or Quit Notice for December and November rent or just December rent. Make sure to follow FL statutes to give a properly prepared, signed, and delivered Pay or Quit Notice or the tenant can have the entire case dismissed and attorney fees paid by you for the tenant's attorney.
Most of the landlords who do their own Pay or Quit Notice and then come to my office have prepared or delivered the PQN incorrectly and we have to start over.
I recommend that you see a local landlord lawyer and do it right from the beginning.
If they pay and you want them out, you must give them a Termination notice during the first half of the month via certified mail. (if they pay on the first of the month, you can give them notice they they receive by December 15th in order to have their last day be December 31st)
An oral lease is enforceable in Florida. So, even without a written lease a landlord can still evict. An ejectment applies only if those in residence claim to have ownership interests.
Your best course of action depends on what you want to have happen. Start slow with a 3-Day Notice for Payment or Possession. As the attorney mentioned, the 3-Day Notice MUST conform with Florida law in every way or it is defective and can be the basis of your eviction case dismissed. If the tenants pay the rent, that is wonderful. You have $ from them. If they do nto pay, you can start your eviction case.
If your #1 priority is to have these particular tenants out, then do both notices, immediately. One for rent and the other notice that you the month-to-month tenancy ends at the end of the rental term.
If your #1 priority is to be rid of these tenants, my collea
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