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Does a landlord have the right to call continuously *exceeding 20 times a day* and force me out without legal eviction?

Fort Myers, FL |

I have made a partial rental payment for nov. tried to explain to landlord that I am having financial difficulties but would try to make some sort of payments. they wont work with me. have been calling continuously, up to 15 times in a matter of minutes. They also stated via voicemail that we MUST be out immediately that they have already rented the apartment. They do not have a legal lease, they used the one we had for last year and just made changes to it and claimed it was signed. It was NOT signed after changes were made. There has been no 3 day notice or any other form of eviction, just the harrassing calls. I informed them for months that my job does not give me the ability to answer my phone while at work, yet they continue calling

Attorney Answers 4

Posted

LL does not need to take partial payment.

You can be out with proper notice. And, simply staying on DOES NOT MEAN FOR FREE EITHER.

You have been month to month and therefore those laws apply.

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2 lawyers agree

Posted

Missing rent, or even only making partial payment is grounds for eviction. They must follow the statutory process for eviction. Chapter 83 of Florida Statutes provides the steps to follow in an eviction case. First they must provide a three day written notice. Then they must file a complaint and issue a summons to you. There will then be a hearing before a Judge who will issue a judgement. After entry of the Judgment, the Clerk will issue a Writ of Possession to the Sheriff describing the premises and commanding him to put the landlord in possession after 24 hours’ notice conspicuously posted on the premises. The Writ must be served by the Sheriff.

Only a judge can order you evicted, and only the Sheriff can put you out of your
home. In an eviction proceeding, a tenant has very little time to respond, so quick action is extremely important.

Florida law does not allow a landlord to force a tenant out by:

1. Shutting off the utilities or interrupting service, even if the service is in the
landlord's name.
2. Changing the locks or using a device that denies the tenant access.
3. Removing the outside doors, locks, roof, walls or windows (except for
purposes of maintenance, repair or replacement).
4. Removing the tenant's personal property from the dwelling unit unless
action is taken after surrender, abandonment or a lawful eviction.

If any of these occur, the tenant may sue for actual and consequential damages
or three month's rent, whichever is greater, plus court costs and attorney's fees.

The twenty phone calls are not expressly prohibited, but could be construed as an unreasonable harassment. A tenant is entitled to the right of private, peaceful possession of the dwelling. Once rented, the dwelling is the tenant's to lawfully use.

You should review this matter with an attorney. Many attorneys offer a free consultations, including my office, where we can fully evaluate the complaint, your situation and goals.

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4 lawyers agree

Posted

You have rights: not to be harrassed. To be evicted IAW FL law (which sounds like 15 days notice as you apparently are on a month to month lease). Contact police regarding harassment. Do not ignore any court summons.

Your LL has rights too: full payment of rent, on time IAW the lease agreement.

LL may evict you, but MUST use the courts. A LL has no power to evict.

READ THIS BEFORE CALLING OR EMAILING ME: I am licensed to practice before the state and federal courts in Virginia. We have not established an attorney-client relationship unless we have a signed representation agreement and you have paid me. I am providing educational instruction only--not legal advice. You should speak with an attorney to whom you have provided all the facts, before you take steps that may impact your legal rights. I am not obligated to answer subsequent emails or phone calls unless you have hired me. I wish you the best of luck with your situation.

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1 lawyer agrees

Posted

The landlord has the right to evict you, but he cannot resort to "self help" in doing so. As the first attorney stated, there is a set procedure that must be followed for the landlord to get an eviction. With regard to the phone calls, hire an attorney and he/she will stop them immediately. I'm including a link to my site, if you'd like help.

This does not constitute legal advice, and there is no attorney/client relationship established.

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