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I have a tenant that has not paid rent in over six months. He has a month to month tenancy.

Tampa, FL |

Can I terminate the lease by virtue of a 15 day notice, then sue in small claims for the back rent once he moves out?

Or, if he fails to move out, then file a count i and count ii eviction.

help please.

Attorney Answers 5


  1. On a month to month lease you would have to give 1 months' notice, unless the lease says otherwise.

    This answer should not be construed as creating an attorney-client relationship, and is for informational purposes only.


  2. Presuming the residential property is in Florida and you do not have a lease, Florida Statute 83.57 states:

    "When the tenancy is from month to month, by giving not less than 15 days’ notice prior to the end of any monthly period"


  3. You can go through the process and evict him for failure to pay the rent. You will need to sue him for the back rent. I would suggest that you speak with an attorney to review you specific situation. Many attorneys offer a free consultations, including my office, where we can fully evaluate the complaint, your situation and goals.


  4. Post a notice to vacate within 15 days. The follow up with a Summons and complaint for the back rent and possession. In order to get any monetary damages, you may have to have the papers served personally on the tenant, rather than by positing. At least that is how it works in CO. You may wish to hire a private process server to get the papers served. It is well worth the money and it can get done quicker.

    This answer is for general information only and does not create an attorney client relationship between Navaro & Associates LLC and any person. You should schedule a consultation with an attorney to discuss the specifics of your legal issues. Our firm offers free consultations up to 1/2 hour.


  5. Make a consultation with a local landlord lawyer.
    You can post a Pay or Quit Notice now and also mail a certified letter to the tenant terminating as of the end of the day December 31, 2012. (assuming he is supposed to pay on the first of each month and not a different day)

    It is *CRITICAL* that the Pay or Quit Notice be prepared, signed, and delivered correctly or the tenant can have the case dismissed and stick you with his / her attorney fees. I highly recommend that you hire an attorney for this.

    Also, the termination letter must be sent certified and must be received by the tenant by December 15th if he / she pays on the first of each month (or is supposed to pay on the first of each month).

    Forget small claims: do it right the first time with a Count One and Count Two lawsuit and have the process server keep going back until they personally serve the tenant. One lawsuit is better than two AND you have to personally serve them for Count Two to proceed. You may never see them again once they leave the property unless you personally serve them with the money damages part (count two).

    Good luck.

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