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If my lease does not say anything about paying her legal or attorney fees does that still mean I have to?

Orlando, FL |

My landlord has threatened to take me to court for unpaid rent, she has yet to give me a 3 day pay or quit notice but told me verbally to be out by July7th so she can find a new tenant for July8th. My rent isn't even going to be late until July8th it is only June27th and she is already trying move a new tenant in. If she does give me a 3 day pay or quit notice and I vacate the premises within 3 days can she still take me to court even though she can not file for eviction because I left already?

Attorney Answers 1

Posted

If you are given a Pay or Quit / Three day notice and you vacate during the three days, the landlord can't use that to begin the lawsuit.

The landlord could then sue you in small claims court, county, or civil court for the balance on your ledger card. If you move out and there are charges for unpaid rent, late fees, maintenance, cleaning, repairs, and replacements on your account, then she can ask for those in the small claims suit.

Based on this scenario, you don't have to move out. If you can't pay your rent and have someplace to move to that is cheaper, you can give written notice to the landlord of what day you are moving, what day and time you can meet her at the property to turn over the key, and send it certified mail and at the same time send it in the mail non certified marked "courtesy copy." Be sure to take your own pictures before you meet with the landlord. Be sure to include your new forwarding mailing address in the certified letter. If you don't have an address for forwarding yet, then write a second letter and send it certified as soon as you do have a new forwarding mailing address.

Good luck!

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Carol Lynne Zimmerly

Carol Lynne Zimmerly

Posted

The Florida Statutes say that the "prevailing party" in an eviction lawsuit will have the ability to receive attorney fees from the other side. If your written lease agreement also provides that the landlord can charge you for the legal expenses even if you don't go to court, then the LL can add the legal expenses onto your account balance and you will be responsible for those.

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