never been in a position of not being able to meet her obligations. She just received an eviction notice and has no where else to go. What are her options? She is very scared and concerned for her children and their welfare. Her rent has not been paid for the month of March, now they want her to pay that and an attorney fee. Thank you.
Landlord / Tenant Lawyer
Tell your friend to go see her local legal aid for assistance. Assuming she too is in Jacksonville the URL is http://www.jaxlegalaid.org/
If she has been unable to pay rent it is within the realm of possibilities that she will be evicted. If an attorney is involved there is a good chance that the 3-day notice is proper and the eviction will go through. However, if the 3-day notice is defective or she has any other defense she may be able to hold off the eviction for a bit.
I recommend that while she seeks assistance at legal aid she prepare to move (the hope for the best, prepare for the worst idea.) That way if a writ of possession is obtained by the landlord she is ready.
Chapter 83 of the Florida Statutes state that if a person loses in an eviction suit, that person will pay the attorney fees of the other party. This is another reason to go to legal aid, she needs an attorney to properly go over the paperwork with her. Also, she has 5 days from the delivery of the summons to answer or she will automatically lose. So help her get moving on this very quickly.
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She should go to Legal Aid as Mr. Davis has said. Based on the facts you've given, there is a chance the 3-day notice is defective (I assume it is a 3 day notice because that is the proper paperwork for failure to pay rent). It is improper to use a 3 day notice to ask for anything but the amount of rent past due under the terms of the lease. If they demanded attorneys fees using the 3 day notice, their case may be thrown out. Only a court may award attorneys fees.
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