We would have to take a look at the court record to determine if there was an error in the case. It is not uncommon for notice to be given by posting, or other persons in the property, or other means that do not actually inform the tenant. If these types of notice happened, they may be acceptable by the law. Conversely, it is also not out of the ordinary for landlords to skirt the notice requirements and try to get away without proper notice. Only an attorney who closely studies the court file can know if your rights have been violated. If so, with a proper and timely motion, this can be presented to the judge, who should correct it if the errors are accurate and pointed out properly. I suggest that you retain an attorney immediately.
THIS is another example of why it is critical to HIRE legal counsel when you are involved in a lawsuit. Under the Quest case and 83.60(2) - when a tenant is sued for eviction they will usually have 2 issues (1) FILE a proper legal response in the 5 day period and (2) place all past due money claimed in the complaint in the registry of the court....that means every penny every dime. If you don't do BOTH the tenant defaults and LL essentially gets automatic eviction to retake possession with no further notice or argument. This a trap exploited by LL every day and once it is sprung virtually impossible to overcome as tenant and attempting to to do so is a very expensive proposition.
Responses provided represent entirely un-researched, casual opinions and cannot be relied upon in any way or manner as legal advice. No communication here is intended to establish an attorney-client relationship.
There s no question here; and without having the opportunity to review the pleading file, there's no way to know anything here for certain, but if just you wanted to know why you didn't get a chance to dispute the amount of rent due, it's likely because you didn't follow protocol and deposit all the rent you owed (or filed an appropriate a motion to dispute the amount) and/or you did not timely file an answer.
You'll have to consult with a good local tenants attorney for a more thorough analysis.
Hope this helps.
This communication is not intended in any way to establish an attorney-client relationship, nor provide legal advice; it is submitted by its author simply as a general comment on the facts contained in the Question posed. NOTE: This attorney contributor is NOT actively seeking new clients.
The proper time to dispute the amount owed was within 5-days of receiving the summons. It is likely too late now, but there is no way of knowing without knowing the specifics of your circumstances. Do not be afraid to call a lawyer. Most will evaluate your situation for free and tell you if you have a case. Don't expect them to tell you what to do for free, though. There are also attorneys who represent tenants on a contingency basis, so do not let your finances keep you from calling a lawyer.
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