I am not licensed in Florida so I will defer to a Florida attorney who has a better answer or takes a postion contrary to me, but fundamental landlord tenant principles are generally consistent from state to state. If you were in Texas and the oral agreement for you to rent the home was for a period of one year or less and had explicit terms as to monthly rental payments I would say you had a binding oral lease and they cannot now attempt to revoke it or change it after you have performed. Again, I defer to Florida counsel, but if you don't get a better answer I think you should take them cash on Monday morning with a letter recounting your conversation with the wife and stating that you intend to honor the agreement you reached with her and that you have already relied on her agreement and representations by expending however much money you spent to improve the property (plus a reasonable value for your labor). Now they may move to evict you even after that and they may not accept the cash. But do not take your check back from them. If they move to evict you by filing a forcible detainer action then you can countersue them for breach of contract, fraud, unjust enrichment, etc. if Florida law allows you to do that in an eviction proceeding. If it does not, then you can sue them separately in small claims court for your damages measured in the amount of money you spent to improve their property based on the wife's representations. Of course if you could find an attorney to help you with this that would be preferable but it may be difficult for you to get an attorney interested on these facts. Good luck. And sorry about your situation.
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You and the landlord have a valid and binding oral lease agreement.
They accepted the check.
You need legal representation. These owners sound crafty to me.
Make an appointment to see an attorney asap.