What Can a Tenant Do in Case of Wrongful Eviction?
If you have been a non-problematic and dutiful tenant, and are being wrongfully evicted, there’s definitely help for you. It is normal to receive a notice in an eviction proceeding. The notice should explicitly state that the landlord is rendering your tenancy as invalid or in other words terminating it. Florida eviction laws clearly warrant the providence of time for tenants depending on the duration of tenancy. But on general consensus, a landlord should provide you adequate time to vacate.
Only if you don’t vacate within the time-frame conveyed in the notice can the landlord initiate an eviction process. This entails filing an eviction lawsuit commonly known as Unlawful Detainer. The landlord is expected to initiate the procedure in accordance with Florida eviction laws.
What Classifies as Wrongful Eviction?
The following are some instances to portray certain actions of your landlord that classify as wrongfully evicting you.
- If your landlord locks your home or blocks your entry to your rental home. These actions are wrongful if your landlord has done this even while you are serving the contract period or notice period.
- Removing your items and belongings from your rental home is a blatant act of vandalism. This is not only wrongful eviction but is also a crime. You can use this instance as a strong contesting point against your landlord in the court. There are various laws associated with such acts. Your attorney may be well-equipped to advice you on this.
- Even if a court orders eviction, your landlord is never involved in the proceedings. It is usually the local law enforcement agencies that conduct evictions. Most evictions are non-violent. Law enforcement agencies are required to handle your personal belongings with care. The landlord is exempt from such activities.
- The landlord cannot file an eviction and effect an eviction without your consent and probable contest in court.
- Evictions have to follow certain court procedures.
- You may request your landlord for repairs. Your landlord cannot evict you because you asked for this.
- Eviction due to racial prejudice and discrimination is not entertained in the court of law.
What to do When You Feel You are Being Wrongfully Evicted?
Instead of taking up the matter on your own, it is recommended that you contact an attorney. Florida eviction laws can be tricky. There could be multiple laws and sub-laws attached to your case. Unless you are a lawyer, you may not be cognizant of such things.
A real estate attorney is well-versed with local and statutory laws. This person can protect your rights as a tenant. Most importantly, you have to understand if your case is worth a contest in court. If you take the landlord to court, your case has to be strong. A weak case can spiral you into further losses if you lose the case.
Wrongful eviction verdicts order landlords to pay-up for damages caused to their tenants. Unlawful eviction is a serious offence. Florida courts have ordered landlords to pay thousands of dollars to tenants for wrongfully evicting the latter. Considering this, there is no harm in approaching the court of law if you have a valid case. Needless to say these are also pointers to property lessors, what not to do for evicting lessees.