Evicting a tenant who only rents a room in your house


Even when a tenant only rents a room in your house, you must still go through a legal eviction process to remove them.  The laws that apply to hotel and motels do not apply to residential leases whether oral or written.


Rodney: I've got a tenant renting one bedroom in one of my houses. Under statute - let's see what was it.

Attorney Tom Olsen: Florida statute chapter 83. You don't need to quote a statute to me, Rodney.

Rodney: 13 point six seven is what I'm seeing.

Attorney Tom Olsen: Go ahead.

Rodney: After posting three-day notice can I just simply change the locks on the door?

Attorney Tom Olsen: The answer is no, Rodney. A three-day notice is step one for evicting a tenant for non-payment of rent. During that three days they could pay you rent and they would stay there. If on day number four they have not paid you rent, then step two is to actually file an eviction action against the person. So you cannot do the eviction action without first posting a proper three-day notice.

Rodney: Okay. Yes, sir. What I understood looking at that law is if you're renting a room out or something like that. I guess it's just hotels and motels.

Attorney Tom Olsen: Yes. That's where you're coming from. Hotels and motels do not have to do that. You would, Rodney. With that said I want you to know that if you really think that you're going to have to evict this person, remember that the Florida statute gives us the form of a three-day notice to pay rent or vacate.

That form looks deceptively easy as far as filling it out all by yourself. But there are a lot of different ways that you can go wrong with that three-day notice. If you improperly fill out your three-day notice to pay rent or vacate, and then you try to evict based on that improper three-day notice the judge is going to kick you out of court. You will have wasted your time and your filing fees. So Rodney, if you have never done a three-day notice before, I would invite you to call Rob Solomon at our office. He is our landlord-tenant attorney. You can speak to him on the phone for a few minutes.

He will give you some guidance on how to fill up your three-day notice. Once you know how to properly fill out your three-day notice to pay rent or vacate, from now on you can do it yourself. But it takes a little education to properly fill out a three-day notice.