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Eviction where there is no lease - Landlord Forum thread 209443

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Eviction where there is no lease by Robert (Florida) on September 25, 2010 @16:23

Okay, so I own a home and I recently moved to a different state for my job. At the same time, a friend needed a place to live with him and his family. I agreed to let them live in the house if they paid me rent. This was to be done on a temporary basis, and if things worked out after a couple months, then a formal lease agreement would be drafted and signed. The tenant has been in the house for almost two months. the tenant asked me to keep the power and water utilities in my name until they could come up with enough money to pay their deposit to open their own accounts with the utility companies. I agreed on the condition that they paid the money when the bill came in. The tenant failed to pay, and the power was cut off. This sparked a huge argument. The tenant paid the past due amount (that was their amount resulting in their usage) and now the power is back on. Because of this, I am now asking they sign a lease and immediately get the utilities in their name.

The tenant is now refusing to sign a lease. I would like to proceed with the eviction process. The home is located in Seminole county, FL.

Do I follow the same steps as if there is a lease in place? Can I still legally evict even though there is no unpaid rent? Can I legally shut the utilities off in the home? They are still in my name.

Thank you in advance for any help.

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Re: Eviction where there is no lease by Dee (Ohio) on September 25, 2010 @17:39 [ Reply ]
Not sure what the laws in Florida are, but typically you can still evict even if there is no formal lease. You can prove that there was an implied agreement by the fact that they were paying you monies for rent. Hopefully you have proof of their payments. In addition, you should be able to evict for non-payment of utilities. Either way, you have a right to have your premises back for whatever reason. In the state of Ohio, if you are evicting someone, then you cannot accept rental payments at the same time. You would have to deny their payments (as hard as it may be), go to court and evict, then later sue them for damages. This can take a while, averaging 30-90 days before its all said and done. Good luck!
Re: Eviction where there is no lease by Anonymous on September 25, 2010 @18:51 [ Reply ]
By this time you know that you made three big mistakes.
1. You rented to a friend
2. You rented to a friend with no money
3. You left the utilities in your name
knowing the friend had no money.

You can not shut off the utilities. Actually, you can not even allow them to go dead from lack of payment. You must pay even if your "tenant" does not pay. By certified mail with a return requested, send him whatever notice to vacate that meets the statutory requirement. Usually 30 days. You can find it on the internet under "your state" landlord tenant laws. After you have met the statuary requirement, file for an eviction. Not having a lease does not matter. It is all the same. In the eviction, name every adult 18 and over in the house. Look for your "friend" to stop paying rent and the utility bills.

Re: Eviction where there is no lease by Monipenny on September 25, 2010 @19:09 [ Reply ]
Eviction with or without a lease makes no difference. But if tenants rent is current, you have no grounds to evict. As for the utilities, you do not have to pay them if it's agreed that tenant pays them, if they don't then they get shut off, their problem. However you can not call and request shut off.

What you can do is give your State required notice to vacate, if they are not out within those number of days, then you file for eviction on grounds of holdover. If they do not pay rent when due because they received that notice, then turn around and give them your State required notice either to vacate or pay/quit the day after rent is due and unpaid, then evict for non-payment.

Re: Eviction where there is no lease by K (FL) on September 25, 2010 @19:34 [ Reply ]
Clerk of the county court has a little Pay or Quit envelope. Inside has the official P&Q for you to fill out, make a copy, slap on the door, take a picture of it on the door.
It's a 3 day P&Q in our state, not counting the day you serve the paper and not counting holidays or weekends. After the 3 days, file eviction back at the clerk office. Yes, it costs some money. I don't remember it if was 50 or 75, but something like that.

Don't sign a lease, just get the deadbeats out before they wreck the place even worse.

Sorry, you can't shut off the utilities. That will come back to bite you.

If you're lucky, he'll just skulk off in the middle of the night and you won't have to pay even more money for the court date and to pay the sheriff for evicting them when you win.

Re: Eviction where there is no lease by OK-LL on September 25, 2010 @22:08 [ Reply ]
Sounds like the tenant is paying their rent, but not utilities. Without a lease or utility agreement, the utility responsibility is a he-said, she-said situation, so LL cannot evict for non-payment of utilities. LL cannot turn utilities off as this is viewed by the court as "self-help eviction" action. Therefore, the only proper avenue is for LL to serve the termination of tenancy notice to tneant and waiting the (30?) days, then evicting if they holdover. Check your FL LL/T law to determine the proper termination of tenancy notice period.
Re: Eviction where there is no lease by Robert (Florida) on September 26, 2010 @10:19 [ Reply ]
Thanks for all the advice.

I did make a mistake by renting to a friend, and I also made a mistake by renting without a lease. The friend had plenty of money when they moved in. I am guilty of giving more credit than credit was due.

Learning experience for sure.

The renter has agreed to pay one more month, and then move on to a different place. As of now, everything is paid up. So we'll see how this works out.

Thanks again!

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