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In the case of IRELAND vs. DIAMOND  In the County Court in and for Broward County. Case No. 94-04843. March 30, 1994. [2 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 223c ]  the  tenant complaint to code enforcement about the condition of the leased premises.  The landlord responded by showing up the  premises, flashing a gun at the tenant, and removing the refrigerator, the stove, two ceiling fans, and an air conditioner.    The tenant filed suit.    The court entered an injunction requiring the landlord to return the items within 24 hours, failing which the landlord would be found guilty of prohibited practices under FS 83.67 and fined 3 month’s rent  per day for each day the violation continued.   The case was continued to consider awarding  the tenant their moving expenses  as well.

Chapter 83.67  specifically prohibits the landlord from causing , either directly or indirectly,  the interruption of any utility service to the tenant,  including heat and refrigeration or  changing the locks,   but has been interpreted by the courts  as prohibiting  the removal of ANY amenity that was part of the original lease.   A fine of three month’s rent is the price for attempting “an out of court settlement.”