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Where tenant who held month-to-month tenancy failed to give landlord written notice at least seven days prior to vacating premises, landlord was not required to send notice of intent to impose claim on security deposit — Tenant in month-to-month tenancy who failed to give notice fifteen days prior to vacating premises is liable to landlord for one month’s rent

Tenant held over after the expiration of her annual lease with the permission of the landlord. Tenant texted the Landlord several times in December 2011 that she would have to move if a larger apartment was not available, however, nothing was put in writing (nor entered into evidence) until January 2, 2012. At that time, the Tenant notified the Landlord that she would be moving out on or before January 6, 2012, and provided a new address.

On January 19, 2012, the Landlord sent a “Notice of Intention to Impose Claim on Security Deposit” due to unpaid rent for January and cost of repairs in the amount of $800.00 to tenant’s  old address.  On February 2, 2012, the Tenant replied and objected to the Landlord’s claim.

Section 83.575(3) states that if the Tenant remains on the premises with the permission of the Landlord after the rental agreement has terminated and fails to give notice required under s. 83.57(3), the Tenant is liable to the Landlord for an additional 1 month’s rent.

Section 83.57 states that a tenancy without a specific duration may be terminated by either party giving written notice: When the tenancy is from month to month, by giving not less than 15 days’ notice prior to the end of any monthly period.

Section 83.49(5) states that any tenant who vacates the premises which are the subject of a tenancy from month to month shall give at least 7 days written notice by certified mail or personal delivery to the landlord prior to vacating the premises. Failure to give such notice shall relieve the landlord of the notice requirement of paragraph (3) (a). The Tenant may still have a claim to the security deposit.

Florida Statutes Section 83.49(3)(a) F.S. states that upon vacating the premises the Landlord shall have 30 days to give the Tenant written notice by certified mail to the Tenant’s last known mailing address of his intention to impose a claim on the deposit and the reason for imposing the claim. Failure to do so results in a forfeiture of the right to impose a claim.

The Court ruled that because the tenant held over with the landlord’s permission she owed the landlord one month’s rent as a penalty.   Because the tenant did not provide a 15 day notice terminating the tenancy, the tenant owed January 2012 rent.  Because the tenant did not provide 7 days notice prior to vacating,  the landlord was not required to send a  written claim on the security deposit.  Therefore it did not matter that the claim that the landlord did send was defective for not being sent by certified mail and for being sent to the wrong address.

TAKEISHA LASTER, vs. ASTLEY RHODEN, County Court, 17th Judicial Circuit in and for Broward County. Case No. 12-2767 COCE (55). May 2, 2012. Sharon Zeller, Judge. 19 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 666a.Bottom of Form