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Tenants signed a lease for  a residential property from November 1, 2000 and ending October 31, 2001.  The owner sold the property in December 2000.  The new owner  tendered a new lease for the tenants to sign.  They refused.    On April 12, 2001  the new owner issued a 7 day notice of non-compliance  to the tenant for failure to “sign a new lease to a new owner.”   When the tenants still would not sign a new lease, the new owner filed an eviction based on the 7 day notice.

The court rule that the original lease agreement was a legally enforceable contract the terms and conditions of which provide for the respective rights and obligations of the parties.  Nothing in the written residential lease agreement obligates the tenants  to amend, modify or terminate the lease agreement, or to sign a new lease, without the tenant’s  consent and approval. They were under no legal duty to sign a new lease with the new owners during the term of the pre-existing  lease.  The landlord’s case was dismissed.

PELEKANOS, v. SMITH County Court, 1st Judicial Circuit in and for Santa Rosa County. Case No. 57-2001-CC-0458. June 14, 2001. Colie Nichols, Jr., Judge. 8 Fla L. Weekly Supp. 643a

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