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Landlord rented Tenant an “in-law” studio apartment attached to a single family home.  After several disagreements regarding the apartment,  tenant called the Code Enforcement Board (“CEB”) to complain about the condition of the apartment. grannyflat

While the CEB officer found that the apartment was clean, he also found that the apartment was in violation of applicable zoning laws prohibiting two dwelling units on the property.  Landlord terminated the tenancy effective  June 30th,  but the tenant held over.  Landlord issued a 3 day notice on July 9th,  and then filed an eviction for non-payment of rent.  On August 4th, tenant  vacated the premises. On August 11, 1997, the trial court entered final judgment in favor of  landlord and  damages in the amount of $1,000.00 for July and August rent due at $500.00  per month.

Tenant appealed.   The appellate court ruled that to permit the landlord to receive a full month’s rent  for August  when she would not otherwise be able to rent the apartment would create a windfall for her. However,  the landlord is entitled to be compensated for tenant’s  use and occupancy of the premises through August 4th. See generally Morris Investment Partnership v. Figueroa, 698 So. 2d 288 (Fla. 3d DCA 1997).  Therefore the appellate court awarded July rent and prorated rent for August.

Author’s Note: by issuing a 3 day notice after the date of lease termination,  landlord reinstated the month to month tenancy and forfeited the remedy of double rent per diem for the holdover.

MORRIS, v. WAGNER,  9th Judicial Circuit in and for Orange County. Case No. CVA197-59. April 22, 1999.  6 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 451b.

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