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Portrait of Hancock by John Singleton Copley, c. 1765

The Florida Residential Landlord Tenant statute defines “landlord”  as “the owner or lessor of a dwelling unit.”  §83.43(3) F.S. The “landlord”  may be the plaintiff in an eviction complaint.  Who may sign the complaint on behalf of the landlord is as follows:

Corporation:  complaint must be signed by an attorney.  The corporation must be in good standing.

Multiple landlords: where there is more than one landlord on the lease,  all of the landlords must be named plaintiffs. York v. Fleaane, 7 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 287 (Broward County, 1999)

Partnership: complaint must be signed by a general partner or an attorney.  May not be signed by a limited partner.

Proprietorship:  complaint must be signed by an attorney

Property Manager: In 1992 the Florida Supreme Court ruled that a property manager also had standing to file an eviction if

1) the eviction is residential

2)  The eviction is for nonpayment of rent.  This means the manger may not file an eviction for breach of lease or holdover. See Heneo v. Hammer, 18 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 1179 (Orange County 2011).

3) The eviction is for possession only and does not request a money judgment

4) the eviction is not contested. An eviction is considered “contested”  if a hearing is required. Florida Bar Advisory Opinion 627 So.2d 485 (Fla. 1993).  If an eviction is contested the Plaintiff must hire a lawyer.

5) The property manager must have written authorization from the owner.  If there is no written  authorization or the authorization is found to be forged,  the case will be dismissed and the tenant entitled to fees and costs.  If the court finds the authorization was forged,  the manager could be held in contempt of court and fined or jailed.

The property manager may sign the 3 day notice, complaint, and motion for default.

A property manager may use ONLY Florida Supreme Court issued forms.

Trust: Complaint must be signed by trustee or an attorney