What are the repercussions for breaching a lease agreement?
Well, let’s first start with the tenant. That’s usually the one that is looking to breach or move out of a lease prior to its expiration or not paying the rent.
So, the most common breach of a tenant of a lease agreement is where they don’t pay the rent. The landlord then has the right under the Florida Landlord Tenant Act to file a three day notice to the tenant telling them that they got three days in which to pay the rent or move out and the landlord can then sue for possession and to have the tenant removed by the sheriff.
That process takes about 30 to 45 days. Also, the landlord can sue the tenant for any damages or any back due rent. Depending upon the lease is how that’s to be calculated and when they calculate it, so those are the usual circumstances whenever a tenant breaches the lease, it’s for non-payment or they may violate some other rule.
Again, the landlord must give the tenant a certain notice, giving them, I believe, it’s seven days in order to correct the deficiency such as if they had a pet in the apartment or the house and it was in violation of the terms of the lease, well, they give a seven day notice and tell the tenant they must correct it in seven days or they’ll evict them and if they do it again, well, they will have a right to evict the tenant.
On the other hand, we have the landlord – let’s say that they have leased the property to the tenant and the tenant is paying the rent – this sometimes rises in the event that the landlord is sued in foreclosure and the tenant is of course sued and then they have – the question is: well, has the landlord breached the lease and the answer is: no, until the final judgement of foreclosure is entered and the property is sold and the tenants are required to leave.
Does the landlord breach the lease? In that event, the tenant does have a cause of action against the landlord. They could sue them for the breach of the lease and their liability for that.
Another circumstance where the landlord has leased the property and has decided to sell the property and the tenant is still in possession. The landlord cannot unilaterally terminate a lease. The tenant has a right to remain in possession and really it’s very difficult for the landlord to show the property, but if they do sell the property, whoever purchases it is bound by the provisions of the lease.
So, the landlord has a hard time breaching it other than it’s the landlord’s failure to possibly maintain the property. In that event, the tenant gives a notice to the landlord of the failure of the landlord to do the repairs or maintain the property and the tenant’s remedy is to terminate the lease and move out.
Again, that requires a seven day notice to the landlord giving them seven days to take care of the problem. If a landlord does not or commence then to fix these problems, well, the tenant can terminate the lease and move out.
So, those are some of the most common examples of and the remedies of both the landlord and the tenant as far as a breach of a particular lease. This has to do primarily with residential tenancies rather than commercial tenancies.
So, if you have any questions about your tenant or your landlord, give me a call at 727-847-2288.