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My Landlord gave me 15 days notice to leave. Help!

One of the biggest myths we see in residential Landlord / Tenant law, one of the most common mistakes, is landlords or lessors who give the tenant or lessee 15 days’ notice to vacate or 15 days’ notice of termination of the lease.

Wait, doesn’t the law allow 15 days notice on a month to month lease?  Sort of …

Under Florida Statute 83.46, when the lease has no specific duration, the term is defined by how often the tenant pays rent – annually, quarterly, monthly or weekly. Then, Statute 83.57 provides that the lease can be terminated:

  • If annually (year to year) by giving at least 60 days’ notice;
  • If quarterly by giving at least 30 days’ notice;
  • If month to month by giving at least 15 days’ notice;
  • If week to week by giving 7 days’ notice.

Where most landlords trip up is that each notice provision says “… prior to the end of the …” annual, quarterly, monthly or weekly period (as applicable). In other words, the notice must be prior to the end of the rental term.

For example, on a month to month occupancy, notice given on January 2 can give the tenant until Jan. 31 to vacate because Jan. 31 is the end of the month and Jan. 2 is at least 15 days from the end of the month.  The mistake we see landlords make too often is giving notice on Jan. 2 to be out by Jan 17 (15 days later), or giving notice on January 21 to be out on February 5 (again 15 days later).  Both of these time periods are inaccurately calculated and could get the landlord in trouble for violation of debt collection laws under Federal and Florida Laws, and could interfere with any action to evict the tenant.

The correct notice in the scenarios above:

  • Notice given January 2 – lease terminates Jan. 31.
  • Notice given January 12 – lease terminates Jan. 31.
  • Notice given January 17 – lease terminates February 28.
  • Notice given January 20 – lease terminates Feb. 28 (or 29 in a leap year)

We hope this clarifies a huge myth in the landlord / tenant area of Florida law.  However, for more information on this issue, please subscribe to the Crushing Debt Podcast, on iTunes, Stitcher, and GooglePlay. If you prefer, please contact us to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your options at 727-261-0224 or email me directly at shawn@yesnerlaw.com.

Shawn M. Yesner, Esq., is the host of the Crushing Debt Podcast and founder of Yesner Law, P.L., a Tampa-based boutique real estate and consumer law firm that helps clients eliminate the financial bullies in their lives. We assist clients with asset protection, the sale and purchase of real property, Chapter 7 liquidation, Chapter 13 reorganization, bankruptcy, foreclosure defense, debt settlement, landlord/tenant issues, short sales, and loan modifications in Tampa, Westchase, Odessa, Oldsmar, Palm Harbor, Clearwater, Pinellas Park, Largo, St. Petersburg, and throughout the greater Tampa Bay area.

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