Disorderly Conduct By a Tenant in Florida: What You Can Do as a Landlord
Disorderly conduct by one tenant can harm your entire rental property business. It can disrupt the peace and safety of the community, and even drive away good tenants. Disorderly conduct can even expose you to liability.
If you are a landlord dealing with a tenant's disorderly conduct, you can schedule a free, no obligation consultation with a Florida landlord-tenant dispute attorney at Flaxman Law Group. Our offices in Miami, Hollywood, and Homestead help landlords across Southern Florida.What Is Disorderly Conduct by a Tenant?
Disorderly conduct is any behavior by a tenant that disturbs the peace and safety of the community. Disorderly conduct can include include excessive noise, public drunkenness, threatening or harassing neighbors, damaging property, and engaging in criminal activity. This behavior is considered a breach of the lease agreement and a violation of other tenants' rights to quiet enjoyment of the property.Can I Prevent Disorderly Conduct at My Florida Rental Property?
There is no guaranteed way to prevent all bad behavior, but there are steps you can take to reduce the risk of disruptive behavior:
- Screen tenants carefully with background checks.
- Include rules and expectations related to conduct in the lease agreement and communicate them clearly to tenants.
- If you receive complaints about a tenant's behavior, respond promptly and take appropriate action to address the situation.
- Work with community resources, such as local police or mediation services, to address disruptive behavior.
Florida law allows landlords to take legal action to stop disorderly conduct by a tenant, as long as landlords follow the correct procedures and avoid any unlawful discrimination or retaliation. Here's how to address this difficult situation lawfully:
- Look at the lease agreement. Check for any provisions related to disorderly conduct and the consequences of breaching the lease. You may want to work with a Florida landlord-tenant dispute attorney to review the lease and to get insight into what may be covered by the agreement.
- Provide written notice. If a tenant is engaging in disorderly conduct, send a written notice informing the tenant they need to cease the behavior. This notice should include the specific conduct that is in violation of the lease agreement and the consequences if the tenant does not stop.
- Contact the police if needed. If the disorderly conduct includes any illegal activities, such as drug use, notify the police. Keep a copy of the police report.
- Document everything. Keep detailed records of any incidents of disorderly conduct, including dates, times, and contact information of any witnesses. Try to keep communication between you and the tenant in writing and keep copies of all emails, letters, and other communication in case your claim goes to court.
- Start eviction proceedings. If, after you send the tenant a notice, the disorderly conduct doesn't stop, start eviction proceedings. Make sure you follow the correct procedures, including providing the tenant with written notice of the eviction and following the timelines outlined by Florida law.
- Contact an attorney. Disorderly conduct can lie in a grey area. For example, if a tenant is playing loud music or having parties, they are not engaging in unlawful behavior. Even proving they have violated the lease agreement can be challenging, and it's not uncommon for renters to fight evictions in cases like these. Working with an attorney can help. A Florida landlord-tenant dispute attorney can help you understand whether you have grounds to evict a disorderly tenant, can help you with mediation, can build a strong case for you if your situation ends up in court, and can guide you through the legal process.
If you are facing disorderly conduct by a tenant call Flaxman Law Group at 866-352-9626, contact us online, or email accident attorney Charles Flaxman directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can arrange a free, no obligation case consultation so you can review your situation with a Florida landlord-tenant dispute attorney.