How to Deal with Unauthorized Occupants in Florida

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Some tenants allow people to reside in the property without the landlord’s consent, which results in leasing violations. Rentals have become commonplace in every state, including Florida, and it’s always crucial to familiarize yourself with Florida rental agreements.

Unauthorized Occupants

An authorized occupant is any adult residing in a property without being on a lease. The occupant isn’t a visitor as they may overstay for longer than is agreeable in the lease terms. Unauthorized individuals don’t have legal rights to be on the property and aren’t part of the lease agreement. While they may be allowed at the property as visitors, overstaying may lead to their eviction. Different localities, states, and lease agreements define the agreeable period for visitors differently, but there is a two-week maximum for visitations across all states, including Florida.

Reasons Why Unauthorized Occupants Are a Major Issue

If you haven’t dealt with the frustrations of an unauthorized occupant situation, you may wonder what is bound to happen. You may wonder whether it’s your business to know who resides on your property as long as the rent gets paid. There are multiple reasons why you should take authorized occupants seriously, and you may wonder, can a landlord restrict visitors in Florida legally?

Lease Negligence

On the lease note, you should be concerned about the risk of damage and more. Unauthorized occupants have not seen the terms of the lease. They are not legally bound to follow the rules even if the tenants ask them to. The issues they cause could be something simple, such as parking violations. It’s not a huge deal, but it can frustrate your tenants.

Potential Damages

If the unauthorized visitor causes damage to the property, it may be hard to hold them accountable for their actions. Tenants are responsible for covering any damages caused by their guests. Proving this in court can be somewhat challenging, especially if the occupant isn’t on the lease, making it hard to reprimand.

Nonpayment of Rent

The unauthorized guest may stay behind if a tenant abandons the apartment or ceases to pay rent. Evicting this type of tenant can be expensive, time-consuming, and complicated. Allowing unauthorized tenants to reside at your property subjects you to a higher risk of being in this situation.

Dealing With Unauthorized Occupants

You can take several measures to deal with unauthorized occupants when it’s time to remove them from the property. It would help if you took decisive and swift action to control the situation completely.

Evict the Occupant and Tenant

If the tenant allows unauthorized visitors to reside on a property and the local code or lease prohibits it, you can evict the occupant and tenant. The overall eviction process outlines the standard eviction procedure and why eviction becomes a lease violation. Below is a quick overview of the entire process.

  • Send a notice three days to quit or fix
  • If the tenant doesn’t follow the fix, visit the local courthouse and file for eviction. You can file to evict unauthorized guests in some states, while in others, you can evict unauthorized occupants or tenants
  • The Florida court reviews the application process and recommends notices for upcoming court dates
  • Prepare the defense, and defend your case in court
  • The judge will then determine the best course of action from there

You must ensure the tenant’s actions have violated the Florida lease arrangement. The process of ejecting unwarranted occupants is hard at times as tenants are allowed to host visitors, so you must confirm your case before making a move.

Talk to the Tenant

The first thing you must do is communicate with the tenant. Have a copy of the Florida lease agreement and remind tenants that they aren’t supposed to have long-term guests without including a lease addendum. Ensure you obtain relevant information about the occupants, including their names and the duration of their stay.

Clarify your lease agreement with tenants to minimize conflict of interest in the future. Establishing clear rules ensures you can limit unauthorized tenants in your rentals.