EVICTING FOR HOUSEKEEPING ISSUES
To evict a resident for housekeeping issues, the condition of the unit must be BAD. That means it must be MORE THAN messy, full of stuff, or cluttered. A sink full of dirty dishes does not constitute a violation that rises to the level of a noncompliance with the lease or Florida law.
To terminate a tenancy for poor housekeeping issues, you first need to serve a proper Seven Day Notice of Non Compliance with Opportunity to Cure. A Seven Day Notice to Terminate might follow if you are able to prove that the housekeeping issues listed on the cure notice were not rectified and that the housekeeping is indeed a serious problem that affects the health and safety of others, or that it is damaging the property.
SOME PROOF THAT IS NECESSARY PRIOR TO TERMINATING THE RESIDENT FOR HOUSEKEEPING REASONS
- Photos or video of the condition of the unit. The photos or video should show the condition of the place as of the time the cure notice was served AND as of the time the termination notice was served.
- Employees or other residents (witnesses) of the apartment community who will testify in court about how they are affected by the poor housekeeping. Perhaps a neighbor has been infested with roaches from the resident’s apartment. Or, the noxious fumes from the pet waste are bothering a neighbor.
- If available, a copy of an inspection report from code enforcement or Section 8. If the agencies have not done an inspection, do not request one.
Common Problems That Arise in These Cases Include:
- The resident got the cure notice and cured some, but not all, of the problems. This means it may be best to serve another cure notice for the problems that persisted.
- The place is a mess, but it is not a lease violation. A manager’s perception of what is sanitary and what is not may be very different than what is a genuine lease violation.
- The manager is using “poor housekeeping” as a reason for eviction where the real problem is something else. If the housekeeping issue is a pre-text for some other motivation, the case will surely lose.
- The resident has a disability that affects the person’s ability to maintain the apartment. In this situation, you may need to make a reasonable accommodation for the resident. One reasonable accommodation (there may be others) is to permit more than the seven days to cure the noncompliance.
If you request a notice from your attorney, be sure to include lots of detail about the condition of the apartment. It is NOT sufficient to merely allege “poor housekeeping” or “place is dirty”. Give us the low-down, dirty (pun intended) details so your attorney can draft a notice that paints a picture for a judge. The more detail, the better.
- The Curable Noncompliance Examined PART 1
- THE CURABLE NONCOMPLIANCE EXAMINED PART 2
- THE WRIT OF POSSESSION – WHAT IT IS
- THE WRIT OF POSSESSION AND THE FULL UNIT
- WORK ORDER COMPANY POLICY AND THE LAW