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Can Landlord without court action enter the premises by force and expel the tenant?

Discussion in 'Commercial Landlord & Tenant Issues' started by Solon-pupil, Oct 16, 2015.

  1. Solon-pupil

    Solon-pupil Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    Florida
    I have a commercial month to month lease for a small office that includes electricity & amenities such as photocopying, fax, conference room, etc. The lease contains the following clause.
    "In the event that the rent specified herein is not paid when due, Landlord shall have the option to terminate this lease, in which event Tenant shall immediately surrender the leased Premises to Landlord. But if Tenant shall fail to do so, Landlord may enter upon the leased Premises and expel or remove Tenant and its effects, by force, if necessary, without being liable to prosecution or any claim for damages."
    Is this legal?
    (also, a 3-day notice is not mentioned anywhere on the lease)
    A friend told me that unless Tenant surrenders or abandons the premises, the Landlord can only get possession by court action such as eviction lawsuit.
    If the Landlord attempts to expel me by force, can I call the police and tell the police that the Landlord does not have a court order?
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    A landlord can't expel you via force, WITHOUT suffering a legal penalty.
    Now, don't get confused, my friend.
    Let's say your landlord has a SEVEN foot tall, 450 pound body guard named, BIG BOPPER.
    The landlord comes to your office, accompanied by his bodyguard, BIG BOPPER.
    You don't have the landlord's rent.
    The LL instructs BIG BOPPER, to toss that cheapskate outta here.
    No doubt, you'll be tossed.
    If that happens, your remedy lies on one hand with the police for some type of crime allegedly committed by BIG BOPPER.
    Your financial remedy lies in small claims against your landlord.
    Both remedies must then be pursued using the legal remedies suggested above.

    The message here is, JUST because someone is prohibited from doing something doesn't mean he or she will heed such prohibition.

    If you're behind in your rent, I suggest you cure the default, if possible.

    Otherwise, do yourself a favor, and discuss your departure with your landlord.

    If you owe, you pay.

    You don't want even the filing of an eviction proceeding against you.
     
  3. Solon-pupil

    Solon-pupil Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Army judge, while I appreciate the analogy and chuckled at the characters like BIG BOPPER, I respectfully disagree with your advice. While you seem to agree that a Landlord can't expel a Tenant via force, I assume you arrived at that conclusion because if a Landlord were to expel a Tenant via force it would be illegal. So if you acknowledge that the Landlord's actions are considered illegal in this instance, why the Landlord's clause in the lease is not illegal?
    If everybody takes your advice, nobody would ever stand up against a landlord for what is right. What is happening in this lease is that the Landlord has written a clause that is against Florida Law. The Landlord did that on purpose to scare the tenant. The only way for the court to find out about it, is if the Landlord files an eviction lawsuit. Would you like to live in an apartment with a lease that has a clause like the one in the original posting. Is your answer to leave and go find another apartment?
    The legal rights we enjoy today is because countless of ordinary citizens before us stood up for what is right. If we keep turning a blind eye, I won't be surprised if Landlords keep adding to the lease clause in question additional illegal ideas that they can come up with if a Tenant is behind the rent. Maybe having the Tenant's wife spend a night with the Landlord can be added. How egregious a lease clause has to be for someone to take a stance?
    I would have appreciated if you or someone else had answered the question regarding the police. That is, how do I convince the Police that the Landlord is breaking the Law if the landlord proceeds without a court order? And here is some irony. What if the Landlord calls the Police, shows the Police the lease clause, and asks the Police to expel the Tenant. What if the Policeman is a novice and believes that the lease clause is legal?
    I hope a law enforcement person, or any person who has knowledge or experience in this matter will respond to the above questions.
    Thank you
     
  4. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Why did you seek information?

    It seems YOU have it all figured out.

    Now, here's what you fail to recognize, so I'll school YOU, because I'm feeling benevolent.

    The landlord can put any ridiculous clause he or she wants into a lease.

    Some people might refuse to sign the lease.
    Other people MIGHT sign the lease, not knowing or caring what the clause means.

    Let's say the clause is the one which you asked about.

    The law protects dummies, idiots, the unknowing, the uncaring, and even the weak minded among us, SOMETIMES.

    However, such protection is only offered when the matter is brought before the proper forum in the correct jurisdiction (situs) of the area where the dispute or violation occurred.

    The police don't involve themselves in civil matters.

    Why?

    Because the authority of police agencies is grounded in the criminal law.

    Any clause in a lease that violates state law is null and void, EVEN if an unknowing, weak minded, IDIOT signs the lease.

    The lease won't be declared void, simply the provisions(s) in conflict with state statute.

    However, my admonishment, your remedy if the landlord tries to enforce his or er illegal clause lies in a court somewhere within your state.

    State law in Florida says, your landlord must give you 12 hours’ notice to enter property you are renting(Fla. Sta. Ann. § 83.53).

    If your landlord repeatedly violates your rights to privacy, or does things like removing windows or doors, turning off your utilities, or changing the locks, you would be considered “constructively evicted,” this would usually justify you breaking the lease without further rental obligation.

    The police DON'T get involved in civil matters.

    If the criminal law is violated by one or both parties, or the peace is disturbed, the police will act.

    The time to balk at any clause of a lease YOU, as the tenant find illegal, don't sigh the lease.

    Despite your protestations, the law isn't concerned in civil matters until the case is brought before the proper court.

    Again, the police are only concerned if the peace and quiet of the community is disturbed, or the criminal law is violated.
     
  5. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    One way is to print out, and have on hand, the section of the Florida Non-Residential Landlord Tenant Statute that says so. See 83.05 (2) (a) through (c) at:

    Statutes & Constitution :View Statutes : Online Sunshine

    You would be wise to study the entire statute:

    Statutes & Constitution :View Statutes : Online Sunshine

    And since ousting you by force is illegal you might also want to study certain sections of Florida Chapter 776, commonly known as the Castle Doctrine:

    Statutes & Constitution :View Statutes :->2014->Chapter 776 : Online Sunshine
     

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