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Ex-girlfriend's Mother Trying to Evict Me Without a Lease Agreement? Eviction Defense

Discussion in 'Other Residential Landlord & Tenant Issues' started by JBustin, Sep 24, 2021.

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  1. JBustin

    JBustin Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
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    In short, me and my ex-girlfriend broke up about a week ago. The home we live in is owned by her parents. We ended on civil terms, and so we agreed that I would find a place of my own by mid next month (October). I know literally no one else in this area, and I have children that live near me, so I can't just up and leave. At the same time, I am VERY limited financially, as all I have currently is a part-time job (very long story). So, I can't afford to live in a hotel (as I would also have to pay for storage on top of that to keep my things), and I have no family or friends around this area that I could stay with either.

    I'm doing the best I can, but the market is currently flooded with people looking for a home. I just had someone I reached out to about and hour ago. They only had their ad up for about 2hrs, yet they told me they already had over 70 people reach out to them. Needless to say, it's VERY hard to figure something out now.

    Despite us agreeing I'd be out by mid October, her mom came from NY to visit, and took it upon herself to file an "Unlawful Detainer Summons" against me. I am now panicking, as I feel this will most likely show up to others as a potential eviction, which will of course reflect poorly. I also have absolutely nowhere else to go, but don't want to fight this thing until the point where I have a court ordering me to leave.

    Her daughter assured me she isn't fighting this herself, but she is the only one I ever talked to about living here. I've been here for five months now, and the paperwork the sheriff gave me does acknowledge this. However, it claims that her mother asked me to leave about a week ago (which isn't true at all - she hasn't talked to me since the start of April since they live in NY).

    I have the five days to write a response, but under the circumstances, I'm not sure of the best response to give? I mean I do plan to state that her mother had no oral or verbal agreement with me at any time, and the only discussion of me moving out since our last breakup was with her daughter, and that I'd be out by mid October.

    I just don't know how much to include in my defense so I don't get evicted immediately, but not saying so much that it might hurt me in a hearing.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated. I know more than anything, based on what my ex said, her mother is doing this because she doesn't trust people. She doesn't believe I will follow through next month, so she feels a need to do this for her own protection (that come mid October I didn't leave, she'd have to start all this then). So, I *might* be able to have some sort of written agreement or something in court where I agree to the October 17th as I did with her daughter, and it would most likely make the mom back off. She just wants assurance that I'm not going to drag this out. I just don't know what to do, how to respond, etc., as this is all new to me. Any advice would be greatly appreciated, as I was blind-sided by this and so was her daughter, as she didn't tell her either.
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    You KNOW what must be done, or what will be done.

    The property owner doesn't care about your issues.

    She just wants you off her property today.

    Want the nightmare to end, just leave.

    You're already delaying, whining about how hard it is for you.

    If you go to court, you're going to be ordered to leave the premises.

    Once the eviction order is issued, you'll have 24 hours to scatter before the sheriff's deputies appear to dump you and your stuff on the sidewalk.
     
  3. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Florida is a bad state to be a tenant without a lease.

    Florida statute 83.57
    Termination of tenancy without specific term.—A tenancy without a specific duration, as defined in s. 83.46(2) or (3), may be terminated by either party giving written notice in the manner provided in s. 83.56(4), as follows:
    (3) When the tenancy is from month to month, by giving not less than 15 days’ notice prior to the end of any monthly period;


    Nothing in there says it has to be in writing. You can try, in your response, asking that the eviction be dismissed because you didn't get 15 days notice of termination of tenancy as per statute.

    Read the eviction statute to see if there is any help there.

    Statutes & Constitution :View Statutes :->2021->Chapter 82 : Online Sunshine (state.fl.us)

    Irrelevant, especially since you have nothing in writing. Worse, it's hearsay, likely not admissible, unless you get your girlfriend to testify against her mother. Good luck with that.

    Life lesson from the school of hard knocks. Never live with girlfriends. Break-ups are inevitable and sob stories like yours are legion.
     
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  4. JBustin

    JBustin Law Topic Starter New Member

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    This is your "legal advice"??? Do you or have you ever practiced law??? Is THIS what you would tell someone coming to you as a defendant requesting your services???

    It has been a week since her daughter and I broke up. We have been civil. We agreed on Oct 17th. I have lived here for almost six months now, and with only a moderate income, I am supposed to just up and leave?

    I certainly don't see a judge under the circumstances immediately issuing a writ of possession. I was never even given a request from her mother to leave. In fact, I haven't talked to her mother since March, as she lives out of state (she is here now visiting, which makes this all the more uncomfortable).

    I'm not harming anyone, and there are no issues between me and anyone else in this house. Her mom is acting out of paranoia that I won't leave of my own volition, with no basis of reasoning.

    Most the information I'm seeing online gives you at least 30 days. I saw a reply below yours that indicates a minimum of 15 days notice after written notice, which I STILL have not received.

    I have children, one of which I am working with the mother of to get more time with. It will SEVERELY hurt my negotiations with her if I end up homeless. So, it's not just me not wanting to be homeless, but me wanting to get more time with my daughter, and family means EVERYTHING to me. Not to mention my daughter is VERY sensitive, and I don't want to have to tell her she can't come to my home because I no longer have a home. It would break her heart, and I would sooner fight her mother to the bitter end than hurt my daughter.

    I thought the 17th was reasonable. About 30 days. Her mom is expecting it to be a week and I'm out. I am trying my hardest to find a new place, but there are TONS of people looking for homes right now. For example, I reached out to someone who posted an efficiency for rent on FB Marketplace. I contacted them about 2hrs after it was posted. They told me they already had over 80 applicants and they are evaluating them in order, so most likely it's taken already. That is what I run into time and time again. The only other options are ones that are way out of my price range. Yes, I am seeking more work, and after finding a new place, it would give me more time to look for jobs. But, I don't want to risk an eviction because I end up somewhere that I can't afford.

    I'm not trying to milk this place, just trying to get a reasonable amount of time to find a new place so I don't end up homeless.
     
  5. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    None of your problems are your ll problems. Get a job or two so you can support/house yourself (and children) and understand you do get to inflict your problems on others.
     
  6. JBustin

    JBustin Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Adjusterjack, thank you so much for your help. And if I had any clue her and I wouldn't work out, I would NEVER have moved in. She didn't change until I was living with her, so by the time I saw her true colors, it was too late. Life lesson on my end here.

    So, are you determining the 15 days based on that statute assuming I am paying her daughter monthly? I can actually prove I was paying monthly, but there is nothing written, just monthly Zelle transactions to her daughter. So, would they consider it monthly because of those payments?

    The 15 days should be all I'd need, so that would be a huge help.

    While I do plan to address some of the other things in the complaint from her mother, as far as her failure to comply with statute 83.57, will this work:

    "* This case fails to comply with Florida Statute 83.57, as no 15 day written notice was provided to defendant. As such, [my name] requests dismissal of this case."

    I don't know what to call it other than "this case," as the first page calls it "Unlawful Detainer Summons (Claim for Possession of Premises)" yet later it is titled, "Complaint for Unlawful Detainer." So, if there is something I should call it other than "this case," please let me know which one to call it by.

    Anyway, I sincerely appreciate all your help. Like I said in my last post, I'm fighting not just for me, but to keep from breaking my daughter's heart. I never lie to my children, and while she is young, she is also extremely intelligent. So, there is NO way I could explain to her that she can't visit me at home anymore without her asking enough questions to the point where I would have to tell her I am working on getting a new home (or something along those lines). She is VERY sensitive, and I just don't want to do that to her. I mean of course I'm not too keen on living in my car either, as with how bad housing is these days, I couldn't imagine any of the shelters having any space at this time.
     
  7. sandyeggo

    sandyeggo Member

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    Besides looking for somewhere to move to quickly, you should be pounding the streets looking for full time employment. I understand the ex-girlfriend's mother's point of view on this. I see you NOT moving out by Oct. 17th and it becoming a huge headache for your ex and her family to get you out of their home. Better to get the ball rolling now to force you out.
     
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  8. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    I bolded and underlined it...
     
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  9. JBustin

    JBustin Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Oh, other questions.

    1) Will current background checks potential landlords will conduct pull this up as an eviction? I'm not sure with the titles this paperwork has if that would be the case.

    2) If so, after the case is closed, is there any way I could get it wiped from my record (assuming the court finds in my favor and/or I relocate before the hearing)?
     
  10. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    What is a tenant in Florida?

    When a person pays rent to live in a house, apartment, condominium or mobile home, the renter becomes a tenant governed by Florida law. It doesn't matter whether payment is made weekly, monthly or at other regular periods.

    It doesn’t matter whether the apartment, house, condominium or mobile home is rented from a private person, a corporation or a governmental entity. These facts are true even when there is no written “lease” agreement.

    Consumer Pamphlet: Rights and Duties of Tenants and Landlords – The Florida Bar.


    What's the difference between a tenant and an occupant?

    A tenant is a person occupying or entitled to occupy your property because they entered a lease or rental agreement with a landlord.

    On the other hand, an occupant is a person other than a tenant or the tenant's immediate family, occupying the premises with the consent of the tenant.

    Do occupants have rights?

    Occupants are authorized to reside in the property with the landlord's, or sometimes the tenant's permission. Occupants do not have financial responsibility for the lease, nor are they entitled to any tenant's rights that might be afforded under law.



    Landlord/Tenant Law in Florida / Consumer Resources / Home - Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services
     
  11. JBustin

    JBustin Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I am spending literally all morning, noon, and night looking for a new place. That is my priority at this point. I have never had a problem finding a job in the past. I just simply don't have the time to right now, I am still making a moderate amount of money with my current job, and my priority is finding a home. My daughter won't know if I don't have a full-time job, but she WILL know that she is no longer able to come to my home (if I end up homeless). That is why finding a home is my top priority. The longest it ever took me to get a job in the last 20+yrs was maybe two weeks.
     
  12. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    Rent a room rather than an apartment for the time being. A room would be a lot less money, so you could save for an apartment. The child custody should be put on the back burner till you have stable income and housing.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2021
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  13. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Evidence of those monthly transactions would likely show a month to month tenancy.

    That brings up another issue. You made those payment to the daughter. You were the daughter's tenant not the mother's tenant. One more reason to include in your answer, on which to base a dismissal. You paid rent to the daughter. The mother was not party to the landlord tenant arrangement and therefore has no standing to file the eviction.

    Granted, I'm just brainstorming some delaying tactics (not legal advice), but if you also request oral argument it might delay things even further if the court agrees to it.

    Your answer could just be entitled Response to Complaint for Unlawful Detainer.

    Damn. I zoned right past that. Face palm.
     
  14. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    That won't fly unless the daughter was either (1) an owner of the property and thus had the right to lease the home herself or (2) was an actual tenant of the mother's with a right to sublease her tenancy.
     
  15. ldij46

    ldij46 New Member

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    What court date is listed on the summons? Is the court date prior to mid October?
     
  16. JBustin

    JBustin Law Topic Starter New Member

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    No court date listed on it, but I don't have to worry about it anymore.

    I found a place to move into this Friday. Not ideal, but something for now to get out of here and stabilized again.

    I still want to argue this case, just in case any future landlords see it, they can at least see the case was dismissed.

    I still plan to use the argument that the mother failed to follow proper eviction procedure (which would've been that 15 days). I get what some of you were saying above. While the mother filed it, she *acted* like her daughter was acting as landlord, at least according to what she filed. Either way, proper procedure was definitely not followed one way or another.

    But anyway, I'm also going to add (most likely as the very first statement) that I have found another residence and will be moving on October 1st, 2021, thereby negating a need for this complaint, as I will be gone before a court date is even made. Not sure the best way to word it, but something along those lines.

    It just really bothers me that because of her mother's paranoia and trust issues, I now have a blemish on my record. Any way I could request it be expunged later on?
     
  17. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    Then since you've moved out, the easiest way to do that is simply move for dismissal since the matter is moot. There is no point to the court ordering you to get out when you've already moved out, after all.
     
  18. JBustin

    JBustin Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Right, I mean I will most likely be out right on the same day the response is due (5 business days), which would be this Friday since I got it last Friday. So, by the time the courts get it, I will be gone.

    I threw the other grounds for dismissal at the judge as well (15 day notice; her daughter functioning as the landlord), just to try to make sure we don't have to have a court hearing to verify I'm gone. So, looks like that should save me the time of going to a hearing... hopefully.

    Anyway, I appreciate everyone's feedback here. I was really stressed out, and you all gave some very useful feedback. Take care and I wish you all the best for the help. :)
     
  19. PayrollHRGuy

    PayrollHRGuy Well-Known Member

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    Unless you receive written notice of dismissal from the court you need to show up for any hearings or a default judgment against you will likely be entered.
     
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  20. JBustin

    JBustin Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thank you. I am going to call the courts tomorrow to find out how to keep on top of it. I tried to do a search in the public records for the county, but I couldn't find the case (neither by case # or either of our names). I didn't want to put my new address on the documentation I filed, as I didn't want her or her family knowing where I live now. At the same time, I want to make sure to follow through on that case until it is dismissed.

    But anyway, I did move out on Friday. While I left some things behind, I just took the losses. She actually contacted me hours after I left, complaining that I took her pillows (which I didn't - they are in the closet). Sort of feel like she was just desperate for a reason to contact me.

    The only reason I haven't blocked her is in case I left something important behind that I forgot about. But, most of it is trivial, like LED bulbs, some sneakers, shoes, a cooler, and a few other misc. things that can be replaced. Maybe $200 worth of stuff total, so whatever. Worth it to be away from them. I'm sleeping SO much better now.

    But yes, I am most certainly keeping on top of the case and making sure I follow it through until dismissal. Thanks again.
     

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