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BEWARE!

3 days isn't always 3 days.

WHERE ADDRESS FOR PAYMENT IS A POST OFFICE BOX OR OUT
OF COUNTY, LANDLORD WAS REQUIRED TO GIVE 8 DAYS FOR
TENANT TO PAY RENT OR VACATE THE PREMISES.


BELCHER & CASTRO vs. MCPHEE & WRIGHT
Broward County Case No. 04-06013 COSO (60), September 7, 2004

Nearly everyone is familiar with the 3-day notice to pay rent or deliver possession which is set forth in §83.56 (3), Florida Statutes. Conveniently, the statute includes the language for the notice; however, despite the apparent simplicity there are requirements that are not explained in the statute. One of those requirements is providing the tenant with an extra five (5) days to pay rent or deliver possession in some circumstances. This means that the tenant is actually entitled to a total of eight (8) days from the date that they receive the notice to mail the payment to the landlord. The landlord cannot file an eviction before all of this time has elapsed.

In the Belcher case, the landlords served a 3-day notice on their tenants in Broward County. The address for payment was a post office box in Homestead, Florida – the next county over. The court observed:

“Not only is it physically impossible to deliver rent to a post office box (it must be mailed) but, Plaintiffs listed their address as being in a different city and county. Therefore, Plaintiffs were required to give Defendants a minimum of eight (8) days from when the Three-Day Notice was delivered to pay or vacate.”

The court dismissed the eviction for this and other reasons. The court also awarded attorney’s fees and costs to the tenant. Mistakes such as this are time consuming and expensive. The tenants remained in the premises and the landlords had to reach into their pocket to pay for the tenants’ attorneys. From all appearances, the landlords filed the eviction as pro se Plaintiffs, without the assistance of an attorney.

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