I need to kick Guest out of my Florida property!

 

Florida Unlawful Detainer
Florida Unlawful Detainer

When a Guest has been living at your Florida property with your permission, but has no lease agreement and has not been paying rent, e.g. a boyfriend, girlfriend, relative, friend, and they refuse to vacate, there are various legal remedies which are provided for in Florida Statutes to regain back possession of your Florida property. The proceeding is called a Florida Unlawful Detainer action. On the other hand, when someone has possession of your Florida property pursuant to a lease agreement (verbal or written) and/or has been paying rent, you must remove them through a Florida Eviction action to regain possession of your Florida property if they refuse to move out once the lease expires.

In a Florida Unlawful Detainer action, there is no requirement to give the unwanted guest notice. Once you have requested they move out and they refuse, you may file a Florida Unlawful Detainer complaint for possession with the court. Once the Unlawful Detainer complaint is filed, the legal process is very similar to a Florida Eviction; whereas the unwanted guest is given the opportunity to respond, and, if they do, the court may require a hearing. If the unwanted guest fails to respond, the process can proceed somewhat quickly, culminating in possession being returned to you, the property owner, upon the entry of a final judgment for possession, rescinding any rights the unwanted guest has to possess the property.

As in any Florida legal matter, having an experienced team of attorneys representing you and acting on your behalf to efficiently progress your case through the court system is invaluable. Our experienced team of Unlawful Detainer Attorneys and Eviction Attorneys at The Law Office of Ryan S. Shipp, PLLC are ready and willing to assist you. We are located at 814 W. Lantana Rd., Suite 1, Lantana, FL 33462. Contact us anytime at (561) 699-0399 or email us @ legal@shipplawoffice.com.

 

We are located in Lantana, Florida. We serve South Florida.

Removal of Unwanted Florida Guest

Unlawful Detainer
Unlawful Detainer

Do you need assistance with Removal of an Unwanted Florida Guest? Unfortunately, guests sometimes overstay their welcome. When that happens there are legal remedies to remove unwanted occupants from your home. In Florida, when an occupant who is not a tenant is no longer welcome to stay at your home a process similar to eviction is followed.

 

When someone who was invited to stay at your home, e.g. a girlfriend or boyfriend, sibling, or parent, is no longer welcome to stay and they refuse to leave, you may file an Unlawful Detainer complaint which follows the guidelines of Florida Statutes Chapter 82 with the court to have them removed. Whereas, when attempting to evict a tenant from property you are required to first give the tenant written notice of your intent to remove them.

 

Similar to a landlord’s rights in an eviction, in an Unlawful Detainer action you may not change the locks, turn off the power or water, or effectively “evict” the person yourself without assistance from the Court. Because the unwanted guest previously had permission to live in your home, they have the right to continue to live there until the court enters a judgment for possession against them. Meaning you cannot simply kick them out.

 

The procedure once the complaint is filed is similar to that for an eviction and moves quickly. The unwanted guest staying at your home has the opportunity to file an answer with the court. If the unwanted guest fails to file a response, the court will proceed with entering a judgment for possession against them, culminating in a writ of possession being served by the Sheriff’s Office, removing the unwanted guest from your home.

 

As in any legal matter, having an experienced team of attorneys representing you and acting on your behalf to efficiently progress your case through the court system is invaluable. Our experienced team of Unlawful Detainer Attorneys and support staff at The Law Office of Ryan S. Shipp, PLLC are ready and willing to assist you. We are located at 814 W. Lantana Rd., Suite 1, Lantana, FL 33462. Contact us anytime at (561) 699-0399 or email legal@shipplawoffice.com.

 

Why is a Florida Last Will and Testament important?

 

Wills Attorney
Last Will and Testament Florida Requirements

Estate planning is crucial for individuals to determine their wishes and desires during end-of-life procedures.  As Florida has the highest population of senior citizens, it is important to realize the significance of having estate planning documents for these elderly citizens as well as the entire adult population of Florida.

Estate planning documents include a Last Will and Testament.  A Florida Last Will and Testament states the intentions and desires of an individual’s final wishes.  More specifically, the Florida Last Will and Testament indicates the distribution of assets and appoints a personal representative of the estate.  If you do not have a Florida Last Will and Testament, the laws of the State of Florida will decide the distribution for you and decide who administers the estate.  Many individuals prefer to make these decisions as there can be a family history of discontent.  An individual specifically lists the assets and to whom each asset will be given.

Almost all property can be disposed of by a Florida Last Will and Testament however there are some assets/property that will be distributed outside the will including, but not limited to, a life insurance policy, homestead property, a life estate property or any other property which would be owned by another automatically after death.

If you’re an individual seeking Estate Planning documents in Palm Beach County or you need assistance with a Florida Last Will and Testament, call your Florida Estate Planning Attorneys today at The Law Office of Ryan S. Shipp, PLLC. Our experienced Florida Estate Planning Attorneys are here to assist with all of your Estate Planning needs. Call us today @ (561) 699-0399.

 

Florida Guest Overstays Their Welcome, What Next?

Unlawful Detainer
Unlawful Detainer

In Florida, when a guest/family member/friend/significant other overstays their welcome and now refuses to leave your Florida property, how do you remove them legally?  In this situation, an owner of the property is now forced to take legal action in the form of an unlawful detainer to have the guest/family member/friend/significant other removed.  An unlawful detainer action proceeding is used when the owner of the property and occupant does not have a landlord/tenant relationship and the guest/family member/friend/significant other overstays their welcome.  This situation can arise during the holidays and times of emergency, including natural disasters such as hurricanes when a guest/family member/friend/significant other takes advantage of an owner’s generosity.

 

Florida Statute 82 describes in detail the process for removing a friend/family member/guest/significant other by unlawful detainer.  An unlawful detainer is still classified under summary procedure in Florida which means that the case is heard on an expedited basis.

 

An unlawful detainer can easily be confused with an eviction action, however the difference is substantial.  As described earlier, an unlawful detainer action is only utilized when there is NOT a landlord/tenant relationship.

 

If you’re a property owner in Palm Beach County or you need assistance with an unlawful detainer, call your unlawful detainer attorneys today at The Law Office of Ryan S. Shipp, PLLC. Our experienced unlawful detainer attorneys are here to assist with all of your Florida Real Estate needs. Call us today @ (561) 699-0399.

 

Our office is located in Lantana, Florida. We serve South Florida.

Can a Landlord include late fees in a Three Day Notice?

Can a Landlord include late fees in a Three Day Notice?
Can a Landlord include late fees in a Three Day Notice?

For a Landlord, a Florida Three Day Notice can either make or break your case for eviction.  A Florida Three Day Notice is a document provided to a Tenant stating that they have three (3) days to either vacate the property or pay the amount that is due and owing.  The question for many Landlords is:  What is the correct amount due and owing?  Does it include the monthly rental payment, the late fees, utilities or other miscellaneous payments?

 

The amount listed on the Florida Three Day Notice, per Florida Statute 83.56(3), must state the amount of money for “the rent and use of the premises”.  As such, the Three Day Notice must include the monthly rental payment and can only include the late fee(s) if it is labelled as “rent”.

 

The consequence of a defective Florida Three Day Notice is that the Judge may stop the eviction, while the Landlord has to re-issue/serve the amended Three Day Notice.

 

If you’re a landlord or tenant in Palm Beach County or you need assistance with a Florida Three Day Notice, call your Eviction Attorneys today at The Law Office of Ryan S. Shipp, PLLC. Our experienced Eviction Attorneys are here to assist with all of your Florida landlord tenant needs. Call us today @ (561) 699-0399. We are in Lantana, Florida, we serve South Florida.

Victim of a Crime – Can I Break My Lease?

Victim of Crime under Florida Lease
Victim of Crime under Florida Lease

Unfortunately, crime is a fact of life. Becoming a victim of a crime is unsettling, scary and can leave one feeling uncertain of what to do next. If a crime occurs at your leased residence, your first instinct may be to move, which may require breaking your lease.

 

If you have been the victim of a crime at your leased residence, you have several options. First, read your lease. If your lease states that, in the event a crime occurs at your residence you may terminate the lease, you can give your landlord the notice required in your lease and move out. Second, check your residence to determine if any conditions exist, due to the landlord’s negligence or unwillingness to perform repairs to the property, that cause the residence to be uninhabitable. These can include conditions that cause the property to be unable to be secured, such as a hole in the roof. If the property is deemed uninhabitable, after giving proper notice to your landlord, you may terminate the lease. (See Florida Statutes §83.51). Third, your lease may include an early termination clause, usually referred to as “liquidated damages”. Under this clause there is usually a monetary requirement the tenant must pay to terminate the lease prior to its expiration.

 

In Florida, a tenant is unable to automatically break their lease because a crime was committed there. But having a Florida Landlord-Tenant Attorney on your side who knows the Florida Landlord/Tenant laws can give you options to terminate your lease under those stressful circumstances and help keep you protected.

 

The Law Office of Ryan S. Shipp, PLLC and it’s experienced team of Landlord-Tenant Attorneys and support staff are here to help with all of your needs. Call us today @ (561) 699-0399 to speak with a Landlord-Tenant Attorney or visit us on the web @ shipplawoffice.com

Hurricane Losses and Prompt Notice to Insurance Carriers

Hurricane Losses and Prompt Notice to Insurance Carriers
Hurricane Losses and Prompt Notice to Insurance Carriers

Well now that hurricane season is underway for all of the folks in Florida, there are some key points that you will want to remember if you sustain damage to your home. Your homeowner’s policy is a contract, which is a gauntlet of exclusions and conditions. Exclusions are events or damages that are specifically not covered under the homeowner’s policy. Conditions are typically things that the policyholder needs to do in order to hold up his/her side of the contract. Policyholders must be very careful as to not breach the terms of the insurance policy because the insurer can use this breach as a way to avoid making payment under the policy.  An important condition for an insured to comply with is giving the insurer prompt notice of any potentially covered losses.

 

Prompt Notice

Most homeowner’s insurance policies include the condition requiring policyholders to give the insurer prompt notice of any potentially covered loss. As far as how much notice is necessary, Florida courts have interpreted phrases such as “prompt” “immediate” and “as soon as practicable” to mean that notice should be provided “with reasonable dispatch and within a reasonable time in view of all of the facts and circumstances of the particular case.” Yacht Club on the Intracoastal Condo. Ass’n, Inc. v. Lexington Ins. Co., 599 Fed.Appx. 875, 879 (11th Cir.2015).

 

What is reasonable in light of the circumstances is up for interpretation but its important to know that an insured should be telling his/her insurer about any covered loss as soon as possible and save any proof of this notice as it may be relevant if an insured ends up having to sue his/her insurance company. As such, insureds want to be in the best position to prove he/she has given timely notice to avoid denial of coverage.

 

Failure to Give Prompt Notice

If an insured fails to give prompt notice to his/her insurance carrier he/she has the ability to prove that the insurer was not prejudiced by the untimely notice. During this step, prejudice to the insurer is presumed and the insured bears the burden of proving otherwise. Bankers Ins. Co. v. Macias, 475 So.2d 1216, 1218 (Fla.1985). An insured may rebut the presumption of prejudice by showing that another insurer using competent individuals made a compete investigation of the claim. Hartford Accident and Indemnity Co. v. Mills, 171 So.2d 190, 195 (Fla. 1st DCA 1965).  The other way that an insured may rebut the presumption of prejudice is by showing that the insured had access to “substantial information” regarding the claim, creating an issue of fact whether the delay prejudiced the insurer. Robinson v. Auto Owners Ins. Co., 718 So.2d 1283, 1284 (Fla. 2d DCA 1998).

 

Having a home damaged or destroyed is an upsetting situation as it is. In times of trials and tribulations, it is important that insureds take the steps necessary as to not compound the stress of dealing with losses to their homes. Therefore, it is imperative that insureds do not fail to comply with the simple condition of putting their insurer on notice of their loss.

 

If you need assistance with hurricane related damage, contact The Law Office of Ryan S. Shipp, PLLC today @ (561) 699-0399 to see how we can help. Our office is located in Lantana, Florida. We serve South Florida.

Hurricane Damage? It’s Time for a Proof of Loss

 

Hurricane Damage Attorney
Hurricane Damage Attorney

Hopefully you didn’t sustain any hurricane or other damage to your home during this hurricane season, but if you did, it is important to know some things about submitting a proof of loss to your insurance company. An insurance policy is a contract, in which the insurer agrees to indemnify the insured policyholder for sudden and accidental covered losses in return for the policyholder’s agreement to pay a premium and comply with certain post-loss requirements. An insured’s compliance with the post-loss obligations mandated in the policy can determine liability. See State Farm Fire & Cas. Co. v. Licea, 685 So.2d 1285, 1288 (Fla.1996) Therefore, it is important that an insured obtains a certified copy of their insurance policy to assess his/her post-loss obligations.

 

The filing of a proof of loss is a typical post-loss obligation that if not complied with could result in the denial of an insurance claim. A proof of loss is a formal declaration made by the insured regarding a claim so that the insurer may determine its liability under the policy.  The insurance policy will provide what must be included in a proof of loss, so insureds should cross-reference their actual policies to ensure that nothing is missed.

 

As with many other legal matter, timing is crucial when submitting a proof of loss. The sworn statement in proof of loss usually must be submitted within 60 days from the date the insurance company requests it, but it may be required 60 days from the date of loss. As such, it is important to review the insurance policy’s section on “Duties After Loss” to determine the exact amount of time provided for under the insurance contract. Failure to timely submit a proof of loss may result in denial of an insured’s claim.

 

Florida courts have found that when an insurance contract contains a provision which applies to submitting a proof of loss an insured must give notice of the loss that implicates a potential claim without waiting for the full extent of the damages to become apparent. Kendall Lakes Towers Condo. Ass’n v. Pacific Ins. Co., No. 10-24310-CIV, 2012. Florida courts have also found that when post-loss obligations are not complied with that it is improper to compel appraisal. State Farm Ins. Co. v. Xirinachs, 163 So.3d 559 (Fla. 3RD DCA 2015). Therefore, it is important that insureds comply with all post-loss obligations under the insurance policy to maintain his/her rights under the insurance policy.

 

Proofs of loss can be complicated and small mistakes can create delays in the claims process. As such, insureds should make certain the correct policy number, claim number, policy term, date of loss and other specifics are correctly and legibly listed on the proof of loss. Additionally, public adjusters are state certified professionals representing the interests of the policyholder in the claim process.

 

If you need assistance with hurricane related damage, contact The Law Office of Ryan S. Shipp, PLLC today @ (561) 699-0399 to see how we can help. Our office is located in Lantana, Florida. We serve South Florida.

 
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