Can I be evicted simply because a neighbor falsely complained to my landlord about my dog?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can I be evicted simply because a neighbor falsely complained to my landlord about my dog?

Moved in on June 10 and received a letter on July 11 that I was being evicted and had 15 days to leave, due to himLL getting four separate complaints about my dog. He never told me what the complaints were nor did he ask me if AI had something to say or offer about this. Just took her words as gospel and began eviction based on complaints. I have challenged and have a hearing this Monday the 28th of Aug but I’m concerned about losing. I am almost 70 years old, disabled and my dog has canine dementia. He can’t do this can he? I have no where to go.

Asked on August 26, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If you are having a court or judicial hearing as you indicate, the court will listen to the testimony of all persons invovled and decide whether you did anything to warrant eviction; the burden is on the landlord to prove you did something justifying eviction, such as that your dog disturbed or threatened other tenants. If there are 4 different complaints, however, if those tenants come to court to testify, he may be able to prove this, but if he can't prove it to the court's satisfaction, you should not be evicted.
There are also procedural requirements for a legal eviction; if at all possible, ask for an adjournment (delay) tomorrow, even a short one, and hire a landlord-tenant attorney to help you; the lawyer will be far better positioned than you to both see if there are any procedural defects in the notice, timing, or court papers that may require the case to be dismissed, and to also attack the landlord's evidence and try to show that you did not in fact do anything warranting eviction.
Note that whether you have anyplace else to go or not is irrelevant; not having anywhere to go is not a defense to eviction.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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