What can a tenant do to get more time before an eviction is filed?

UPDATED: Dec 28, 2010

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What can a tenant do to get more time before an eviction is filed?

For almost one year I shared a home with another individual. It was her homestead. She was older than me. About 2 weeks ago she was suddenly, tragically killed in an auto accident. We really cared about each other. I took care of and maintained the interior and exterior of the property, drove her when she needed it, accompanied her to places (bingo; the store), picked up prescriptions, and bought all the groceries. She had macular degeneration and a heart condition, among other things. She had 3 grown children about my age, (50’s); she was 72. For almost the 3.5 years I have known her, the “kids” rarely called her and I only met her daughter 3 times. They never visited her, rarely called, and she was not very happy with them. She supposedly left a Will. Her daughter told me that she left the subject homestead to the 3 of them. Now, they want to just throw me out of the home, onto the streets. They told me that by the end of this week my utilities will be cut off and that their attorney will file an eviction. Frankly, I just want to make certain that I am not just kicked out of the home. I need time. What can I do?

Asked on December 28, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Florida


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss and your situation.  If you are taking the position that you were a tenant - did you pay rent - then you will need to be given notice of an eviction.  They can not, however, turn off the utilities on you and let them know that if they do you will file a proceeding in Landlord Tenant Court.  I am not really sure that you fit in to the category of tenant here.  You seem to be more of an employee, offered a place to live for services rendered.  But regardless, you can not really get a whole heck of a lot of time here.  By the time that they file the eviction proceeding - which is a summary proceeing - until eviction can be maybe a month.  Some states allow it even sooner.  So I would start to make arrangements as soon as you can to find another place to stay. Good luck to you.

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