What to do about retalaition by a landlord?

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What to do about retalaition by a landlord?

I am a single mother with 2 kids and I’ve lived at a property for over 9 years. We haven’t had a “official” lease in a long time but my landlord’s husband and wife do have my deposit money. I have been late with my rent on very few occasions and they have never had a problem with that. My landlord (the husband) constantly makes passes at me, which I always turn down respectfully. The last time, however, I was really tired and frustrated so I snapped at him and told him to leave me alone, that I was not interested in him and never would be. Ever since then, I can detect his hostility. Now I am a little over 15 days late my rent is due on the 15th of every month, and they have served me with a 3 days notice. What can I do?

Asked on October 7, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The landlord can serve you with a three day notice to pay rent or quit if you are behind in the rent.  The notice means that you would have to pay rent or vacate the premises.  The three day notice has to comply with various requirements which vary from state to state.  It would be advisable to discuss those requirements in your state with a landlord/tenant attorney to determine whether or not the landlord's three day notice complies with the requirements.  If it does not, then this would provide you with a defense.  It would be advisable to speak with a landlord/tenant attorney who represents tenants rather than landlords. 

Although you don't have a lease, you still have a month-to-month tenancy.

It would be difficult to prove retaliation by the landlord since the landlord can evict you for being behind in the rent.  If you did not owe any rent and the landlord was evicting you because you had rejected his advances, you could sue the landlord for retaliatory eviction.  Retaliatory eviction is when the landlord retaliates against the tenant for something that is not a breach of the lease.  Although you don't have a lease, there is still a landlord/tenant relationship because you have been paying rent and the landlord has been accepting your rent payments; and as mentioned above, you have a month-to-month tenancy.


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