Eviction / COVID Question / Help (1 Viewer)

Waymer

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So long story short.

A family member and her family have lived rent free in a home that my family owns. There is no formal agreement since no rent is exchanged.

It has been rent free for +/- 18 months. At that time, we gave them notice they would have to move out come March 31, 2021 (originally we had said December 31, 2020 but didn't want to make them move during Christmas).

Long story short, they informed us today that they are refusing to move out of the house.

So what are my family's options? Initially I thought we couldn't kick them out because of Covid/Eviction rules, but it appears maybe March 31 we could regardless? And even then there is a process (this is in Florida): https://www.trls.org/what-florida-r... Moratorium stops,tenant until MARCH 31, 2021.

Likewise someone told me that since we have no lease and we own the house, we could just flat out change the locks and put their stuff at the curb.

Now all this being said, we don't want to be a bad guy. We've even offered to put them up in a hotel for a bit until they find a place. But the crux of the issue is that we do have a person scheduled to move in April 2nd.

Any thoughts?
 

Mr. Blue Sky

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Yikes.. the only thought i have for you is that ‘No good deed goes unpunished’, and i guess your situation proves it.


I hope that some knowledgeable folks here can help you out, best of luck.
 
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Waymer

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My first thought is that if you own the house and they just said they aren’t leaving even though no rent is being paid, I would not concern myself so much with being the “bad guy”.

I get it, and if it were me I'd have written them out of my life at this point. But I'm trying to take the high road as best I can. I'll even put the future renters in a hotel for now on my dime if I have to. It's not their fault.

But yeah, I get it. Silly life. I like to remind myself these days that I'm not a cat, and I'm here live, so I'll make things work one way or another. :)
 

Zack Lee

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As a family member if their approach was to ask for more time, I would probably give them whatever within reason. But just flat refusing to leave would trigger me. I would send a letter stating your rights as Info outlined them and give them two weeks. Signed with post script “see you at Thanksgiving “
 

superchuck500

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Florida has a procedure for "unlawful detainer" - which is what this is. It's not the same as an eviction but there is a process. I recommend looking at the procedures before taking any action like changing the locks. Even though it may seem like you have full rights to do that, there is potential exposure to claims.


What county?
 
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Waymer

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Florida has a procedure for "unlawful detainer" - which is what this is. It's not the same as an eviction but there is a process. I recommend looking at the procedures before taking any action like changing the locks. Even though it may seem like you have full rights to do that, there is potential exposure to claims.


What county?

Thanks Chuck. It's Okaloosa County.

I'm definitely not just changing locks (no matter what Zack tells me! :hihi:). No, honestly I'm just trying to make it happen. I'm not worried about those moving in. We'll figure that out.
 

AARPSaint

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The other thing is the use of sub-market rental being counted as income by the IRS, just to load another problem onto your plate. Since there was no agreement, however, it might slip by. But those of us who want to give tenants a break, just be careful you don't lower the rent so far that it triggers the IRS into action. I know of zero cases where that happened--probably because the IRS has better things to do--but I recall as a former landlord that it could theoretically happen.

Superchuck's strategy seems like the best to me. What a shame situations like this arise, especially during these awful times.
 

superchuck500

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The other thing is the use of sub-market rental being counted as income by the IRS, just to load another problem onto your plate. Since there was no agreement, however, it might slip by. But those of us who want to give tenants a break, just be careful you don't lower the rent so far that it triggers the IRS into action. I know of zero cases where that happened--probably because the IRS has better things to do--but I recall as a former landlord that it could theoretically happen.

Superchuck's strategy seems like the best to me. What a shame situations like this arise, especially during these awful times.

You're right that letting someone live rent-free raises a gift tax issue but the gift tax exclusion is $15K per year per donor per recipient. It sounds like there are enough people involved her to avoid gift tax (or even a gift tax filing).
 
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Waymer

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Thanks guys. I've set up a consultation with a local real estate attorney that handles evictions/detainers. They were recommended to me by a co-worker. That was always the end game, but I wanted some input and help so I didn't sound like a complete idiot when trying to explain. (My goal is always partial idiot.)

Live and learn.
 

superchuck500

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Thanks Chuck. It's Okaloosa County.

I'm definitely not just changing locks (no matter what Zack tells me! :hihi:). No, honestly I'm just trying to make it happen. I'm not worried about those moving in. We'll figure that out.


Florida Statutes:

82.04 Remedy for unlawful detention.—
(1) If any person enters or has entered in a peaceable manner into any lands or tenements when the entry is lawful and after the expiration of the person’s right continues to hold them against the consent of the party entitled to possession, the party so entitled to possession is entitled to the summary procedure under s. 51.011, at any time within 3 years after the possession has been withheld from the party against his or her consent.
(2) This section shall not apply with regard to residential tenancies.



So here's what Okaloosa says:



But it really isn't helpful after that. Hillsboro County, however, gives you this nice package to use for an unlawful detainer complaint filing.



You can probably use this and switch out the info to identify the Okaloosa court.

You'll have to pay the filing fee and get it served. You might be able to do it online (?). https://turbocourt.com/go.jsp?act=actShowAppInfo&appcode=elf-florida-evictions&courtcode=OKA

Don't be bashful about just asking the clerk's office at the courthouse on how to do it. They're usually quite helpful.
 

DCSaints_Fan

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I would definitely contact a lawyer and let them handle it from there.

Renters do have certain rights which vary state to state. I think you can evict for arbitrary reasons but you have to give written notice 30 days.
 

2009ring

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In PA we call this an "EJECTMENT" which yeah sounds like what you need.
 

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