SO MANY 7 DAY NOTICES ~ WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE?
In Florida there are two common types of 7 Day Notices. We are going to discuss the differences and how they are used.
7 Day Notice of Non-Compliance (with opportunity to cure)
This 7 Day Notice is used when there is a lease violation by the tenant, other than non-payment of rent. Some examples would be:
- Unauthorized pet
- Lawn is not being maintained per the lease agreement
- Unauthorized occupants
- Disturbing the neighbors
Basically anything that is considered a lease violation that can be corrected by the tenant.
When you are preparing this notice, you want to be specific as to what the violation is. Don’t just say, ‘Refer to page 3, paragraph 2 of your lease agreement’. If the violation is the tenant’s failure to trim the bushes and weed the flowerbeds and page 3, paragraph 2 of the lease states the tenant is responsible for trimming the bushes and weeding the flowerbeds, then the notice should be clearer. ‘The bushes must be trimmed and maintained and the flowerbeds are to be free of weeds’. You can then add ‘per page 3 paragraph 2 of the lease agreement’. This will give a reference point for the tenant to review in their lease.
This notice also states that should the violation happen again within the next 12 months, the lease can be terminated and the tenant given 7 days to vacate. This gives you some leverage to help prevent repeat violations.
The 7 Day Notice of Non-Compliance (With Opportunity to Cure) is considered a legal document and time is of the essence. Once you prepare it, or have your attorney prepare it, the notice should be personally delivered to the tenant or to the property in the tenant’s absence at the time of the delivery.
After the 7 days has expired, you will then schedule an inspection with the tenant to determine if all items on the notice were corrected.
7 Day Notice of Non-Compliance Notice of Termination
This would be the notice used if a prior violation that was documented on a 7 Day Notice of Non-Compliance (With Opportunity to Cure) is violated within 12 months of the first notice. You will hear some say this notice is not required, and they are correct. In 2013 the Florida Landlord Tenant Law was updated including changes to this specific item. The update now says that if the violation happens again within 12 months, we can move directly to an eviction filing. However, speaking with several attorneys regarding this, all of them stated a best business practice would be to give the tenant a 7 Day Notice of Non-Compliance Notice of Termination. This notice states that the tenancy is terminated immediately and they have 7 days to vacate. You would need to state the repeated violation as to the reason for the termination.
This notice is simple and to the point. Time is of the essence, so personal delivery is highly recommended. Should the tenants fail to vacate at the end of the 7 days you can send the notice to your attorney so they can begin the eviction process based on the Notice of Termination and you will likely have a much stronger eviction case.
Those are the differences in the two 7 Day Notice of Non-Compliance notices and what they are used for.
As with any question relating to Florida Landlord Tenant Law, please contact your Florida Real Estate Attorney for final guidance as different attorneys may have different interpretations and practices.
Good luck and Happy Landlord-ing!