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Definitions and Statutes

December 22, 2020 FAQs

Reading Time: 3 minutes


Q: What section of the Florida Statutes applies to commercial landlord-tenant relationships?

A: Florida landlord tenant law is found in Florida Statutes, Chapter 83, and consists of three parts. Part I discusses nonresidential or commercial tenancies. Part II discusses residential tenancies and Part III discusses self-service storage space.

Source: Fla. Stat. § 83.001, et seq. (2012).

Q: What is a term for years tenancy?

A: A term for years tenancy has a certain and definite duration, meaning a fixed term. A term for years tenancy is created by a written lease that expresses a term that is certain as to commencement and as to specific maximum duration. If the language of the lease contract does not express a certain term, a tenancy at will is created.

Source: Ehrlich v. Barbatsis Holding Co., 63 So. 2d 911, 913 (Fla. 1953).

Q: What is a tenancy at will?

A: A tenancy at will is a tenancy with durational insecurity, meaning for no fixed term. The term of a tenancy at will is determined by the period of payment, and the term is automatically renewed for successive periods. Such tenancy shall be from year to year, or quarter to quarter, or month to month, or week to week, to be determined by the periods at which the rent is payable. If the rent is payable weekly, then the tenancy shall be from week to week; if payable monthly, then from month to month; if payable quarterly, then from quarter to quarter; if payable yearly, then from year to year. The usual rights and duties of landlord and tenant exist, but either party may terminate the lease at any time by giving proper notice. A tenancy created by a written instrument with an unlimited term is considered a tenancy at will.

Source: Fla. Stat. §§ 83.01, 83.02 (2012).

Q: What is a tenancy at sufferance?

A: A tenancy at sufferance is created by a wrongful holdover tenant. A tenancy at sufferance is only created when there is a written instrument, a limited term that has expired, and a holdover of possession by the tenant without a written renewal of the lease. The mere payment or acceptance of rent shall not be construed to be a renewal of the term, but if the landlord gives written consent to continue a holdover, the tenancy becomes one at will. If the parties agree to a new oral lease, there is no tenancy at sufferance. Pursuant to Section 83.06, Florida Statutes, a landlord may charge double rent when a tenant refuses to relinquish possession of the premises at expiration of the term. Further, a landlord still has the right to bring an action against a holdover tenant for the use and occupation of the premises.

Source: Fla. Stat. §§ 83.04, 83.06, and 83.07 (2012).

Q: What is apparent authority?

A: The Florida Supreme Court stated that the principle of apparent authority embraces the following three elements: 1) a representation by the principal, 2) reliance on that representation by a third person, and 3) a change of position by the third person in reliance on the representation. Clearly, the reliance of a third party on the “apparent authority” of a principal’s agent must be reasonable and rest in the actions of or appearances created by the principal, and “not by agents who often ingeniously create an appearance of authority by their own acts.”

Source: Security Union Title Ins. Co. v. Citibank (Florida), N.A., 715 So. 2d 973, 974-75 (Fla. 1st DCA) rev. dismissed, 728 So. 2d 200 (Fla. 1998).

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