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Facing a 3-Day Notice in Florida? Don't Panic, Here's Your Action Plan

Posted by Debi Rumph | May 03, 2024 | 0 Comments

A 3-day notice to pay rent or quit can send shivers down any tenant's spine. Visions of eviction crews and cardboard boxes might dance in your head. But hold on! In Florida, that 3-day notice doesn't mean you're automatically on the street in 3 days. It's a wake-up call, an opportunity to address the issue and potentially avoid eviction altogether.

Understanding the 3-Day Notice

  • The Start, Not the End: This notice is the first official step in the eviction process, typically for late rent.
  • Not a Surprise (Usually): These notices usually follow missed payments, so it shouldn't come out of the blue.
  • Not Literal 3 Days: The 3 days are business days, excluding holidays.

The Crossroads:  Your 5 Options

The best course of action depends on your specific situation. Here's a breakdown of your 5 key options:

1. Pay the Rent (Quickest Resolution):

If you can swing it, paying the full amount within the 3 days is the simplest solution. Use a documented method like a money order or get a receipt to avoid further action. No additional agreements are necessary if you settle the debt before the deadline.

2. Dispute the Notice in Writing (Challenge the Claim):

Think the notice is wrong? You have the right to dispute it in writing. This might be appropriate if you've already paid rent, the amount is incorrect, or the eviction is due to something other than a lease violation (e.g., your apartment has become unlivable due to a leaky roof). Clearly explain your reasons and provide any supporting documentation (receipts, repair requests). Consider seeking legal advice for guidance on contesting the notice.

3. Negotiate with Your Landlord (Seek a Compromise):

Can't pay the full amount by the deadline? Open communication is key! Talk to your landlord about a payment plan or a rent extension. Be honest about your situation and propose a solution. A reliable tenant working towards catching up might be preferable than finding a new one for the landlord.

4. Surrender the Premises (Move Out Peacefully):

If paying, negotiating, or disputing isn't possible, you can choose to move out within the 3 days. While an eviction likely won't be filed, a late payment could still impact your credit score.

Crucially: To avoid misunderstandings later, document your surrender. This includes:

  • Written Move-Out Notice: Inform your landlord in writing of your intent to vacate.
  • Returning Keys: Get a receipt when you return the keys.
  • Forwarding Address: Provide a forwarding address for any future communication.
  • Move-Out Inspection: Request a move-out inspection with your landlord to document the condition of the unit when you return it.

5. Eviction Defense (Fight the Eviction):

Believe the eviction is unfair (e.g., retaliation from the landlord for complaining about repairs or uninhabitable conditions)? You can fight the eviction in court. This might involve appearing in court and presenting evidence. Consider seeking legal advice from an attorney specializing in tenant rights.


  • The 3-day notice is a chance to avoid eviction.  Eviction filings and judgments can seriously damage your credit score.
  • Communicating your intent to move out might lead the landlord to decide against filing an eviction – especially if you've been a good tenant otherwise.

Don't Wait Until the Last Minute!

If you're facing financial difficulties that might impact your rent payment, communicate openly with your landlord as soon as possible. Early communication can prevent the situation from escalating and could lead to a more flexible solution.

By understanding your options and acting promptly, you can navigate a 3-day notice in Florida without unnecessary stress and potentially keep your home.


Have you ever successfully navigated a 3-day notice?  Share your experience in the comments below!

What are your top tips for negotiating a rental payment extension with a landlord? Let's start a conversation!

Do you have any lingering questions about 3-day notices? We're here to help!

If you're a tenant facing a 3-day Eviction Notice, don't panic. Reach out to us today and schedule your "Talk to the Attorney" session by visiting us at our Talk to the Attorney page. Our experienced attorneys are here to guide you through the legal process and protect your rights.

About the Author

Debi Rumph

The Law Offices of Debi V. Rumph and Debi's Tenant Clinic Corner About Us Since July 2005, The Residential Realty Law Firm provided a wide range of legal services as it related to home ownership. However, on July 1, 2012, The Residential Realty Law Firm became the Law Offices of Debi V. Rumph. Debi pr...


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