Welcome back! If you haven't read Part I of this article yet, we highly recommend you start here: How long does a landlord have to get rid of roaches in Florida?/Can I break my lease because of roaches in Florida? Part I. In that article, we explore whether your landlord has the obligation to get rid of the roaches. This article assumes that the landlord has that duty.
Now, let's dive into the burning question: assuming your landlord is responsible for exterminating roaches, how long do they have to do it?:
Deciphering the Florida Statute
Fla. Stat. s. 83.51(2)(a), is basically the rulebook for roach eviction in Florida. Unfortunately, it's a bit like trying to solve a puzzle with missing pieces. It states that landlords in dwellings other than single-family homes or duplexes must provide "reasonable provisions" for roach extermination. If the roach situation gets so bad that you need to vacate temporarily, your landlord isn't responsible for damages but must cut you some slack on rent. You're allowed to temporarily leave for a maximum of 4 days with 7 days written notice, if extermination is necessary.
The Elusive Seven-Day Requirement
Now, here's where things get tricky. The statute doesn't specify when your landlord is obligated to perform pest control or when the landlord must give you a seven-day notice to vacate for extermination. Unfortunately, the statute leaves tenants with more questions than answers.
Getting Creative: Adding a Seven-Day Deadline
But don't despair! Tenants can get a bit creative here. The best-case scenario is that your landlord will have seven (7) days to deal with the roaches. How? By attempting to make Fla. Stat. s. 83.56(1) apply:
"If the landlord materially fails to comply with s. 83.51(1) or material provisions of the rental agreement within 7 days after delivery of written notice by the tenant specifying the noncompliance and indicating the intention of the tenant to terminate the rental agreement by reason thereof, the tenant may terminate the rental agreement."
By using strategic tactics, it may be possible to give your landlord a seven-day ultimatum to address the roach problem. If they do not act, you can terminate your lease and say goodbye to the landlord and the roaches.
However, the legal process can be complicated, and it is advisable to seek advice from a knowledgeable attorney who can assess your situation, represent you, or guide you through the lease termination process. If you need help dealing with your landlord, please contact us. We provide solutions for tenants like you and welcome you to fill out our online form for more information about our available services.