Some Florida renters get eviction notices from their landlords. Many of them have tried to fight an eviction, but certain laws that are on the books make it difficult. A lot of people believe that real estate laws about evictions make it highly unlikely, if not impossible, for low-income tenants to access the court system.
Both the U.S. Constitution and the Florida Constitution protect a person’s right to due process under the law. However, a particular real estate statute that has been on record for many years requires a tenant who wants to fight an eviction to pay the amount the landlord claims is owed before he or she may file a lawsuit. Legal advocates and others say that laws like this make it a pay-to-play system that is out of reach for the average renter seeking to challenge an eviction notice.
Woman borrowed thousands of dollars to challenge landlord
In one case, a woman received an eviction notice after living in the same home for more than 30 years. To gain access to the court system, she was required to pay $3,000 first, which was the amount her landlord claimed that she owed. The 64-year-old tenant says that she has never been late to pay rent and had to borrow the money required under Florida real estate statutes just to ask the court to hear her case.
Another tenant, a father of two, says that he felt the cards were stacked against him because he is poor. He did not have the $3,700 required to pay the registry and, therefore, never had the opportunity to explain his side of the story to a judge. He was evicted and is now living separately from his children while he tries to find another home. Anyone facing similar real estate issues may wish to seek guidance from an attorney who can recommend a legal strategy to try to resolve the situation.