Payton & Associates, LLC
Commercial Litigation Attorneys
Miami, Florida

Lease break leads to breach of contract suit

A landlord is suing a former tenant for allegedly breaking his lease in advance of its predetermined end. The landlord, who owns property out-of-state, is filing a breach of contract suit for an estimated $40,000 in back rent he says he is owed by his former tenant. Florida renters are no strangers to landlord-tenant disagreements, but are well aware that rental agreements are legally binding contracts and must be adhered to barring extraordinary circumstances.

According to the complaint, the rental agreement was signed for a property to be rented at the rate of $1,700 per month from Aug. 1, 2012 to July 31, 2015. However, the defendant was apparently forcibly evicted from the premises by a justice of the peace in June 2013, leaving two years on the lease. The specifics of the eviction have not been publicly reported as of this writing.

The defendant stands accused of causing economic damages and of breaching the rental contract. The landlord is seeking unspecified damages as compensation for the lost rent, plus 25 percent interest. The total listed in the affidavit is $40,800. The case has been assigned to a specific judge to preside over the Louisiana proceedings.

Breach of contract is not limited to the realm of business practices -- as some Florida residents are keenly aware, contracts made between private citizens are just as legally binding. If a court determines the written agreement was breached by the former tenant, a fact likely bolstered by the prior eviction, he may be held responsible for the damages as laid out in the complaint. It is important to remember before signing any contract that the expectation is for that contract to be honored by both parties.

Source:, Landlord sues tenant for over $40K after breach of contract forced eviction, Kyle Barnett Gretna, Jan. 24, 2014

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