Landlord Who Towed Vehicles Not Liable

Landlord  towed  two cars and a SeaDoo belonging to the tenant from the leased premises.  At trial the court found that this violated 83.67 “Prohibited practices.”   The landlord appealed, arguing that the  language in the statute states “dwelling unit”, which is different from “premises,” and thus, no violation under the statute could have occurred.

Section 83.67, Florida Statutes, states, in relevant part, that

(5) A landlord of any dwelling unit governed by this part shall not remove the outside doors, locks, roof, walls, or windows of the unit except for purposes of maintenance, repair, or replacement; and the landlord shall not remove the tenant’s personal property from the dwelling unit unless such action is taken after surrender, abandonment, recovery of possession of the dwelling unit due to the death of the last remaining tenant in accordance with s. 83.59(3)(d), or a lawful eviction.

The appellate court found that as the Tenant’s property was not located inside the dwelling unit,  but outside,  the landlord did not violate 83.67 by removing it.

CHUNG v.  HURLEY,. Circuit Court, 17th Judicial Circuit (Appellate) in and for Broward County. Case No. CACE12-019203 (AP). L.T. Case No. CONO11-014015. October 24, 2014.. 22 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 533d

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