My tenant has told me that he will not pay rent this month. What can I do? Can I change locks? Can I hold his stuff until he pays me?

This is a question we received today from a brand new landlord.

What can you do if the tenant has told you that he is looking to move but also has not given you notice or has told you that he will not be paying for his last month’s rent?

This is the exact situation why last month’s rent needs to be collected at the beginning of the lease. Even though our lease states that security deposit cannot be used for last month’s rent, there is very little one can do to enforce that.

That being said, serve the tenant a 3-Day Pay or Quit Notice the day after the rent is late. If they don’t pay, file for eviction.

What you shouldn’t do is change the locks or hold his stuff. This is self-help eviction and it’s illegal in nearly all states.

Here is more information on the eviction process in Florida.