By James Walson
When a tenant in an independent living community fails to pay rent, an operator will want to remove the tenant as quickly as possible with the fewest administrative hurdles. If a residency agreement does not specify the difference in remedies for a defaulting assisted living resident and a defaulting independent living tenant, it can lead to weeks of delay in removing an independent living tenant. The minimum notice required by Florida Statutes for an independent living tenant is three (3) business days. An assisted living resident, on the other hand, is entitled to forty-five (45) days’ notice based upon the Resident Bill of Rights set forth in Section 429.28, Florida Statutes, which applies to Assisted Care Communities. If the agreement does not distinguish among the applicable remedies, the 45 days’ notice may apply to both independent tenants and assisted living residents. In order to preserve a landlord’s right to a speedy eviction of an independent living tenant, it is important to have separate agreements, with separate remedies, for an independent living tenant as opposed to an assisted living resident. If ambiguous, the eviction process may be unnecessarily extended by references in the agreement to the assisted living resident Bill of Rights. Properly documenting independent living tenants and assisted living residents may ultimately save time and money in the eviction process of an independent living tenant.