Legal Definitions, as Defined in and Subject to Part II, Chapter 83 of the Florida Statutes (Source, Fla. Stat. Section 83.43)
Building, housing, and health codes: means any law, ordinance, or governmental regulation concerning health, safety, sanitation or fitness for habitation, or the construction, maintenance, operation, occupancy, use, or appearance, of any dwelling unit.
(a) A structure or part of a structure that is rented for use as a home, residence, or sleeping place by one person or by two or more persons who maintain a common household.
(b) A mobile home rented by a tenant.
(c) A structure or part of a structure that is furnished, with or without rent, as an incident of employment for use as a home, residence, or sleeping place by one or more persons.
Landlord: means the owner or lessor of a dwelling unit.
Tenant: means any person entitled to occupy a dwelling unit under a rental agreement.
Premises: means a dwelling unit and the structure of which it is a part and a mobile home lot and the appurtenant facilities and grounds, areas, facilities, and property held out for the use of tenants generally.
Rent: means the periodic payments due the landlord from the tenant for occupancy under a rental agreement and any other payments due the landlord from the tenant as may be designated as rent in a written rental agreement.
Rental agreement: means any written agreement, including amendments or addenda, or oral agreement for a duration of less than 1 year, providing for use and occupancy of premises.
Good faith: means honesty in fact in the conduct or transaction concerned.
Advance rent: means moneys paid to the landlord to be applied to future rent payment periods, but does not include rent paid in advance for a current rent payment period.
Transient occupancy: means occupancy when it is the intention of the parties that the occupancy will be temporary.
Deposit money: means any money held by the landlord on behalf of the tenant, including, but not limited to, damage deposits, security deposits, advance rent deposit, pet deposit, or any contractual deposit agreed to between landlord and tenant either in writing or orally.
Security deposits: means any moneys held by the landlord as security for the performance of the rental agreement, including, but not limited to, monetary damage to the landlord caused by the tenant’s breach of lease prior to the expiration thereof.
Legal holiday: means holidays observed by the clerk of the court.
Early termination fee: means any charge, fee, or forfeiture that is provided for in a written rental agreement and is assessed to a tenant when a tenant elects to terminate the rental agreement, as provided in the agreement, and vacates a dwelling unit before the end of the rental agreement. An early termination fee does not include:
(a) Unpaid rent and other accrued charges through the end of the month in which the landlord retakes possession of the dwelling unit.
(b) Charges for damages to the dwelling unit.
(c) Charges associated with a rental agreement settlement, release, buyout, or accord and satisfaction agreement.
General Legal Definitions (Source, Black's Law Dictionary (10th ed. 2014))
Actual Damages: An amount awarded to a complainant to compensate for a proven injury or loss; damages that repay actual losses. — Also termed compensatory damages; tangible damages; real damages.
Arbitration: A dispute-resolution process in which the disputing parties choose one or more neutral third parties to make a final and binding decision resolving the dispute. • The parties to the dispute may choose a third party directly by mutual agreement, or indirectly, such as by agreeing to have an arbitration organization select the third party. — Also termed (redundantly) binding arbitration.
Bench Trial: A trial before a judge without a jury. • The judge decides questions of fact as well as questions of law.
Breach: A violation or infraction of a law, obligation, or agreement, esp. of an official duty or a legal obligation, whether by neglect, refusal, resistance, or inaction.
Conflict of Interest: 1. A real or seeming incompatibility between one's private interests and one's public or fiduciary duties. 2. A real or seeming incompatibility between the interests of two of a lawyer's clients, such that the lawyer is disqualified from representing both clients if the dual representation adversely affects either client or if the clients do not consent. — Often shortened to conflict.
Constructive Eviction: 1. A landlord's act of making premises unfit for occupancy, often with the result that the tenant is compelled to leave.
Default Judgment: 1. A judgment entered against a defendant who has failed to plead or otherwise defend against the plaintiff's claim. 2. A judgment entered as a penalty against a party who does not comply with an order, esp. an order to comply with a discovery request.
Deposition: 1. A witness's out-of-court testimony that is reduced to writing (usu. by a court reporter) for later use in court or for discovery purposes.— Also termed examination before trial. 2. The session at which such testimony is recorded.
Eviction: The act or process of legally dispossessing a person of land or rental property.
Jury trial: A trial in which the factual issues are determined by a jury, not by the judge.
Liquidated Damages: An amount contractually stipulated as a reasonable estimation of actual damages to be recovered by one party if the other party breaches. • If the parties to a contract have properly agreed on liquidated damages, the sum fixed is the measure of damages for a breach, whether it exceeds or falls short of the actual damages. — Also termed stipulated damages; estimated damages.
Mediation: 1. A method of nonbinding dispute resolution involving a neutral third party who tries to help the disputing parties reach a mutually agreeable solution; conciliation. — Also termed case evaluation; facilitated negotiation. Cf. collaborative law; cooperative law; arbitration. 2. Int'l law. A process whereby a neutral country helps other countries peacefully resolve disputes between them.
Motion: 1. A written or oral application requesting a court to make a specified ruling or order.
Subpoena: A writ or order commanding a person to appear before a court or other tribunal, subject to a penalty for failing to comply.
Subpoena Duces Tecum: A subpoena ordering the witness to appear in court and to bring specified documents, records, or things.
Writ of Possession: A writ issued to recover the possession of land.
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