3 Day Notice to Pay Rent Instructions

Florida Statutes (FS) 83.56(3) prescribes the requirements of a 3 day notice to pay rent owed. A defective 3-day notice can cause a failed eviction action. Here are instructions for a valid 3 day notice to pay rent, and a sample 3 day notice is provided at the end of this post.

  1. Note: if the Tenant speaks only a foreign language (e.g. Spanish), the notice must be in that language. See e.g. Estevez v. Olarte, 47 Fla. Supp. 2d 86 (Fla. Dade County Ct. 1991); Florida RB Inc. v. Husted, 1 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 157 (Fla. Sarasota County Ct. 1992).
  2. Address “TO” each tenant on the lease.
  3. Describe the complete address (including unit number) and the County of the residence.
  4. Date the notice on the actual date you are serving it.
  5. Demand the exact amount of back rent owed. Note: the landlord may include “added rentonly if the lease defines it as such. This can be a significant pitfall if done incorrectly. Note: it is good practice to itemize the rent owed, to avoid confusion or misunderstanding of the rent owed. 
  6. (a) Demand that the tenant pay the full rent within 3 days of delivery, (b) specify the deadline date, and (c) exclude Saturday, Sunday and legal holidays; for example, “…within 3 days (excluding Saturday, Sunday, and legal holidays) from the date of delivery of this notice, to wit: on or before the [x] day of [x], (year). Do not count the date of delivery in the 3 day calculation.  
  7. Day three expires on the third business day, excluding Saturday, Sunday and legal holidays from date of delivery. For example, if you deliver 3 day notice on Monday, it expires on Thursday; if you deliver 3 day notice on Wednesday, it expires the following Monday. If the incorrect demand date is sooner than the three days, it is defective. If it is later than the three days, the notice is not defective, but the landlord cannot file an eviction until the demand deadline date has expired. 
  8. Input the landlord’s or authorized agent’s complete name and address at the bottom of the notice under the signature line. Note: only an authorized agent can sign a notice. If an unauthorized agent’s signature is on the notice, the notice is defective.
  9. Landlord or authorized agent must sign the 3 day notice.
  10. Make 3 copies of the notice. Put the original in your file.
  11. Take one true copy of the notice and have it served by (1) personal delivery to the tenant, or (2) posting on the residence door, but only if the tenant is absent.
  12. CAUTION: If you mail the notice, Florida law adds five (5) days to the notice period. This is not advisable.
  13. Do not serve anyone except a person 15 or older and resides at the property. (FS 48.183). Never serve guests, children or babysitters. This will require the server to use insight into the situation at the residence.
  14. When the server completes service, he must complete the “Certificate of Service” portion on the original notice describing how the notice was served and to whom it was served. Note: indicate only one manner of service. Do not serve the notice more than one way, because the last serve is the effective service, which could cause confusion for the tenant and landlord if the landlord tries to evict on the earlier-served notice.
  15. FULL PAYMENT: if tenant attempts to pay the full amount of rent owed prior to the expiration of the 3-day notice, the landlord must accept the rent. Failure to accept full rent will cause legal problems.
  16. PARTIAL PAYMENT. Some tenants will attempt to make a partial payment after the 3 day notice is delivered. In that case, the landlord has three options:
  • Provide the tenant with a receipt stating the date and amount received and the agreed upon date and balance of rent due before filing an action for possession;
  • Place the amount of partial rent accepted from the tenant in the registry of the court upon filing the action for possession; or
  • Post a new 3-day notice reflecting the new amount due.

After this notice process is complete, contact your attorney to file the eviction. The following is a sample 3 day notice to pay rent prepared by Tim Baldwin.

3 Day Notice to Pay (2017)