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Calculating Legal Notices

If Florida Statutes ch. 83, pt. 2 requires the landlord to deliver written notice to a tenant for a specific purpose (e.g. 3 day notice to pay or vacate), there are rules that apply to calculate the correct notice period. Incorrectly calculating a notice period renders the notice legally defective. See Goff v. Riveria, 8 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 853a (Broward County 2001); Ortiz v. Stork, 14 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 90a (Broward County 2006).


Fla. R. Jud. Admin. 2.514(a)(1) provides,

(1) Period Stated in Days or a Longer Unit. When the period is stated in days or a longer unit of time:

(A) begin counting from the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday;

(B) count every day, including intermediate Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays; and

(C) include the last day of the period, but if the last day is a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, or falls within any period of time extended through an order of the chief justice under Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.205(a)(2)(B)(iv), the period continues to run until the end of the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday and does not fall within any period of time extended through an order of the chief justice.


Notice Calculation Rules


If the notice period is less than 7 days, the notice period cannot include

  • Legal holidays

  • Weekends

  • The date that the notice was delivered, and

  • If the last day falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, or falls within any period of time extended through an order of the chief justice under Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.205(a)(2)(B)(iv), the period continues to run until the end of the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday and does not fall within any period of time extended through an order of the chief justice.

Notify Tenant of “Non-Inclusive” Days in the Notice Period


If the notice period is less than 7 days, the notice must inform the tenant that the notice period does not include weekends and legal holidays. See Piedra v. Gusow, 6 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 359a (Fla. Broward County Ct. 1999); Waid v. Elliott, 3 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 296 (Fla. Manatee County Ct. 1995); Nilsson v. Medina, 2 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 300 (Fla. Broward County Ct. 1994); Garcia v. Ruiz, 50 Fla. Supp. 2d 170 (Fla. Dade County Ct. 1991); Lawson v. Alverez, 46 Fla. Supp. 2d 94 (Fla. Manatee County Ct. 1990); Vinner v. Mason, 44 Fla. Supp. 2d 142 (Fla. Pinellas County Ct. 1990); Cummings v. Giles, 34 Fla. Supp. 2d 117 (Fla. Broward County Ct. 1989).


Example 1: if the landlord hand-delivered a 3 day notice to pay or vacate to the tenant on May 13, 2022 (Friday), the notice period cannot include May 13 (Friday), May 14 (Saturday), and May 15 (Sunday). Day 1 of the notice period would begin on May 16 (Monday) and May 18 (Wednesday).

Example 2: if the landlord posted a 3 day notice to pay or vacate to the tenant on July 1, 2022 (Friday), the notice period cannot include July 1 (Friday), July 2 (Saturday), July 3 (Sunday) and July 4 (Monday - legal holiday). Day 1 of the notice period would begin on July 5 (Tuesday) and end on July 7 (Thursday).

Example 3: if the landlord posted a 3 day notice to pay or vacate to the tenant on September 1, 2022 (Thursday), the notice period cannot include September 1 (Thursday), September 3 (Saturday), September 4 (Sunday), and September 5 (Monday - legal holiday). Day 1 of the notice period would begin on September 2 (Friday) and end on September 7.


Florida Mailbox Rule


Fla. R. Jud. Admin. 2.514(b) states:

“Additional Time after Service by Mail. When a party may or must act within a specified time after service and service is made by mail, 5 days are added after the period that would otherwise expire under subdivision (a).”


Note: if your lease agreement requires the tenant to mail rent payment to you, add 5 days to your notice period under the Florida Mailbox Rule. Under this situation, a 3 day notice to pay becomes an 8 day notice to pay. If your lease agreement permits but does not require rent to be mailed, it is still advisable to add 5 days to the notice period since the lease allows the tenant to mail the payment, which would require the additional 5 days to be addd under the Mailbox Rule.

Note: if the landlord hand delivers/posts AND mails the notice, the 3 day notice must add 5 days to the notice period under the Mailbox Rule. See Butler v. Hall, 11 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 256a (Broward County 2004); Aaron v. Goodwin, 7 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 353a (Broward County 2000).

Note: if the landlord hand delivers/posts AND mails the notice to pay, the 3 day notice must add 5 days to the notice period under the Mailbox Rule.

Broward County: a Broward County court ruled that the 5 days for mailing does not include weekends or legal holidays, making the 5 days 7 days. So, instead of 3 days, it becomes 17 days (3 days for the notice to pay, 7 days for mailing the landlord’s notice, and 7 days for the tenant to respond by mail). Rexmere Lake Village Mgt., Inc. v. Signor, 20 Fla. Supp. 2d 67 (Fla. Broward County Ct. 1986). But see, Nguyen v. Brown, Case No. 08-442-CC, 15 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 710a (Fl. Columbia County, April 15, 2008) (The 5 additional days for mailing may include weekends and holidays as part of the five day calculation, unless the 5th day falls on a weekend or legal holiday, in which case the due date shall be the next business day).


Calculating the Mailbox Rule


The Florida Mailbox Rule states that if you mail notice to a tenant, you must add 5 days to the notice period. In that instance, a 3 day notice would become an 8 day notice. When the Rental Address is Outside the County that the Landlord’s office is:

  • When the tenant is required to deliver rent payment to the landlord upon delivery of a notice to pay, and the tenant’s rental address is in a county outside of the county that the landlord’s office is located, the tenant is afforded 5 days to mail the rent payment to the landlord. In that instance, a 3 day notice becomes an 8 day notice.

  • If the landlord mailed a 3 day notice to pay, and the rental address is in another county, the landlord would have to add 5 days for his mailing and another 5 days for the tenant’s address being in another county. In that instance, a 3 day notice becomes a 13 day notice (3 days + 5 days + 5 days).

  • See Plaks v. Rooney, 12 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 797a (Broward County 2005) (where rental address distance was many miles from the landlord’s address, tenant was entitled to mail rent to landlord, and thus, landlord should have added 5 days to the notice period).

Does Email Constitute “Delivering Written Notice”?


Harari v. Whitford, Case No. 2006AP000054 (15th Judicial Circuit) (May 25, 2007)

  • The 15th Judicial Court of Appeals ruled that an email constituted “written notice” for purposes of terminating a month-to-month tenancy.

  • The court noted that the only issue is whether an email constitutes “mailing” the written notice. The court ruled that it does, stating, “we note that the term "e-mail" is now considered to be a form of “mail”.

  • The court held, “we hereby hold that e-mail constitutes a mailing sufficient to satisfy a statutory requirement of a mailing of written notice, whenever a contract or course of dealing between parties establishes e-mail as a permissible means of notice, or whenever it is shown that the recipient received actual and timely notice through e-mail which is substantially the same notice as would have been provided in a writing mailed through conventional means.”

  • Note: the court ruled that the landlord must show that a contract or course of dealing establishes email as permissible means of notice, or when the tenant received actual and timely notice through email that is substantially the same notice as would have been provided in writing mailed through conventional means.

  • Note: there was a dissenting opinion, where it was opined that an email does not fit the definition of “mail” as F.S. 83.56(3) denotes a “physical delivery”, and even if an email is considered “mail”, the landlord must add 5 days to the notice period under the Florida Mailbox Rule. The dissent also argued that a contract cannot alter a statutory requirement.

Lessons from Harari