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David Properties, Inc. v. Selk

District Court of Appeal of Florida
151 So.2d 334 (1963)


Facts

On January 18, 1957, Selk (plaintiff) sold 320 acres of land to David Properties, Inc. (David Properties) (defendant) for $50,000. David Properties paid $5,000 in cash and executed a purchase-money mortgage, under which David Properties would pay the remaining $45,000 in five installments of $9,000. While David Properties made payments on the property, Selk continued to live in a small dwelling located on the 320 acres. On October 20, 1959, David Properties and Selk signed a written lease allowing Selk to remain on the property until December 31, 1959, in consideration for $1. Selk did not vacate the dwelling by December 31, 1959. He stayed on the premises until November 27, 1961, nearly 23 months after the lease required him to vacate. On February 17, 1960, David Properties sent a letter to Selk instructing him to vacate the property and demanding that Selk pay $300 per month for use of the property after December 31, 1959. David Properties wrote Selk again on February 16, 1961, instructing Selk to leave and including an invoice for unpaid rent at $300 per month. Selk received both letters but did not respond. On February 14, 1962, David Properties’ last $9,000 installment to Selk was about one month overdue. Selk wrote to David Properties demanding the $9,000 plus interest. David Properties responded, acknowledging that it owed Selk $9,000 plus $405 in interest, but arguing that it was entitled to subtract $6,600 in Selk’s unpaid rental fees at $300 per month for 22 months. Selk filed suit to foreclose on the property. David Properties counter-claimed, demanding the unpaid rental fees. After the final hearing, the chancellor found that Selk was an old man who lived in what amounted to a shack, and that his use of the property did not injure David Properties. The chancellor then dismissed David Properties’ counter-claim.

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Holding and Reasoning (Waybright, J.)

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