The landlord-tenant eviction process in Florida is heavily governed not only by the lease but by specific state laws. In Florida, the eviction procedures are governed by Chapter 83 of the state’s landlord-tenant statutes. Landlords must follow these procedures when evicting a tenant for non-payment of rent or for violation of the rental agreement or risk a rejection by the court.
The first thing to determine is whether or not eviction grounds exist. In addition to non-payment of rent, additional occupants not named in the rental agreement, having pets in a no-pet policy and criminal activity are grounds. Before your case goes to court, it is important to ensure that you have not violated any of the lease terms. The tenant will have an opportunity in court to give testimony and present any evidence that you have also violated the lease agreement, such as failure to perform necessary repairs or maintain the common areas in a safe manner. Any of these acts can mitigate your eviction case and give the judge a reason to reject your eviction case.
A notice of eviction must be delivered to the tenant within a specific period of time. A three-day notice for nonpayment of rent is required and a seven-day notice is required for evictions related to lease violations. Often, a lease agreement spells out the terms of serving the notice to the tenant. Those terms should be followed. If you do send the notice via mail, it is important to send the notice certified. This way, you have documentation of receipt in court. If the tenant has not remedied the ground, an eviction complaint can be filed.
The complaint should be filed with the clerk’s office and include the completed eviction complaint with copies of the lease agreement and notice. Once the eviction complaint is properly filed, you will be provided with a service of summons to give to the tenant. This delivery can be done by a county sheriff or by a private process server. If the tenant fails to answer the summons, a motion can be filed with the clerk for a default judgment. At your hearing date, the judge will make the final decision. If the court sides with the landlord, a writ of possession will be issued by a sheriff for the tenant to vacate the property.
For landlords, I help to ensure the right process and compliance with the law. I will carefully review the lease agreement and assess it for any potential of liability. For tenants, I fight for their rights when the landlord has violated the lease agreement. Landlord-Tenant disputes are quite common, especially when eviction is entailed. I can represent you and protect your rights for the best outcome.