The process, typically initiated by the landlord, of having a tenant move out of the place is known as eviction. The rules and regulations that deal with eviction in Florida are quite strict to avoid any unfortunate events. A landlord must follow all the steps stipulated by the law and go to court to evict a tenant. This is why it helps to hire an experienced, Board Certified lawyer so that you can get the desired outcome without any hassles.
As a leading name in real estate law, we have qualified attorneys in Fort Myers to help clients looking for guidance regarding property matters. We have put together this guide to help you figure the best course of action in case you want to have your property vacated. Read on to learn more about the eviction process in Florida so you can make an informed decision.
Before we look at the process of eviction, let us discuss the unlawful actions that you, as the owner, must avoid.
Illegal Actions to Avoid When Asking a Tenant to Move Out
- Taking the belongings of the tenant from the building
- Shutting off the utilities, including gas, water, and electricity
- Removing or changing the locks of the house without intimation
- Removing doors or windows of the property
- Damaging the property in any way to cause inconvenience to the tenants
In such instances, the tenants may call the police and an attorney, making you liable to pay for the damages caused to them.
Steps Involved in Legal Eviction Process in Florida
Step 1: Send a Written Legal Notice to the Tenant
Listed below are a few reasons to ask your tenants to vacate the property legally:
- Failing to pay the rent – You can send them a notice with the help of a board certified lawyer. However, you must give them 3 days to pay the outstanding amount or leave the property.
- Violating the Terms of the Rent Agreement – As per this Eviction for Cause, you must give the tenants a written notice 7 days before evicting them. It must state the reason for the eviction and allow them a chance to fix the problem.
- To End a Lease – Depending on the type and conditions of the rental agreement, your attorney may help you to end it by sending out the required termination notice to the tenants according to the stipulations.
Step 2 – Send a Summons & Complaint to the Tenant
Once you send the notice of eviction to the tenant, you may give them a chance to fix the problem mutually. However, if they do not move out or try to find a reasonable solution, you can sue them. Working with a board certified lawyer is the wise choice when it comes to filing a complaint with the Clerk of Court to begin a lawsuit.
This will help you initiate the “service of process” by sending a copy of the summons and compliant to the client.
Step 3 – Wait for them to Respond
The tenant may reply to the summons within the stipulated time of 5 days. The eviction case stops as soon as they file an answer. You can resume the case by taking it over in court, if necessary. However, if they fail to answer you, you will get a “default judgment,” indicating you have won the case.
Step 4 – Go to the Court
For the eviction proceeding in Florida, you or the tenant may schedule the eviction hearing. All the parties involved will be notified of the day and place to present the facts before a judge. Be sure to take along all the necessary documents, such as the agreement, photographs, receipts, and more.
After hearing the case, the judge will give you a Judgment for Possession if the tenant loses.
Step 5 – Eviction
Once you win the case, the court will issue a final 24-hour notice to the tenant, called a writ of possession. They will be asked to vacate your property within 24 hours.
Contact Our Attorney in Fort Myers for the Best Legal Solutions
If you are looking for legal guidance with regards to real estate law, our board certified lawyers can help. Call us at 239-931-6767 to get started with us. We’ll work to understand your situation and come up with reliable solutions to guide you.