Hello, Florida landlords and tenants! Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of the eviction process in the Sunshine State. It’s a series of steps guided by state law found under Florida Statutes, Section 83.56, designed to protect the rights of both parties:

Florida Eviction Process: What You Should Know

Notice to Tenant

The eviction process starts with the landlord serving the tenant a written notice. This document explains why the eviction is happening and what the tenant needs to do. The type of notice depends on the reason for eviction:

a)    Non-Payment of Rent: If the tenant fails to pay rent, the landlord serves a 3-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit. The tenant then has three days to pay up or move out. Failure by the tenant to pay or move out within three days justifies the landlord’s filing of a lawsuit to evict under Fla. Stat. S. 83.56 (3) (2022).

b)   Lease Violation: If the tenant has broken the lease agreement (excluding non-payment of rent), the landlord serves a 7-Day Notice to Cure or Quit. The tenant has seven days to fix the violation or leave, or they may face an eviction lawsuit under Fla. Stat. S. 83.56 (2) (b) (2022).

c)     No Lease/End of Lease Term: If there’s no lease or the lease has ended, the landlord serves a 15-Day Notice to Vacate. The tenant then has 15 days to move out as failure to do so may attract a Fla. Stat. S 83.56 (2) (a) (2022) eviction lawsuit.

 

Filing an Eviction Lawsuit

If the tenant doesn’t comply with the notice, the landlord can start the legal eviction process. A landlord may file an eviction lawsuit (or Complaint for Eviction) in the relevant county court by including details of the case and supporting documents like the lease agreement and the served notice.

 

Summons and Hearing

After filing the lawsuit, the court issues a summons to the tenant, informing them about the suit and when the hearing is.

The tenant usually has five business days to respond. If they don’t, they are in default, and the court might enter a default judgment in favor of the landlord.

 

Court Hearing

If the tenant disputes the charges, the court schedules a hearing where both sides present their cases. The judge considers the evidence and arguments and then makes a decision. If the court sides with the landlord, it issues a Final Judgment of Eviction.

 

Writ of Possession

Armed with a Final Judgment of Eviction, the landlord can ask the court for a Writ of Possession (Fla. Sta. 83.62). This document authorizes the sheriff’s office to remove the tenant from the property if they don’t leave voluntarily by a specific date.

 

Enforcement and Eviction

Once the landlord gets the Writ of Possession, the sheriff’s office gives the tenant an eviction notice to leave, typically 24 hours. If the tenant doesn’t move out, the sheriff’s office can physically remove them and their belongings from the property.

 

Final Word

Remember, it’s crucial for landlords to follow all laws and regulations during the eviction process, from notice requirements to proper court procedures.

It’s also advisable for both landlords and tenants to get legal advice and representation to protect their rights and navigate the eviction process correctly.

The eviction process can vary depending on individual situations and local ordinances. For the most accurate and up-to-date advice for your specific situation, consider consulting with an attorney specializing in landlord-tenant law in Florida.