Eviction is never a pleasant topic; if you have to evict a tenant, it’s usually because rent isn’t being paid or the lease is being violated. You don’t want to wait too long before evicting a tenant. If rent isn’t coming in or there’s some problem that isn’t being rectified, take action quickly. Evictions in Florida don’t take very long, and you don’t want to lose more money than you have to.
Post a Three Day Notice
Your lease should be very clear about when rent is due, whether there’s a grace period, and how much the late fee will be if rent is paid after the due date. A consistent rent collection policy is important.
If your tenant doesn’t pay rent and ignores your reminders or attempts to communicate, you need to take immediate action. Start by posting a Three Day Notice to Pay or Quit. You cannot file for an eviction without first serving this notice. It essentially tells your tenants that they need to pay rent immediately or move out of the property. The notice must state how much rent is due, when the deadline to pay it is, and how it should be paid. You can serve this notice to your tenant in-person or post it on the door. Make sure you keep a copy so you can document when and how this notice was served.
Filing in Court for Eviction
Three business days after serving the notice, if the tenant has not paid rent and has not moved out of the property, you can file for an eviction. You’ll need to file in the county where your rental property is located. The clerk of the court will have the paperwork you need, and you’ll be required to pay a fee.
Once the eviction has been filed in court, you’ll need to serve your tenant with a copy of the eviction lawsuit. You must make three attempts to serve the tenant personally with the paperwork. If you are unable to serve the tenant after the third attempt, it’s acceptable to post the eviction filing on the door. Again, make sure you document every attempt you made. You can hire a private process server to take care of this for you if you’d prefer.
Obtaining a Writ of Possession
The tenant can choose to respond to the eviction, but most tenants do not. They have five days to challenge or respond to the eviction. If they do respond, the courts will set a date for a hearing. If they don’t respond, you can appeal to the judge for a Writ of Possession. This will give you the legal authority to get your property back into your own possession. Once you have the Writ of Possession signed by a judge, contact the sheriff’s office to have possession of the property returned to you. The sheriff can physically remove your tenants and their belongings if they don’t move out voluntarily.
This is a basic overview of the eviction process in Florida. We always recommend that you consult with a property manager or an experienced eviction attorney to ensure you do everything properly and legally. One minor mistake can lead to your lawsuit being thrown out, and that will cost you time and money.
If you have any further questions about evictions or anything pertaining to property management in Florida, please contact us at A+ Realty Management.