The law firm of Kelley & Grant, P.A. assists landlords with evicting tenants throughout the state of Florida. Reasons for eviction include the non-payment of rent, the expiration of a lease, termination of month to month tenancy, and tenant misconduct. If you are currently dealing with a difficult tenant and you want that tenant evicted, call our offices for a free consultation regarding your landlord rights.
Although the law allows you to evict a tenant by yourself, there are significant risks to not seeking the help of an experienced attorney. The eviction process is complex and filled with many legal pitfalls. If your paperwork is incorrect and the tenant contests the eviction, you could find yourself paying attorneys fees and damages if the tenant wins. In addition you might be caught up in protracted litigation which could ultimately cost you additional money and unpaid rent. Call us today to get your eviction done correctly and efficiently.
Although there are many websites and services which promise to file an eviction on your behalf for a very low fee, these services are very limited in what they can do under Florida law. They can help you only if the eviction is uncontested. They are not run by attorneys and they cannot give you legal advice. These services merely help fill out forms on your behalf. If any problems develop, such as the tenant disputing your eviction, you will not be able to continue using their services. You will have to continue the litigation on your own or pay more money to hire an attorney.
Our firm not only files all of the eviction pleadings on your behalf, but we also represent you at any mandatory mediations and hearings. This can become even more important if you happen to live out of state or out of county and own property locally. With a licensed attorney representing you, you never have to face the tenant.
Get legal help! Call our law offices today at 1-877-871-8300.
Steps of the Uncontested Eviction Process:
- Posting of three day notice or seven day notice
- Wait 3 or 7 days, not including weekends and holidays
- Filing of Eviction Lawsuit with the County Court
- Serve tenant with summons
- Wait 5 days
- If tenant does not answer, file Request for Default
- Clerk’s default
- Filing for Final Judgment of Eviction with Judge
- If tenant is still on the property, get writ of possession
- Writ of Possession issued
- Scheduling removal of tenant with Sheriff
The Contested Eviction Process:
The tenant has 5 days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and Legal Holidays) to file an answer to a landlord’s complaint. If the tenant files an answer to your complaint, the eviction becomes contested. An answer can be any type of response, even a handwritten note from the tenant to the Judge. If an answer has been submitted it is strongly advised that you retain an attorney.
After filing an answer, the case can take many unpredictable turns, depending on what the tenant said in the answer. This can lead to protracted litigation, hearings, mediation, and even trial. An attorney can help you navigate through this process and avoid the countless legal pitfalls that you may encounter. This is especially true if the tenant has paid representation or legal aid.
If you don’t have an attorney you risk losing out on rent and damages that may be due to you. In addition, you may end up having your case dismissed and having a tenant living in your property for free.
Get legal help! Call our law offices today at 1-877-871-8300.
This information applies to an uncontested tenant eviction for possession only.
Generally, an uncontested eviction can take 4 to 5 weeks to complete. Depending on the circumstances of your case, this period may be longer or shorter.
FEES & COSTS
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Court Filing Fee
- Upon retaining us for your eviction, we will send you a Three-Day Notice and helpful checklist at no extra cost. A fee of $80 will be charged if you would like the Firm to draft and serve a Three Day Notice or Fifteen Day Notice on your tenant.
- If you choose to sue for back-rent or damage to the Premises, please contact us to discuss fees and costs.
- If this becomes a Contested Eviction Process, applicable Attorney Fees and other costs will apply.
In the event that the Tenant pays or leaves within the three-day or seven-day notice period, prior to the filing of the case with the Court, then the entire amount of attorney fees is refundable less $115.00 for pre-suit legal advice. Any incurred costs for preparation and service of the three-day or seven-day notice are non-refundable.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What can I do if my tenant has not paid the rent?
The tenant must be served with a three-day notice demanding that the rent be paid or the tenant surrender possession of the premises within three days (excluding the day of service, weekends and holidays), unless the lease gives a different timeframe.
2. How do I evict a month to month tenant?
You must serve the tenant with a notice stating that the month-to-month tenancy is terminated and demanding that the tenant surrender possession at the end of the monthly period. The notice must be served at least fifteen (15) days before the end of the monthly period, and the termination date on the notice must be the last day of a monthly period.
3. My tenant has failed to comply with the terms of the lease, other than non-payment of rent, and I want to evict. What can I do?
If the tenant has failed to comply with material provisions of the lease, or reasonable rules and regulations governed by the Florida Statutes then the law states:
If the non-compliance is such that the tenant should be given an opportunity to cure the non-compliance, the landlord must serve the tenant with a seven day notice to cure or vacate, stating the non-compliance, and stating that the tenant has seven days to correct the non-compliance or else the lease is deemed terminated and the tenant shall vacate upon such termination. Examples of such non-compliance include but are not limited to, unauthorized guests, pets or vehicles; failing to keep the premises clean and sanitary; disturbance of other tenants by loud noises. In addition, the notice should state that if the tenant repeats the same conduct or conduct of a similar nature within twelve months, the tenancy is subject to termination without a further opportunity to cure.
4. How do I serve a three-day notice, a seven-day notice or any of the other required notices?
You may serve the notice yourself, or have it served by a process server that works with our firm. It is best to use a licensed process server since it eliminates mistakes and the process server will be perceived by the court as an impartial party with no stake in the matter. If you do it yourself, it’s best to have some proof that you served the notice.
5. I posted a three-day notice, but the time has expired and the tenant has not paid nor vacated the premises. What happens next?
- After the period for a notice has expired, you should have an attorney file a Complaint for Removal of tenant which is served with a Summons on the tenant by the Sheriff or by a certified process server.
- The tenant has five days, excluding the day of service, weekends and holidays, to file an answer.
- If an answer is filed by the tenant, a hearing must be scheduled.
- If no answer is filed by the tenant, the attorney submits a Motion For Default, a Non-Military Affidavit, Final Judgment, and Writ of Possession.
- The Clerk enters a Default and the judge reviews the file.
- If everything is in order, the judge signs the Final Judgment.
- The file is sent back to the Clerk’s office and the Clerk’s office issues a Writ of Possession which is then sent to the Sheriff.
- The Sheriff then posts a twenty-four hour notice on the premises.
- The Sheriff will then call the landlord or the landlord’s designated agent to inquire whether the tenant has vacated the premises. If the tenant has not vacated, the sheriff will accompany the landlord at a specified date and time, to keep the peace.
- With the Sheriff present, the landlord may remove the tenant’s personal belongings from the premises.
6. Can I remove a tenant myself?
No, you must follow the steps outlined by the Florida Statutes, which prohibit the landlord from directly or indirectly terminating or interrupting any utility service furnished the tenant, including but not limited to, water, heat, light, electricity, gas, elevator, garbage collection or refrigeration, whether or not the utility service is under the control of or payment is made by the landlord.
You also cannot prevent the tenant from gaining reasonable access to the premises by any means such as changing the locks. You may not remove the tenant’s personal belongings from the premises unless it is after the tenant surrendered possession of the premises; after the tenant has abandoned the premises; or after a lawful eviction.
If you violate any of the above, you may be liable to the tenant for damages or three months rent, whichever is greater, plus costs and attorney’s fees.
7. How long will it take to evict a non-paying tenant?
The time required to evict a non-paying tenant in an uncontested eviction action can range from 4 to 6 weeks, depending on the particulars of the case and the Court’s busy schedule.
8. What is the difference between an uncontested eviction and a contested eviction?
Uncontested means the tenant does not dispute the eviction. If the tenant disputes the eviction and files any sort of answer, the eviction becomes contested. For example, if you sue to evict a tenant for nonpayment of rent and the tenant writes a letter to the court stating that he or she sent you the check, it becomes contested.
9. I want to sue for back rent. What do I need to do?
Keep in mind that it’s sometimes difficult to collect judgments against tenants. However, if you decide to sue for unpaid rent, add a count to your Complaint for unpaid rent. If the tenant does not dispute the amount of rent due, the Court will also issue a judgment for the amount of rent demanded in the Complaint.
What are the methods of service of a 3-day notice?
Eviction Attorney Help by City and County:
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- Miami Eviction Lawyers
- Palm Beach County Eviction Lawyers
- Broward County Eviction Lawyers
- Dade County Eviction Lawyers
- Fort Lauderdale Eviction Lawyers
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Learn About Eviction Law
Want to learn more about eviction law but not sure where to start? We have created several short videos that will help you understand the intricacies of eviction law.