Eviction Process in Florida – 7 Steps to Evict a Tenant

What is The Eviction Process?

The eviction process begins with a three day letter and finishes with a writ of removal. The entire process can be done is as little as one week if the eviction is uncontested, or take years in unusual circumstances. On average, an eviction process takes about 15 days if there are no valid defenses to the eviction action.

An eviction occurs when a tenant has breached the terms of the tenancy in some material way, or has refused to move out once the rental agreement has expired. An eviction is different from an ejectment. An ejectment is a different process than an eviction and occurs when there is no tenancy agreement at all, such as when “guest” overstay their welcome.

An eviction, with a qualified attorney can cost about $750.00 if it is uncontested, or thousands if it is contested with valid defenses.

What is the Eviction process and steps that can be taken to Evict a Tenant?

The Chapter 83 of Florida Statutes mentions that a home-owner can evict a tenant on the grounds of housecleaning issues, unauthorized occupancy or non-payment of rent.

In Florida, landlords can take the following steps in order to evict their tenant, and save on attorney fees

  1. Give the tenant a 3-days notice to either pay the outstanding rent or vacate the premises.
  2. Write down a complaint and file for eviction. Eviction can be filed with any county clerk serving at a court in a particular county.The landlord must mention “Plaintiff” and his/her contact details on the complaint. He/She must also mention “Defendant” and the tenant’s contact information.
  3. The complainant needs to create a heading “Complaint” and list the following underneath.
    • A mention of an attempt to evict a renter from real property in a particular county, naming the county thereafter.
    • The fact that the landlord owns the said property, providing its address.
    • Mention that the tenant had agreed to pay the rental fee providing the amount. Attach a written agreement copy.
    • Mention the date that the last rent was due, and that the tenant failed to pay then.
    • Mention the date the defendant was served with a notice on, to either vacate or pay.
    • Request the judge to evict the occupant and hold him/her responsible for any pertinent costs.
    • Notarize the complaint; either file the same at the clerk’s or swear to the same in the presence of a clerk. Pay the required fee.
  4. Find out whether the tenant reverted to the summons from the clerk’s office. A tenant has 5 working days to respond. If they answered and paid the outstanding rent, contact the county court to schedule a trial.
  5. Ensure the delivery of the hearing notice to the tenant along with case number, hearing time, date and venue details, and the date of notice.
  6. File a motion seeking default judgment, either with the clerk or with the court, in case the occupant fails answering the summons.
  7. The complainant will now need to wait for the county court to commence upon a judgment. In case the judge passes judgment in favor of the landlord, the sheriff will be ordered to evict the occupant in 24 hours flat. The sheriff will need to serve a summons of possession ordering the occupant to vacate. The landlord will be required to pay for the same. Uncontested evictions cost $750.