The Simple Eviction Process
Florida has a “simple” eviction process that tends to expedite the eviction process if it is followed correctly. In fact, while most State cases require an answer or responsive pleading to be filed at the time of service of the complaint, an eviction, for failure to pay rent, can be accomplished in as little as 5 days after service of the complaint.
However, the process must be followed to the letter. First, you need a three-day notice posted on the property for failure to pay rent. Then if the three days have expired and the rent has not been paid then you need to serve an eviction complaint with a sheriff or process server. Once served, the tenant has the option to deposit the owed rents into the Court registry or accept to move out. If, after the five days the tenant has not vacated the premises or deposited the owed sums into the Court registry, then you need to move the Court for an entry of a writ of possession which authorizes the local police department to go to the premises and physically remove the tenant.
If the landlord wishes to pursue damages in addition to the recovery of the property, then the landlord should serve a dual complaint – Account for possession of the property and a count for recovery of damages. In this dual format, the service of the complaint must give the tenant 20 days for the court seeking monetary damages.
On the other hand, tenants can also assert defenses which, if valid, can certainly prolong and extend the recovery of the property. These include defenses stating that full payment has been achieved, the tenancy agreement was modified, and the habitability of the property.
Landlords and Tenants are well advised to seek the advice of a competent attorney to represent their tenancy property law interests.
landlord, tenant, law, eviction, Florida, tenancy, property law
August 22, 2012
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