Both landlords and tenants have certain rights that are protected by Florida law. If you are a tenant having a problem with your landlord or a landlord who needs to evict a tenant, your County Clerk of Court can help.
The first step to file an eviction is to give the tenant a written notice.
Non-Payment of Rent: If you are evicting your tenant for non-payment of rent, you need to give the tenant a 3-day written notice to pay the rent or vacate. When calculating this time, you do not count the day of delivery, weekends, or holidays. You may post the notice on the door, mail it, or hand it to the tenant. The 3-day notice must seek only rent that is due. If the tenant does not comply with the notice, you would bring a copy of the 3-day notice to our office and file your eviction complaint with the court.
Possession of Property: If you are evicting your tenant for possession only, you will need to give the tenant a 7 or 15 day notice (depending on how the tenant pays the rent to you) to vacate. If the tenancy is week to week, you must give a 7-day notice. If the tenancy is month to month, you must give a 15 day notice. If you give a 15 day notice, there must be 15 days between the date you give the notice and the date you want them out. There can be more than 15 days, but no less than 15 days. The 15th day must be on the date the rent is due again. If the tenant does not comply with the notice you will need to bring a copy of the notice our office and file your eviction complaint with the court.
The second step is to file your eviction with the court.
To do this, you can present to the court a copy of the notice that you gave your tenant with the appropriate filing fee. The clerk will give you the appropriate forms to file the eviction, according to the type of notice you have given to your tenant.
The third step is to have your summons served.
Once you have filed your eviction, the clerk will prepare a summons to be served on your tenant. You must tell the clerk if you want the summons to be served by the Sheriff or a Private Process server. The clerk will forward your summons to be served. Once the summons is served, the tenant has 5 business days to respond to your eviction and 20 days to respond on the past due rent. The tenant is instructed to file their original answer with the clerk and send a copy to the landlord. The tenant should deposit with the Clerk the rent that is past due or file a Motion for the Court to determine. The tenant should deposit with the Clerk the monthly rent until the case is settled.
The fourth step is taken after the 5 business days have expired.
When the 5 business days have expired, you would need to file another form to prompt the clerk to send the file to the Judge. If the tenant did not respond to the summons, you would file a Motion for Default. If the tenant did respond to the summons, the Clerk will take the file to the Judge for Trial determination. Once you have filed the appropriate form, the clerk will prepare any necessary paperwork and then send the file to the Judge. The Judge will either set the case for a hearing or grant the landlord possession of the property. If the Judge grants the landlord possession of the property, the clerk will issue a Judgment Eviction and Writ of Possession.
The fifth step is to have the Writ of Possession executed.
The Sheriff will charge to execute the Writ of Possession. Contact their office for fees. The Sheriff will post the Writ of Possession and then contact the landlord to deliver possession of the property.
All forms that you would need to file and eviction are available at no cost to you at the Clerk’s Office.