Contributed by: ROY L. WEINFELD, P.A.
Phone: (305) 358-9045
As a Residential Landlord, you may have to travel a long and winding bumpy road to evict your tenant. However, when you drive with perfectly aligned tires, and make a right at the fork in that road, then smoother evictions lie ahead.
In Florida, traditionally, you may evict a Tenant for 1) Non-Payment of Rent or 2) Termination of the Lease.
Eviction for Non-Payment of Rent
The 3-Day Notice:
- A Residential Lease exists.
- The Tenant has not paid Rent.
- Serve a 3-Day Notice to Pay or Vacate:
- Provide Landlord’s local contact information.
- Direct Notice to Tenant and All Others In Possession.
- Input the Amount of Rent Due. It must be defined as “Rent” or “Additional Rent” in the Lease.
- Exclude weekends and holidays.
- 3-Day Notice to be served on Tenant or posted on conspicuous place. Florida Statute §83.56 (1999).
The 3 Day Notice Suit:
- Complaint for Eviction & 5 Day Summons served on Tenant or posted on conspicuous place of Premises (After 6 hour interval of Initial Attempt). Florida Statute §48.183(1) (2003).
- Tenant must respond within 5 days, excluding weekends and holidays. Florida Statute §51.011(1) (1995).
- Landlord should not accept rent or will waive its right to continue Suit. Florida Statute §83.56 (1999).
- If Tenant fails to respond in 5 days, then by a proper filing and service, the Landlord may obtain Final Judgment of Eviction by Default. Florida Statute §83.60 (2007) and §48.183(2) (2003).
- If Tenant files a Motion to Determine Rent Due, the Court will hear and determine the amount the Tenant must deposit in Court Registry during the Suit. Florida Statute §83.60 (2007).
The Notice to Terminate:
The Written Lease has concluded or no Lease exists and
the Tenant pays rent on a month-to-month basis.
- Serve the Notice according to the Lease.
- If the Lease is silent, to be safe, serve it personally and via certified mail.
- Provide the Tenant 15 days prior to the end of the rental period. Exclude a Demand for Rent. Florida Statute §83.57(3) (1983).
- Municipalities have discretion to lengthen the time.
- Complaint and 5 Day Summons Served on Tenant or Posted on Conspicuous Place of Premises (After 6 hour interval of Initial Attempt). Florida Statute §48.183(1)(2003).
- Tenant must respond within 5 days, excluding weekends and holidays. Florida Statute §83.60 (1995).
- If Tenant fails to respond, then by a proper filing and service, the Landlord may obtain a Final Judgment of Eviction by Default. Florida Statute §83.60(2) (1995).
- If Tenant contests the Suit, Landlord should request Final Judgment of Eviction, based on Termination. Florida Statute §83.57(1983).
Making a Right at the Fork in the Eviction Road
When you have either the 3-Day or Notice to Terminate Options, you want to turn onto the smoother road to eviction:
Make a Left?
- Tenant contests suit, including amounts due.
- Tenant deposits funds in Registry.
- Case continues.
Make a Right?
- Tenant contests.
- Lease or Month-to-Month has been terminated.
- Tenant has no apparent defenses.
The process may seem as simple as driving a well-oiled chassis. There are other causes for removal of Tenants, also, the Tenant may raise various defenses and claims.
It is a technical process. Not all know how to fix the Carburetor. If not, you should carefully study the applicable law, or consult with an attorney who can review, analyze and properly oil your chassis for a smoother road to eviction.
3 Ps: Precision + Perfection = Performance.
Roy L. Weinfeld, P.A.
800 Brickell Avenue, Penthouse One
Miami, FL 33131
Phone: (305) 358-9045
Facsimile: (305) 358-9042