How to Navigate the Florida Eviction Process

By: Razvan Jr

Eviction is not an easy matter for a landlord or a tenant. For whatever reason, the tenant cannot afford to pay their rent as stipulated in their contract. In order to get their money, the landlord must follow the eviction process for Florida.
The Florida Eviction is complicated with several steps to follow. The fees for filing court documents are different for each county, but the same steps will need to be taken for every eviction proceeding. Some evictions will go smoothly while others may be held up in court over technicalities and appeals. Either way, evictions are emotional and trying times for all parties involved.
The following lists of steps outline the Florida eviction process.
Step 1

Three Day Notice to pay rent or Vacate the Property is filed. This is written notification given by the landlord to the tenant notifying them that the rent is due. If the rent money is not paid within the three days or the property is not vacated, then the landlord proceeds to step #2.
Step 2

File an Eviction Complaint at the county courthouse civil division. The landlord files this document under the county Civil Courts division. It states the tenants name, amount past due and money needed to become current and remain in the lease. After the paperwork is processed, which can take anywhere from three to ten business days, step #3 is executed.
Step 3

Eviction Summons is served by the sheriff. This is the paper from the Eviction Complaint that has been processed through the court. The tenant gets five business days to respond to the court stating their intentions to pay or vacate the premises. One of three things will happen.
A. The tenant replies within the allotted 5 days and pays all of the money needed to be current. A hearing may be scheduled before a judge to 'warn' the tenant not to do so again. The tenant may remain living in their apartment.
Both of the following scenarios will have the same result.
B. The tenant replies to the judge but without the money. Three different motions are then filed which will lead to eviction and notice of non-payment.
C. The tenant doesn't reply at all.
A hearing will be scheduled in which both parties will need to present their cases. The landlord will prove the tenant has not paid and for how long. The tenant will present reasons as to their lack of non-payment.
Step 4

The judge enters a final Judgment for past due rent. This is in favor of the landlord and forces the tenant to pay immediately or immediately vacate the premises.
During all of the steps, the process can be halted with the proper payment. A landlord can also sue in small claims court to get the legal fees reimbursed also.
The tenant has rights and can appeal a decision for eviction. Florida evictions are harder to get when it is an adult with small children or persons of disability living with them.

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