Florida is one of the best states for investing in rental properties. Many Americans have been moving to the Sunshine State because of its warm weather, beautiful beaches, and favorable tax laws. This is the reason why Florida’s real estate market is one of the hottest markets in the country.
Being a landlord in Florida can be a lucrative investment. However, as a landlord, it’s important to know how to screen your tenants thoroughly to prevent problematic renters who cause a lease violation.
One of the most dreadful things about being a landlord is dealing with bad tenants who don’t pay their rent on time, have no respect for your property or the terms of the lease agreement, and are a nuisance to the neighborhood.
In case this happens, and amicable settlements are no longer possible, landlords will have to start an eviction process and possibly a Florida eviction lawsuit. This is the reason why rental property owners need to be familiar with the eviction laws in their state and local city, in this case, the Florida eviction process. Understanding the Florida eviction process can help things go smoothly, avoid legal problems, and save on unnecessary expenses related to eviction.
What Is the Eviction Process in Florida?
Here’s a guide:
In general, the Florida eviction process can take around two to three weeks to finish. However, this duration may vary depending on the reason for eviction. If the tenant contests the eviction lawsuit, the process can even take longer and can result in being settled in court.
Notice for Lease Termination with Legal Cause
According to Florida law, landlords can evict a renter for various reasons, including the following:
- Failure to pay rent or late payment.
- Staying at the property without a signed lease or when the term of the lease agreement has already ended.
- Violation of lease or rental agreement responsibilities under the Florida landlord-tenant law.
Under Florida law, rent is considered past due the day after its due date, unless the lease contract states otherwise.
According to Florida eviction laws, a tenant can be evicted if he/she is staying at the rental property with or without a lease that has ended. Florida landlords should terminate the tenancy first by sending a notice to move out, with the following notice period:
- 7 days’ notice for renters who rent on a weekly basis.
- 15 days’ notice for renters who renter on a monthly basis.
- 30 days’ notice for renters who rent on a quarterly basis.
- 60 days’ notice for renters who rent on a yearly basis.
If Florida tenants violate the terms of their lease agreement, fail to pay rent, or fail to uphold their responsibilities as stated under Florida landlord-tenant law, you can serve a Florida eviction notice they can be legally evicted from the property. Landlords are required to give 7 days’ notice for tenants to fix the issues, pay the missed expenses, or vacate the properties before they can proceed with filing for the eviction process.
Violations that can be fixed are those minor offenses that can be repaired within seven days, such as:
- Parking in a non-designated area.
- Having an animal, guest, or vehicle that was not authorized by the owner.
- Tenant fails to comply with a standard level of cleanliness.
If a tenant repeats any of these minor violations within a period of 12-months, the landlord has the right to proceed with the eviction without offering another chance to fix the issues.
For the following serious violations, the tenants may not be given a chance to fix the problem:
- Deliberately damaging, destroying, or misusing the property.
- Using the premises for illegal activity.
The landlord should send 7 days’ unconditional quit notice for tenants to vacate the premises without the chance to fix the problems.
Serving a Tenant with an Eviction Notice in Florida
In Florida, the eviction starts when a landlord serves a written notice to the tenant, which must be delivered either via regular mail, certified mail, or registered mail, or by placing the written notice in a conspicuous place. Landlords should always keep a copy of the signed and served Florida eviction notices.
Tenant Eviction Defenses in Florida
The defense is a reason why the petitioner/landlord shouldn’t win the case. The tenant may claim that:
- The landlord tried to terminate the lease before finalizing the proper legal proceedings.
- The landlord discriminated against the tenant, or the eviction is retaliatory.
- The landlord failed to comply with the habitability requirements by state and federal law.
- The tenant resolved a curable violation.
- The tenant did not violate the terms of the rental agreement.
- The notice has substantial errors, like lacking an effective date of eviction.
Attending Court Hearing in Florida
Sometimes, this can result in an eviction lawsuit in a court. If the resident did not contest the eviction, the landlord can file a default motion to obtain a Judgment for Possession. If a tenant contests the eviction, the tenant should pay the court clerk the amount of any unpaid rent, plus pay the rent until the lawsuit is over. Landlords are required to appear in court.
Writ of Possession
If the court rules in favor of the landlord, a Writ of Possession will be issued. In Florida, it can take approximately five days or more for the judge to rule on the eviction and issue a writ of possession.
In Florida, the sheriff will serve the writ of possession to the tenants around two days after it is issued. The tenant will then be given 24 hours of proper notice to vacate the rental unit. If the tenants fail to move out, the sheriff will forcibly remove them.
If any of the tenant’s belongings remain at the property, they will be used as a lien for damages or payment to the landlord. The sheriff will then complete the eviction by placing a padlock on the door.
If you have specific questions, you can seek help from a knowledgeable property management company. Call Keyrenter Jacksonville at (904) 330-4040 for more information from a Keyrenter property manager. We fully understand the process of evictions and have the knowledge and experience to make it a stress-free process for you.
This blog should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed attorney in your state. Laws change, and this post might not be updated at the time of your reading. Please contact us for any questions you have in regards to this content or any other aspect of your property management needs.