Eviction Process in Florida
If you are being evicted in the state of Florida, you may not know how to proceed. Learning about the eviction process in Florida can help you understand your rights and options under the law. After reading this guide, you will understand the steps involved in the eviction process in Florida and how long each step will take.
The first step if your landlord wishes to begin eviction proceedings is to give you an eviction notice. The type of notice varies depending on the reason for eviction. If your landlord is beginning the eviction process in Florida due to non-payment of rent, you will be served with a three-day notice. This notice gives you three days to pay all applicable rent and late fees or face eviction proceedings in court.
If you are being evicted due to some other reason, you may have more time. If the lease has been breached (for instance, if you are illegally subletting or keeping a pet in a “no pets allowed” residence), you will be given a notice to comply or vacate. The notice to comply or vacate allows you seven days to cure the breaches in your lease before the eviction process in Florida can continue.
Court Filings and Hearings
If you fail to respond to the eviction notice in a satisfactory manner (i.e. by paying past-due rent or curing breaches in your lease) by the specified time, your landlord can continue the eviction process in Florida by filing a complaint and summons with your local courthouse to begin an eviction lawsuit.
The complaint and summons will be served to you by your landlord or a process server. In these documents, you will find information about why you are being evicted and a hearing date to allow you to contest your eviction. If you believe you have good reason to contest your eviction, you may want to talk to a landlord/tenant lawyer familiar with the eviction process in Florida.
If you do not show up at the hearing, you will not be arrested, but your landlord will win the eviction hearing by default. If your landlord has breached your lease, you may have a good chance to contest your eviction, so showing up for the hearing could help you stay in your residence. The eviction process in Florida will move forward after the hearing with a writ of possession.
Writ of Restitution
After the hearing is done, if your landlord wins (either after arguments at trial or by default), he or she can seek a writ of possession from the county clerk. The writ of possession gives you 24 hours to vacate your residence or be removed forcibly. Because forcible removal can be embarrassing and there is at this point in the process no way to stop the eviction, it may be best to leave before the sheriff arrives to remove you.
If you leave personal possessions behind after you have been evicted, your landlord will send you a notice containing an inventory of the property and giving you 10 days to claim it by paying storage costs. If you do not claim your property within the time specified, your landlord can keep or sell your personal belongings.