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3 steps for evicting a problem tenant in Florida

On Behalf of | Jun 2, 2022 | Blog, Residential Real Estate |

Few landlords want to evict anyone. You make money by renting rooms, not by kicking people out of them. Fortunately, most tenants are reasonable and your relationships with them are manageable. You can find solutions to your problems short of eviction.

However, there are times that eviction may be your only answer. A problematic tenant may cause headaches for you and your other tenants. These troublesome tenants may be noisy, fail to pay rent, intentionally damage your property, or violate your lease agreement. When their behaviors cross the line, you can evict them.

The rules for Florida evictions

While you have the right to evict a tenant, it’s important to do so in compliance with Florida state law. To legally evict a tenant in Florida, you must:

  • Obtain a court order: You must have a court order in Florida to move forward with the eviction process, even if the tenant didn’t pay rent. Florida has specific laws that protect tenants from illegal evictions, such as retaliatory evictions and self-help evictions. If you don’t obtain a court order before evicting a tenant, your tenant can sue you for rent damages, leading to a more lengthy and costly eviction case.
  • Give the tenant appropriate notice: In Florida, landlords must give tenants a certain number of days’ notice before giving them their eviction papers. The number can depend on the circumstances. For example, if you’re evicting a tenant for failing to pay rent, you must give them at least three days’ notice. If you’re evicting a tenant for violating your lease agreement or refusing to comply after giving them a noncompliance warning, you must give them at least seven days’ notice.
  • Give the tenant time to respond: Once you serve the eviction papers, you must give the tenant a chance to respond. Tenants typically get five days to respond to evictions in Florida, excluding weekends and holidays. If the tenant owes payments for back rent or damage to the property, they have 20 days to file a written response.

Following the rules can keep things simple

Evictions are often difficult. Your emotions may run high. You risk running afoul of many complicated rules. An experienced Florida real estate attorney can help you understand your rights and your tenant’s. Evictions can be messy, but they’re a lot simpler if you do things right the first time.