How to evict a tenant in Florida?

by John Morey | Jun 03, 2015

Generally speaking, there are three main reasons for filing for eviction against a tenant: non-payment of rent, termination of tenancy (expiration of lease), or nuisance (breach of lease, other than non-payment). Although there are other possible justifications for filing an eviction against your tenant, these three causes account for nearly 90% of the evictions our landlord tenant attorneys file. Our experienced eviction attorneys have represented landlords throughout Florida and are centrally located in downtown Orlando. If you need to know how to go about evicting you tenant, we are here to help!

Eviction for Non-Payment of Rent. By far the most common reason landlords need to evict a tenant is for non-payment or past due rent. The eviction process for non-payment in Florida always begins by providing the tenant with a notice of default, often referred to as a 3-day notice. However, it is important to note that even though Florida Law requires a minimum of three days’ notice, the terms of the lease agreement may require that the landlord provide the tenant with even more time to cure the non-payment. If the tenant does not pay rent within the amount of time provided for in the default notice, then the landlord can proceed with filing for eviction. From beginning to end and uncontested eviction can take anywhere from 2-4 weeks from beginning to end.

Eviction for Termination of Tenancy/Lease. An eviction for termination of tenancy or expiration of the lease agreement can stem from several different scenarios. The most common situation where this type of eviction is needed is when the tenant refuses to vacate the property after the term of their lease agreement has run. However, another common example is when a tenant refuses to vacate after a landlord has provided notice of their intent to terminate their week-to-week or month-to-month lease agreement. In situations where a lease agreement has expired, there is no further written renewal of said lease agreement, and both parties are in agreement that the tenant can remain in possession of the property, an automatically renewing tenancy is created. The tenancy may renew weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly depending on the period for which the rent is payable. For example, if rent is payable monthly then the landlord and tenant have an automatically renewing month-to-month tenancy. In that event, if the landlord no longer wished to rent to the tenant, they would have to provide the tenant with a minimum of 15-days’ notice (prior to the next rental period) of their intent to not renew the tenancy. If the tenant still refuses to vacate after having been provided with proper notice, the landlord’s next step would be to file for eviction in the county within which the property is located.

Eviction for Nuisance or Other Type of Breach. Not including any additional provisions within the lease agreement, a tenant is required to keep their rental property in clean and sanitary condition, not destroy or deface the landlord’s property, and to conduct themselves in a manner which does not unreasonably disturb the tenant’s neighbors or constitute a breach of the peace. A lease agreement can expand upon these terms by requiring that a tenant not have pets, maintain the lawn, or provide for other reasonable terms that would become the tenant responsibility. When a tenant fails to comply with their obligations as provided for by Florida Statute or the lease agreement, they are in breach of the lease agreement. Generally speaking, the landlord then has the ability to provide the tenant with a notice of non-compliance and give the tenant at least 7 days within which to comply. For example, if landlord discovers that a tenant has a dog living in the rental property even though the lease says they are not allowed to do so, the landlord can provide the tenant with a 7-day notice to cure the breach. If the tenant fails to remedy the breach of the lease within the 7-day period, the next step would be for the landlord to file suit against the tenant to enforce the lease or remove the tenant.

If you are a landlord, property manager, or owner, and you do not know if you have adequate grounds to evict your tenant contact us today. After speaking with one of our Orlando based eviction attorneys, we can let you know if you have sufficient grounds to evict, and how you can go about doing it.