Evicting a tenant in Florida begins with a landlord delivering official notice to quit, either alerting the tenant of a breach of the lease agreement or the landlord’s intent to terminate a month-to-month agreement. If the tenant remains on the property beyond the notice period, the landlord must then begin the process of filing for Forcible Entry and Unlawful Detainer in the County Court where the property is located.
Laws – Chapter 82 (Forcible Entry and Unlawful Detainer)
How to Evict
- Step 1 – Send Eviction Notice to Tenant
- Step 2 – Wait to Hear from the Tenant
- Step 3 – File in Court
- Step 4 – Summons
- Step 5 – Attend Hearing
- Step 6 – Obtain Writ of Possession
- Step 7 – Repossess the Property
Step 1: Send an Eviction Notice
Once the reason for eviction is determined, one of three notices to quit must be given to the tenant informing them of the reason for eviction, their options to cure, and the time period in which they have to cure the violation or leave the premises.
- Failure to Pay Rent (3-Day Notice to Quit) – When a tenant does not pay rent on time, a landlord may give them a warning that they must pay in full within 3 days (business days only).1
- Non-Compliance (7-Day Notice to Quit) – A 7-Day Notice to Quit is used when a landlord documents any breach of the lease agreement that doesn’t relate to payment of rent. If the violation includes “incurable” property damage or has repeated an offense within a 12-month period, a landlord may choose to end the lease entirely. This is known as “No Option to Cure.”2 If the violation is curable, as in it is an offense that can be stopped or damage can be fixed within 7 days, then the landlord will outline the “Option to Cure” in their notice.3
- Foreclosure (30-Day Notice to Quit) – If a rental property becomes foreclosed, the landlord can proceed with removing the tenant by using a 30-day notice.4
- Termination of Month-to-Month Lease (15-Day Notice to Quit) – If a landlord wishes to end a month-to-month lease, they must give their tenant 15 days notice that the agreement will be ending.
Step 2: Wait to Hear from the Tenant
The tenant must be allowed the full notice period to either cure a violation or communicate their intent to do so before the landlord can take any further action.
Step 3: File in the Court
If the tenant hasn’t responded to the original notice to quit within the allotted time, the landlord may file a complaint and summons with the property’s County Court.
- Avg. Processing Time: 2-3 days5
- Where to File: County Court
- Filing Fee: $1856
- Service of Process: $40
- Summons: $10
- Writ of Possession: $90
Forms to File: A Summons for Damages Complaint (Form 8) or a Summons for Eviction-Only Complaint (Form 7) will be filed along with one of the following:
- Complaint for Eviction (Form 5) is filed when the landlord seeks to have the tenant evicted for non-payment of rent.
- Complaint for Eviction and Damages (Form 5A) is filed when the landlord is seeking repayment of damages from the tenant as well as having them evicted from the property.
- Complaint for Eviction Re-Breach (Form 6) is filed when a tenant is not being evicted for non-payment of rent, nor does the landlord wish to seek damages.
Step 4: The Tenant Is Served a 5-Day Summons
Once the complaint is filed, the clerk will issue a five-day summons which will be given to the sheriff. The sheriff will then serve the tenant their summons and they will have five days to deliver a written response to the court.
If the tenant delivers a written response, the court will schedule a hearing. If the tenant doesn’t respond, the landlord may ask the clerk for a Motion for Default.7
Step 5: Attend a Court Hearing
If the tenant delivered a written response to the court and a hearing has been scheduled, the landlord should be prepared to present any proof of notices that were served to the tenant. If the landlord has filed a complaint for eviction and damages, they should also present any proof of damages sought, including before and after photos of the property, service receipts, and any other items relevant to the damage costs.8
Step 6: Obtain a Writ of Possession
If or when the judge rules in favor of the landlord, they will issue a Final Judgment-Damages or a Final Judgment-Eviction. The court will then issue a Writ of Possession9 and the tenant will be given 24 hours to leave the property.
Step 7: Repossess the Property
Once the Writ of Possession has been issued, the sheriff is directed by the clerk to post notice on the property.10 Once the 24-hour period has passed, the landlord may remove any personal property on or near the property, and they may request the sheriff is present to keep the peace at an hourly rate set by the sheriff’s office.10
Evictions in Florida: Video
- § 83.56(3)
- § 83.56(2)(a)
- § 83.56(2)(b)
- § 83.56(1)
- § 83.62