Florida Residential Tenant Evictions
The residential eviction process in Florida, is among the most confusing and complex in the entire United States! Florida landlords must adhere to strict deadlines and procedural rules when evicting tenants. It's also downright expensive to evict a residential tenant in Florida! The court costs, which include filing, issuance and service of process fees, to evict two tenants from start to finish, is currently $375, which isn't exactly chump change.
Click on the Florida Residential Eviction Flowchart to see the numerous steps that must be strictly followed to evict a tenant in Florida.
Parties Authorized to File Eviction Lawsuits in Florida
Under Section 83.59(2) of the Florida Residential Landlord and Tenant Act, only the parties listed below are authorized to file eviction lawsuits. However, there must be a bona fide landlord-tenant relationship, and the party filing the lawsuit must have proper authorization from the owner.
1. Individual landlords eighteen years of age and older.
2. Individual landlords doing business as a company or DBA.
3. Agents designated as property managers by landlords.
4. Florida licensed lawyers hired by landlords to represent them.
Difference Between Uncontested and Contested Eviction Lawsuits
When a defendant fails to file an answer to a Complaint for Eviction with the clerk of the court, the eviction lawsuit becomes uncontested. And when a defendant files an answer to Complaint for Eviction with the clerk of the court within the statutory time limit, the lawsuit becomes contested.
Clerks of the Court Prohibited From Providing Legal Advice
Section 28.215 of the Florida Statutes states, "The clerk of the circuit court shall provide ministerial assistance to pro se litigants. Assistance shall not include the provision of legal advice." This limits the clerk of the circuit court to only providing pro se plaintiff-landlords with the court forms necessary to file an eviction lawsuit.
You can start the eviction process today by downloading this FREE Three Day Notice in Microsoft Word format.
This information in this article is from The Florida Landlord's Eviction Manual, which was published on March 12, 2012.