The Florida Statutes law has made provisions for rental housing eviction. Chapter 83 stipulates the rules that go along with the eviction process. The process sets off with the filing of the eviction. Filing fee varies by county and the fee has to be deposited with the Clerk of Court.
Rental Housing on Line (RHOL) regulations provide information on the basic forms that need to be furnished as part of the eviction process. There are special forms available to file eviction against a tenant for non-payment of rent. RHOL also provides homeowners information on regaining possession of their residential properties.
Serving the Notice
The landlord is expected to serve a three day notice to the tenant. The notice has to stipulate conditions for paying the rent and the time-frame to do so. Post three days of the date of delivery of notice, the landlord may regain full possession of the property. But this has to be done via a Complaint for Eviction filing.
A point to note is that Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays are exempted from the notice period.
Prepare the Complaint and Initiate Summons
The landlord must furnish the original documents of the rental and lease agreements along with the complaint with the Clerk of Court. The Clerk then proceeds to issue summons to the tenant. The lease agreement or rental agreement copy has to be attested with the complaint. The landlord must sign the complaint in the presence of a deputy clerk or a public notary.
The landlord must pay the fee for filing the complaint with the Clerk of Court. The Clerk proceeds to issue an Eviction Summons. Copies of the complaint, notice, and lease/rental agreement are part of the summons. Summons can be served by the Sheriff. There is a fee for serving the summons. The details of this are available with the court.
Tenants may be served summons by mail too. To achieve this, a Certificate of Mailing document is used to post the summons to the tenant.
Time to Answer the Summons
The tenant is expected to answer the summons. After the summons has been accepted, the tenant is given 5 days excluding weekends and public holidays to issue an answer. The answer is filed by the tenant along with making a deposit to contest in court. The court either contacts the landlord, or vice versa to schedule a hearing.
The tenant is expected to honor the summons. Failing which, the landlord proceeds to file a Motion for Default. This is part of the Final Judgment for Possession ruling by the Court. This is the default procedure that initiates into action at the end of the five day answer-expectance period. The Court issues the Writ of Possession by way of the Clerk.
Although Florida eviction laws for non-payment of rent look complicated from the outset, it is a fast process. It helps landlords and tenants an opportunity to be heard. Considering this, it is an unbiased law that can be further fortified to plug loopholes.