Ejectment actions are filed, in predominant part, to remove unwanted occupants from real property whose interest in such property transcends mere possession of the real property. Ejectment suits are governed by Chapter 66 of the Florida Statutes. For information on how ejectment actions differ from evictions or unlawful detainer suits, click here.
In some situations, ejectment actions can be filed as a sort of reverse-eviction, such as in the case where a residential tenant seeks to be restored to possession of a unit.
To recover possession in a lawsuit for ejectment, the Plaintiff, i.e., the party filing suit must show that such party had legal title to the property at the time when suit is filed. If a Plaintiff does not have legal title to the real property at the time the suit for ejectment is filed, the Plaintiff cannot recover possession. A plaintiff must recover possession of the real property on the strength of his or her own legal title to same, and not on the vagueness of the title of defendant. To maintain an action for ejectment, the legal instrument relied on by the Plaintiff, (normally in the form of some sort of deed to the real property) must be shown to be valid, and such instrument must be paramount to or superior to, older or better than the Defendant’s instrument. Ultimately, in order to prevail, one who brings an action for ejectment must demonstrate both legal title to the real property and a present right to possession.
With respect to maintain an action for ejectment, Chapter 66.021 of the Florida Statutes provides as follows:
- If a Defendant in possession of real property in an action for ejectment is a tenant or has some leasehold interest in the real property, the landlord must be made a party to the case before proceeding unless otherwise ordered by the court.
- To prevail in an action for ejectment, the Plaintiff show prove valid legal title and a present right to possession of the property, i.e., a Plaintiff in an ejectment suit cannot recover even against one without title, unless the Plaintiff shows prior possession of the real property or title.
Ejectment suits are normally filed in situations involving a land purchase installment contract, where the buyer is not a tenant but instead makes periodic payments towards purchase of the real property, rather than periodic rental payments. Another situation is where Defendants claim title to the property by way of some invalid or quitted title to the property.
Ejectments are complicated real property suits which should not be filed without first consulting an ejectment lawyer. To learn more about whether you should file an ejectment suit to oust an unwanted occupants from your property, call our law firm today for a free consultation.