Frequently Asked Questions
Below you will find a list of frequently asked questions concerning evictions and hiring an eviction attorney.
Question: My tenant has stopped paying rent, what do I do?
Answer: If your tenant has stopped paying rent, you need to consider evicting that tenant. Under Florida law, to begin the eviction process, the Tenant must be given NOTICE that his or her failure to pay rent will result in the commencement of eviction proceedings. Normally, this NOTICE is delivered to the Tenant via certified mail, or, the Landlord has the option of posting the Notice on the door of the property.
Question: Should I use a sample notice form that I found on Google or elsewhere on the web?
Answer: The short answer here is No. Depending on the type of breach the Tenant has committed, a different type of Notice may be required to commence the eviction lawsuit. You should consult with a lawyer who will provide the correct eviction notice form. To illustrate this point, under Florida law, different notice forms will be required for evicting a non-paying tenant than for evicting a tenant that is conducting criminal activity on the property.
Question: I am renting out my property but I do not have a signed, written lease agreement in place, can I still evict my tenant?
Answer: Yes. A verbal lease agreement is just as good as a written lease agreement. Whether you have a written lease or oral lease in place with your tenant, the tenant can still be evicted, as long as there is a paper trail tending to show that the tenant was renting the property from you.
Question: I am pretty knowledgeable about the eviction process, should I do it on my own or hire an attorney?
Answer: The short answer is No. An eviction is a formal lawsuit filed by a Landlord or Landlord’s attorney against a Tenant for breach of a lease agreement. The breach of a lease can take many forms (i.e. the tenant is not paying the rent, or the tenant is causing irreversible damage to the property). An attorney can complete an eviction much quicker than a person who does not have the experience or know-how to navigate through the court system. Doing an eviction on your own will likely take much longer, resulting in lost rental income to you. You wouldn’t want to represent yourself for a speeding ticket or DUI, or perform your own surgical procedure. Likewise, you need a lawyer who knows Florida’s eviction laws to expedite and simplify the process for you.
Question: Roughly how long would it take to evict my tenant?
Answer: An eviction can take anywhere from three (3) to six (6) weeks, sometimes shorter, and sometimes longer. Every county in Florida handles evictions at a different speed. The more densely populated counties will likely have a higher eviction rate, and thus the eviction may take longer for the Court to process. The less densely populated counties in Florida will likely have a lower eviction rate, and thus the eviction may be processed at a quicker rate. Remember, evictions are formal lawsuits, and therefore the time constraints of the court system applies. Another factor affecting how long an eviction will take is the court’s schedule. Some court clerks are backlogged for weeks, some aren’t. Some Judges have a packed docket, some don’t. The lawyers at Evict-FL are in frequent contact with the courts and sheriffs to make sure that your eviction will be processed as fast as possible.
Question: I have decided that I need to evict my tenant and I want to hire an eviction lawyer. What do I do now?
Answer: Once you’ve decided that you need to evict your tenant, the process is simple. Send a copy of the applicable eviction notice to a lawyer at EVICT-FL via email. The notice is the only necessary document that you need to give your eviction attorney to begin the eviction process. Your attorney will then file the lawsuit on your behalf. If you have a signed lease in effect with your tenant, and a ledger showing the tenant’s past due balance, you can send that to us via email as well. Once the necessary documents are received, a lawyer at EVICT-FL will begin the eviction process for you. You can now sit back and relax in the knowledge that you have a competent and experienced attorney handling your eviction. Your assigned attorney will be available to you via phone or email at all times.
Question: I want to evict my tenant and regain possession of my property, but I also want to recover the past due rent from my tenant, does this require a different procedure?
Answer: Yes. An eviction can take two basic forms. If you just want to remove the tenant from the property and regain possession, the eviction process will be considerably faster. This is known as an “Eviction for Possession only.” If you want to both remove the tenant from the property and sue for the past due rent that the tenant owes, the eviction process will take a bit longer. This is known as an “Eviction for Possession and Money Damages.” Different laws apply to Evictions for Possession Only and Evictions for Possession and Money Damages. When suing for possession of the property and money damages, the Landlord needs to consider whether the Tenant will have enough money to collect on a judgment. In a residential context, it is advisable to sue for possession only as it is considerably quicker. The faster the tenant leaves, the faster you can put your property up for rent.
Question: How much will it cost to evict my tenant?
Answer: It depends. Simple 1-tenant evictions are cheaper than multiple-tenant evictions. Moreover, on average, residential evictions may be considerably cheaper than commercial evictions. The court filing fee in Florida for a residential eviction is approximately $195.00. The fee that is paid to the process server is roughly $55.00. The fee that is paid to the Sheriff for the writ of possession is anywhere from $90.00 to $115.00, depending on the county. The fee that is paid to your eviction lawyer begins at $185.00. If the eviction is uncontested (the tenant does not file an Answer to the lawsuit) or the tenant moves out after being served with the lawsuit then no further attorneys fee will be required. If the tenant files an Answer to the eviction suit, then the eviction is considered contested and additional fees may apply in the event that the court calls a hearing on the matter or additional pleadings are required. For commercial evictions, a different fee structure applies. Call an attorney at EVICT-FL today and get a full breakdown of the fees on your specific eviction case.
Question: My tenant is a Section 8 tenant or receives housing assistance from the government, will this make a difference?
Answer: Yes. For Section 8 tenants or tenants that receive housing assistance from the government, a different legal procedure applies. That is, a different notice form will be required. Otherwise, the eviction process is generally the same, and if the tenant is not paying his or her portion of the rent, the tenant can still be evicted.
Question: My tenant has recently filed for bankruptcy, can I still evict?
Answer: The short answer is Yes. However, if your tenant has filed for bankruptcy the eviction will take considerably longer to complete. The bankruptcy court could institute a “Stay” on the eviction case until the bankruptcy proceedings are complete. You should contact an eviction lawyer at EVICT-FL for more information on evicting a tenant that has filed for bankruptcy.
Question: My eviction question is not listed on this page, could I call a lawyer at EVICT-FL and get a free consultation?
Answer: Yes. If you have a question concerning evicting a tenant in Florida, call EVICT-FL today for a free legal consultation.