When you are done reading about the Florida Eviction Process below, we recommend you purchase the corresponding Florida Eviction Notice to be delivered to your Tenant.
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Eviction in Florida can be broken down into 4 Steps:
- Serving the Eviction Notice (3-Day or 7-Day)
- Filing a Complaint and Summons
- Going to Court
- Writ of Possession
3-Day Notice or 7-Day Notice
The eviction notice form for residential tenants in Florida is either called a “3-day notice” or “7-Day notice” depending on why the landlord is evicting the tenant. If the tenant is being evicted for non-payment of rent, the landlord uses the 3-Day Notice. If the tenant is being evicted for another lease violation, such as unauthorized pets, criminal activity, etc., the landlord uses the 7-Day Notice.
In order to start the eviction process, the landlord must deliver the notice to the Tenant. The Notice must be in writing, and must be mailed (certified mail is best), hand delivered, or left at the residence if the tenant is not there. The landlord should keep a copy of the notice, so he or she can prove to the judge that it was in fact delivered. If after the notice period of 3 Days or 7 Days (excluding Saturday, Sunday, and legal holidays) the Tenant is still there, the landlord must move on to the next step and file a “Complaint” with the County Clerk for the county where the property is located.
Complaint and Summons
Filing the Complaint means the landlord is starting a formal court case to eviction the tenant. When the landlord goes to the County Clerk’s office to file the complaint, he should bring copies of the lease, and copies of the 3-Day Notice (see above). Most County Clerks will have a Complaint Form that the landlord can fill out. Once filled out, the clerk will notarize your signature on the Complaint and file it. Make sure you also bring money to pay the filing fee (call the County Clerk ahead of time to find out how much it is).
When the landlord files the Complaint, the Clerk will also issue a “Summons.” The Summons is what will be delivered to the Tenant to tell them they are being sued for Eviction. You can ask the Clerk to have the Sheriff deliver the summons (recommended), or you can pay a private process server to deliver it. Either way will cost you a little money, but having the Sheriff do it is probably less expensive.
If the Sheriff or process server is not able to find the tenant, then the tenant can be served by “posting” (attaching the Summons onto the premises). If a landlord needs to deliver the Summons by posting, they must tell the County Clerk, and request that the Clerk also mail the Summons to the Tenant by “Certificate of Mailing.”
Going to Court
Once the Tenant has been served the Summons, they will have 5 days to file an answer with the Court. If they do file an answer, then the landlord must call the Court to Schedule a hearing. At the hearing, the landlord must “plead his case” and tell the judge why a judgment should be entered in his favor.
If the Tenant does not answer the lawsuit within the 5 day period, the landlord is entitled to a default judgment. The landlord may file a Motion for Default with the Clerk, which asks the judge to enter a Final Judgment for Possession in the landlord’s favor. Once the judge has done so, the landlord can obtain a Writ of Possession.
Writ of Possession
After entry of the Final Judgment for Possession, the landlord can request the Clerk to issue a “Writ of Possession.” The Writ of Possession must then be served on the Tenant by the Sheriff. The Sheriff will hand-deliver it or post it on the premises. After receiving this Writ of Possession from the Sheriff, the Tenant will have 24 hours to vacate the premises, or else the Sheriff will physically remove them.
Next Step: We recommend you purchase the corresponding Florida Eviction Notice to be delivered to your Tenant.
This site strives to have the most current information on state eviction laws and forms, however, legislatures and judges’ rulings are always changing the laws. The information on this site is to be used as a guide, and is not to be used as legal advice, or as a substitute for the advice of an attorney. If you believe any information on this site is incorrect or needs to be updated, please Contact Us immediately.