Making the decision to either rent or to purchase rental property in the state of Florida should be done after you research the laws on eviction and the rights of landlords and tenant. Each state has their own set of laws for these proceedings. Knowing the laws of Florida before you get in a situation where you need to use them is always a good idea.
One of the biggest problems landlords in Florida face is trying to recover past due rental monies. The first step in trying to recover rental monies is to serve the tenant a Three-Day Notice which clearly states the tenants have three business days, not including weekends or holidays, in which to pay any past due rent or to vacate the rental property. If the tenant doesn’t comply within the three day period, the next step is for the landlord to file a Complaint for Eviction.
It is the landlord’s responsibility to file a Complaint for Eviction with the Clerk of the Court. In order to file a Complaint for Eviction the landlord must supply the Clerk with a copy of any lease agreement as well as a copy of the Three-Day Notice. Copies of these documents must be attached to the Complaint for Eviction. A deputy of the court must be present when the Complaint is signed; the only other alternative is to have the Complaint Notarized.
Once the Complaint for Eviction is filed, the summons will then be served to the tenant by the sheriff’s office or another authorized agency. If the tenant is unable to be reached in person by the agency delivering the summons, a copy of the summons may be served by posting it on the rental property premises. If this is the case, a copy must also be mailed to the tenant by a Certificate of Mailing.
After the summons has been served, the tenant then has 5 days, not including weekends or holidays, in which to answer to the said summons. Once the tenant answers the summons, the landlord must then inform the court to schedule a formal hearing at the convenience of the court. Should the tenant not answer the summons, the landlord can continue the eviction proceedings.
If the summons is not answered, the landlord must then file a Motion for Default. This is filed so the landlord can receive a Final Judgment for Possession and then a Writ of Possession. The Writ of Possession has to be served to the sheriff’s office ordering that the rental property be returned to the landlord’s possession within 24 hours of the notice being placed clearly on the rental property. The Writ of Possession must be served by the sheriff; the landlord can not personally serve the Writ.
If the summons was answered by the tenant and a hearing if scheduled, both parties must attend the hearing. At the end of the hearing, the court will make a decision based on the testimony of both parties. The court’s decision will be final.
Having a clear understanding of the laws in the state of Florida can save time and money in the long run. Knowing what your legal options are make the process easier from start to finish.