In Florida, a landlord is required to file an eviction in court in order to remove a tenant. Any attempt to use "self-help" to get a tenant to move out is punishable by three month's rent, attorneys fees and court costs - per incident.
Before an eviction may be filed, the landlord must terminate the tenancy. Florida Statutes Chapter 83 sets out the steps that must be taken to terminate the tenancy. Different types of violations of the lease require the issuance of different notices in order to terminate the tenancy. It is the notice that terminates the tenancy.
The three main reasons to evict a tenant are:
1. Non-payment of rent
2. Breach of the lease terms
3. Holding over after the tenancy has ended.
All of the forms are available on the page Landlords/Forms/Legal. Be sure to read the instructions for the proper use of the forms
NON-PAYMENT OF RENT
Post a 3-day notice on the door of the rental unit. If the tenant does not deliver the rent money in full to the landlord’s address by the expiration date on the notice the rental agreement is deemed terminated and the landlord may file for eviction in court on the next business day. A copy of the lease (if there is one) and the 3 day notice must be attached to the complaint.
- Issue a 3 day notice
- Did tenant offer payment within the 3 days ?
- Full payment: Tenancy not terminated
- Partial Payement:
- Landlord may reject a partial payment and proceed to evict,
- or accept partial payment and issue a new 3-day for the balance due,
- or file an eviction and deposit the partial payment in the court registry
- No payement within 3 days: the tenancy is terminated. The tenant does not have the right to reinstate the tenancy by paying after the 3 days.
If the tenant is violating the lease terms the landlord must serve a 7 day notice of lease violation. If the violation occurs again after the expiration of the notice, the landlord may file a complaint for possession and damages without further notices.
- curable: issue 7 day notice to comply
- complied in 7 days: case closed, unless violation re-occurs within 12 months then can file complaint based on original notice.
- not complied: file complaint for lease violation
- incurable ( applicable only for violence and property destruction) issue 7 day notice of lease termination
- tenant moved out in 7 days: case closed
- tenant in still possession after 7 days: file complaint incurable lease violation
Lease: If there is a written lease, the tenant is supposed to move out and the end of the lease, otherwise the tenant becomes a “tenant at sufferance” or a “holdover tenant.” No notice is required. The landlord may file a complaint for possession and damages the next business day.
No Lease: If there is no lease, the rental period is determined by the period the tenant pays rent for. I.e. if the tenant pays for a month’s rent, the tenant is month to month. If the tenant pays for a week, the tenant is week to week. The lease keeps renewing automatically until either the landlord or the tenant serves a notice of non-renewal. The notice must be given seven days before the end of a given weekly rental period for week to week and fifteen days before the end of a given monthly rental period for month to month. The landlord may file a complaint for possession and damages the next business day after the termination of the rental period, the notice must be attached to the complaint.
- Issue Notice of Non-renewal (15 day notice, 7 day notice for week to week).
- Tenant moved out: case closed
- Tenant in still possession: file complaint for possession & double per diem rent.
- Lease expired on its own terms: no notice is required. File complaint for possession & double per diem rent