What You Need to Know About Florida’s Eviction Laws and Process
Are you a landlord in Florida? Do you have tenants who have broken certain aspects of their contract or are causing problems on your property? As a landlord, you have the ability to evict your residents. To prevent a lawsuit, you must evict your residents by following the procedures outlined in Florida law. Here’s everything you need to know about Florida’s eviction laws and process.
To evict a tenant in Florida, landlords must:
- Determine which notice fits the tenant’s case
- Provide the tenant with the proper notice
- File an eviction with their county clerk
- Wait for a law enforcement officer to remove the tenant
Terminating Tenancy in Florida
As a landlord in Florida, you can evict a tenant after terminating their tenancy. A landlord may terminate a tenancy by providing the tenant with written notice.
The tenant must comply with the written notice. If they do not, a landlord can file a lawsuit. As the landlord, you can file for an eviction lawsuit, also known as an action for possession.
If you are terminating a tenancy for cause in Florida, you have a valid reason to end the tenancy early. Ending a tenancy early includes any time before the end of the lease term or rental agreement. In Florida, a landlord reserves the right to terminate a tenancy early and evict the resident for reasons such as:
- Not paying rent
- Violating the lease contract
- Committing illegal acts on the rental premises
A landlord must provide their tenant with written notice for the termination to be valid. Depending on the cause, the type of notice can be one of the following:
Three-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit
A three-day notice is for when the tenant is late for paying rent. The landlord can provide the tenant a three-day notice period within which they must pay the rent or move out of the rental. The notice period excludes weekends and legal holidays. The notice must clearly state the timeframe given to the tenant and the reason for the notice.
If the tenant does not pay rent or move out by the deadline, the landlord is within their rights to file an eviction lawsuit per Fla. Stat. § 83.56(3).
Seven-Day Notice to Cure
If a tenant violates their lease or rental agreement, their landlord can give them a seven-day notice to correct their violation or terminate their agreement. The landlord’s notice must state the tenant’s violation and the time frame provided to fix the violation.
If the tenant is unsuccessful in making the changes within the time frame, then the landlord can file an eviction lawsuit against the tenant per Fla. Stat. § 83.56(2)(b).
Seven-Day Unconditional Quit Notice
If a tenant violates their lease or rental agreement, the landlord may provide them with a notice requiring them to move out in seven days. This notice provides no opportunity to fix a violation. A landlord can use this notice when the tenant destroyed the property, repeated the same lease violation in a 12-month period, or created unreasonable disturbances. The tenant must receive a notice outlining the time they have to move out and the reason for the notice.
If the tenant fails to leave, the landlord can file an eviction lawsuit per Fla. Stat. § 83.56(2)(a).
Cause for Termination in Florida
A landlord cannot end a tenancy without cause, especially if the tenant has not violated their agreement or caused disruption to other residents. If you have a tenant with a month-to-month agreement, you can choose to provide a notice of 15 days prior to the end of the monthly period to end their tenancy.
However, landlords cannot terminate fixed-term leases in Florida without cause.
FAQs About Florida Eviction Laws and Process
Can I deliver my tenant a Notice of Termination via mail in Florida?
Landlords can deliver a Notice of Termination to a tenant via mail per Fla. Stat. § 83.56(4).
What defenses can a tenant use to fight an eviction in Florida?
A tenant may argue that their landlord did not follow the correct eviction procedure. They may also argue that their landlord did not properly maintain their property.
Can a landlord remove a tenant themselves in Florida?
A landlord may not use their own methods to remove a tenant from their property, such as locking the tenant out of their apartment. A law enforcement officer must remove a tenant in Florida.