Eviction Process in Florida

Before Filing an Eviction Case In Court

Before filing an eviction case in court, it is necessary for the landlord to post a proper notice informing the tenant of the amount owed to the landlord or the tenant's non-compliance and giving the tenant the proscribed time to come into compliance.

The notice must be in writing, and either hand-delivered, posted, or mailed, even if the rental agreement is oral. see Eviction Notice Requirements

The owner, landlord or landlord's agent can post a notice to the tenant on the property.  It is not required that a certified process server or sheriff post the notice to tenant on the property.

Filing an Eviction Case in Court

If the tenant has not complied with the terms of a proper notice to tenant, and the notice has expired, the landlord may file an eviction case in court.

Generally, county clerk of courts may take up to 3 business days to issue a case number and summon.  The summons is necessary for service of court documents on the tenant.

Serving the Tenant with Eviction Court Papers

After obtaining a case number and summons, it is necessary to serve the eviction complaint on the tenant.  Court documents must be served on the tenant by certified process server.

In most cases the service processor can post the eviction summons and complaint on the property.  Posting of the eviction complaint by a service processor can take up to 3 business days.  In some cases it is necessary to personally serve the tenant with the eviction summons and complaint.  Personal service of the eviction summons and complaint can take longer.

After the Eviction Case is Served on the Tenant

After the eviction summons and complaint are served, the tenant will have 5 business days to file a response and deposit unpaid rent into the registry of the court.  When counting 5 business days, do not count the day of service, weekends or legal holidays.

Tenant Defenses to Florida Eviction  Before the tenant can claim a valid defense to an eviction case, the tenant must deposit into the registry of the court the past due rent as alleged in the complaint and notice.  Additionally, the tenant is required to deposit into the registry of the court the accruing rent during the pendency of the case.  If the tenant fails to deposit past due rent into the registry of the court a default may be entered against the tenant by the court.

Some common defenses to a Florida eviction case filed in court include:

  • Defective Notice A defective notice could result in the court dismissing the eviction case.  A defective notice could include incorrect tenant names, address or past due amount.
  • Constructive eviction or material non-compliance by the landlord
  • Retaliation by the landlord
  • Discrimination by the landlord

view Notice Requirements

After Expiration of the '5 Days to Answer' Complaint for Eviction

After expiration of the '5 Days to Answer' the summons and eviction complaint, the Court will review the case file and tenant answer (if the tenant has filed an answer or paid past due rent into the registry of the court).

Depending on the tenant's response as filed with the court, the eviction court may enter a default against the tenant or schedule the case for a hearing.

If the Court Sets a Hearing

If the Court enters a Default Final Judgment

Writ of Possession is Issued