Before a landlord may file an eviction case in court, the tenancy must be terminated. A tenancy may be terminated for cause or without cause. The tenancy can be terminated by delivering to the tenant proper notice. see Avoid Self-Help Eviction
How long the eviction process takes in Florida depends on many factors, include: whether the tenant responds to the eviction, and the court, clerks and sheriff's work-load and calendar at the time the eviction is being processed.
An uncontested residential eviction for non-payment of rent can sometimes be finalized within about 3 to 4 weeks, but a contested eviction may take a few months to finalize. Below are the steps necessary to complete a residential eviction in Florida along with an estimated time to complete each step. Call to speak with an experienced eviction attorney about your specific case (888) 384-2872
2. Filing Eviction Case In Court Generally allow 2 to 3 days for the clerk of court to issue a case number.
3. Serving Tenant with Eviction Papers Generally allow 1 to 3 days for service (by posting) of court documents. Once the eviction documents and summons are posted on the property, the tenant has a limited amount of time to answer the complaint (5 business days).
Posting or Personal Service of court documents
Possession of the property (also referred to as Count I). The eviction documents must be posted on the property to obtain a final judgment of eviction and possession of the property.
Past due Rent and Damages (also referred to as Count II). The eviction documents must be personally served on the tenant to obtain a final judgment of past due rent and damages.
4. Tenant Has 5 Days to Answer Eviction Papers This means 5 business days, not including weekends, or legal holidays. Generally allow 7 to 10 days.
5. Court Enters a Default or Sets Hearing on Eviction Generally allow 5 to 7 days in uncontested cases for the court to enter a default. Allow more time if a hearing is required.
6. Clerk Issues Writ of Possession Generally allow 1 to 3 days for the clerk to issue the writ of possession.
7. Sheriff to Execute the Writ of Possession Generally allow 5 to 7 days for the Sheriff to finalize the eviction and turn over possession to the landlord.
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.
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. Once the clerk has issued the summons and case number, it is necessary to serve the eviction documents on the tenant at the property. This service of court documents must be performed by a Florida certified court process server.
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.
Next: Tenant's time to Answer
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:
view Notice Requirements
5 Business Days to Answer 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.
A Writ of Possession may be issued, after a Final Judgment of eviction has been entered by the Court.
The issued Writ of Possession is then delivered to the Sheriff's office to be served upon the Tenant and who, if necessary, will forcibly evict the Tenant after 25 hours from the time of service.
SERVING NOTICE ON THE TENANT The Deputy Sheriff will post a copy of the Writ of Possession on the tenant's premises which states that the tenant will have 24 hours to vacate. If the tenant does not vacate within the 24 hour period, the Deputy Sheriff will place the landlord in possession of the premises by removing the tenant. After the Deputy Sheriff has removed the tenant from the premises, the landlord or his agent may remove any personal property found on the premises to or near the property line.
24 HOUR PERIOD Pursuant to Florida Rules of Civil Procedure applying to Computation of Time, the day the writ is posted is not counted. The 24 HOUR period begins at 12:01 a.m., the business day following the posting, not including weekends or legal holidays.
FOLLOWING THE 24 HOUR PERIOD Following the 24 Hour period, the Writ of Possession will be scheduled for conclusion by the Sheriff’s deputy as soon as possible. The Landlord, property manager, or other contact listed on the Writ will be contacted by the Sheriff’s deputy after posting of the 24 Hour Notice to schedule conclusion of the Writ of Possession. For Conclusion of the Writ of Possession, the Landlord or agent must be present at the property at the date and time scheduled.
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