Mar 27 2017

Evicting a Tenant in Florida

Eviction happens even if you do your best to screen your tenants, people lose their jobs, separate or get a divorce. When tenants experience those tragic events, they want to believe that things will get better sooner than they usually do.  Maybe, they really think that they will find a job in the next 30 days, maybe they think that their partner will come back.  You, the landlord need to help them stay rational and do the right thing even if it’s uncomfortable for them and for you.

We have done many things for tenants who are facing eviction because of an unfortunate event. We have helped them find a job, find another place to live, connect them with a charity that can help them out financially. We have done everything except allowing them to stay in the house.

It’s natural to want to help your tenants, especially if you got to know them personally but sometimes the best thing for them is to move to a property that more affordable. Tenants almost never catch up with past payments.  If they are late one month, this makes their  problems worse. You have to put your property manager hat on and serve a 3-day notice as soon as possible. We always do it on the 7th unless it’s the weekend or a holiday. This is never a surprise for our tenants because when they move in we tell them how we work. Here is the text for the 3-day notice:

YOU ARE HEREBY NOTIFIED THAT YOU ARE INDEBTED TO US IN THE SUM OF:

 

$_________________________________________________________________________________________

 

FOR THE RENT AND USE OF THE ABOVE REFERENCED PREMISES IN _____________________ COUNTY, FLORIDA, NOW OCCUPIED BY YOU AND THAT WE DEMAND PAYMENT OF SAID RENT OR THAT YOU SURRENDER POSSESSION OF THE SAID PREMISES WITHIN THREE (3) DAYS (EXCLUDING SATURDAYS, SUNDAYS AND LEGAL HOLIDAYS) FROM THE DATE OF DELIVERY OF THIS NOTICE:

 

ON OR BEFORE THE __________ DAY OF ___________________________________, 20______.

 

YOUR FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THIS NOTICE MAY RESULT IN EVICTION PROCEEDINGS BEING INSTITUTED AGAINST YOU PURSUANT TO CHAPTER 83 FLORIDA STATUTES.

You can download the full form at our website.

Here are couple of things you need to know about serving the Notice:

  • Include the full names not only of the people who currently live in the house but also of the tenants who may have moved out, for example, a roommate who may have left earlier or a partner.
  • Write the current date, the full address of the property including the county.
  • Write the rent due but do not include charges that may be disputed, like late fees.
  • Make sure when you write the expiration date, you do not include the date of delivery, weekends or holidays.
  • Serve the notice to adults only and write down who you served it to and when. When we post a Notice on the door we also take a photo with the date and time on it.

After you serve the notice most tenants pay, if they do before the expiration you have to accept the rent. If they pay a partial amount, you have to serve another notice for the rest.

Make sure you have in your lease a penalty for serving a notice otherwise some tenants will not pay until you do.

If a tenant does not respond to a 3-day notice, file for eviction without delay. As an owner, you can file all the necessary documents at the Courthouse. We advise you to find a lawyer to do it for you.  An uncontested eviction usually lasts around 30 days.

No one wants this situation to happen, but sometimes it does. Be prepared and don’t allow your problem tenant to drags things out unnecessarily.

Our property management plan includes eviction protection.

Disclosure: the 3-day notice has been provided to us by our lawyer, however, we are not attorneys and all of the information above should not be considered legal advice.

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