Florida Eviction Laws: A Comprehensive Guide for Landlords (2023)
The past year has witnessed a concerning surge in eviction and foreclosure-related actions across the United States. Startlingly, Florida ranked second in the country, with a sharp 187% surge in eviction and foreclosure rates. Needless to say, it's more important than ever for landlords to understand the laws regulating evictions.
In this guide, we'll cover everything you need to know about Florida eviction laws. Keep reading to find the most valid legal reasons for eviction and a step-by-step understanding of the eviction process.
What Are The Eviction Laws In Florida?
Understanding the grounds for eviction according to Florida eviction laws is crucial for landlords and tenants alike. Here are some of the most common reasons for eviction in the state of Florida.
Nonpayment of Rent
One of the primary reasons a landlord may seek eviction under Florida eviction laws is when the tenant fails to pay rent on time. If the tenant is three days late with rent, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays, the landlord can serve them a 3-Notice to Pay Rent or Quit.
This notice gives the tenant three days to either pay the rent owed or vacate the rental unit. Failure to comply with the notice allows the landlord to initiate an eviction lawsuit.
A tenant can be evicted for violating the terms of the lease or rental agreement. In such cases, the landlord must serve the tenant a 7-Day Notice to Cure. The notice provides the tenant with seven days to rectify the violation.
If the tenant fails to address the issue within the specified time frame, the landlord can proceed with filing an eviction lawsuit.
Severe Lease Violations
The landlord can issue a 7-Day Unconditional Quit Notice for serious lease violations. This type of notice informs the tenant that their lease is terminated immediately without any chance to remedy the breach.
Grounds for issuing this notice include:
- Intentionally destroying the rental property.
- Causing unreasonable disturbances.
- Repeating the same lease violation within a 12-month.
If a tenant uses the rental property for illegal purposes, such as drug distribution, the landlord can immediately terminate the lease and initiate eviction proceedings. In such cases, Florida law allows landlords to terminate the tenancy within 24 hours or less.
End of Lease Term
If the lease agreement has ended, or there is no lease, the landlord can terminate the tenancy by providing the tenant with a written notice. The notice period will depend on the rental payment frequency, with 15 days notice required for month-to-month tenancies.
Florida Eviction Laws: Quick Reference Table
|Problem||Florida Eviction Law Says…||Which Form To Issue|
|Tenant hasn’t paid rent.||Give the tenant three days to either pay the rent owed or vacate the rental unit.
Fla. Stat. § 83.56
|Serve them a 3-Notice to Pay Rent or Quit.|
|Tenant has pets or long-term guests.||A tenant can be evicted for violating the terms of the lease or rental agreement.
Fla. Stat. § 83.56
|Serve the tenant a 7-Day Notice to Cure. They must rectify the violation or vacate.|
|Tenant has damaged the property.||Intentional destruction of the rental property is grounds for eviction.
Fla. Stat. § 83.56
|Issue a 7-Day Unconditional Quit Notice.|
|Tenant is conducting illegal activities.||Florida law allows landlords to terminate the tenancy within 24 hours or less.
Fla. Stat. § 83.52
|Take immediate action to terminate the lease and initiate eviction proceedings by issuing a 7-Day Unconditional Quit Notice.|
How To Evict A Tenant In Florida: Step By Step Guide
Step 1: Deliver Termination Notices
The eviction process in Florida begins with delivering termination notices to the tenant. Landlords are required to mail these notices to the tenant's address. Always retain a copy of the notice and document when it is sent.
Issue a 3-Day Notice for Nonpayment of Rent
If the tenant fails to pay rent on time, landlords can issue a 3-day notice. This notice must clearly state the amount of rent owed and provide the tenant with three days (excluding holidays and weekends) to pay the outstanding rent or vacate the premises.
Serve a 7-Day Notice of Lease Violation with a Chance to 'Cure'
When a tenant violates the lease terms or statutory obligations that can be corrected, the landlord must serve a 7-day notice to cure. The notice must specify the lease term(s) being violated and give the tenant seven days to rectify the violation.
Step 2: Provide a Written Notice to Vacate the Home
When the tenant has not paid rent, and the 3-day notice has expired, or the lease violation has not been corrected after the 7-day notice, the landlord must provide a written notice to the tenant to vacate the home.
This notice must be given at least three days before the tenant is required to leave. If the tenant pays the rent owed during this three-day period, the landlord must accept it.
Step 3: File an Eviction Complaint
If the tenant fails to vacate the property after receiving the written notice, the landlord can file an eviction complaint with the local court. The complaint is filed with the Clerk of Court, and the tenant is served with a summons.
The tenant has five days to respond to the complaint with the Clerk of Court. The landlord may obtain a default judgment if the tenant fails to answer the complaint.
If the court rules in favor of the landlord and issues a Judgment for Possession, the landlord can obtain a writ of possession from the court. The tenant is given a final 24-hour notice to vacate the property after the issuance of the writ of possession.
Step 4: Removal of the Tenant
Landlords must not engage in self-help measures, such as forcibly removing a tenant or changing the locks. The eviction process must be followed lawfully, and only a law enforcement officer, typically a sheriff, can carry out the physical removal of the tenant if they fail to comply with the eviction notice.
How Long Does An Eviction Stay On Your Record?
While an eviction doesn’t appear on your credit report, late rent and fees can appear on your credit report for up to seven years.
Hemlane Eviction Services Are Available To Help
Discover how Hemlane can make your eviction process hassle-free and help you recover the rent you are owed. We handle the complexities of managing tenant delinquency and eviction cases, minimizing costly court fees and reducing your stress. Don't let the burden of tenant nonpayment weigh you down any longer. Take control of the situation and leverage Hemlane's eviction services and on-demand delinquency management today.