Florida Eviction Laws: 2024 Step by Step Process & Costs

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 Florida eviction process.

What Eviction Rules Have Changed In Florida For 2024

The eviction landscape in Florida saw some significant changes in 2022 that will carry over into 2024. The major updates are:

  • The CDC federal eviction moratorium has expired - This moratorium prevented evictions for nonpayment of rent during the pandemic. It ended in August 2021 after a Supreme Court ruling.
  • The state of emergency in Florida ended in 2022 - Florida's Governor Ron DeSantis had declared a state of emergency in March 2020 due to COVID-19. This state of emergency was lifted in June 2022. 
  • Eviction processes have returned to normal - With the end of the CDC moratorium and Florida's state of emergency, eviction laws and procedures are back to their standard processes. There are no longer any special COVID-related protections or restrictions in place.

Overall, landlords can now initiate evictions for legal reasons without any pandemic-related impediments. Eviction notices, court filings, judgments, and removal of tenants by sheriffs are all proceeding normally under Florida law.

What Are The Eviction Laws In Florida?

What Are The Reasons You Can Evict Someone From A Rental Home In Florida In 2024

There are several valid reasons that a landlord can evict a tenant from a rental property in Florida in 2024:

Nonpayment of Rent

The most common reason for eviction in Florida is when the tenant fails to pay rent on time as required by the lease agreement. If the tenant does not pay rent when due, the landlord can give a written 3-day notice demanding payment or possession of the property. If the tenant still does not pay within those 3 days, the landlord can file for eviction.

Lease Violations 

If the tenant violates the lease agreement in any way besides nonpayment of rent, the landlord can give a 7-day notice requiring the tenant to fix the violation or move out. Some serious violations allow eviction without giving the tenant a chance to remedy the problem first. Examples of lease violations include having unauthorized occupants, pets, or damaging the property.

Damage to Property

Tenants are responsible for properly maintaining the rental unit and are liable for any damages they or their guests cause beyond normal wear and tear. If the tenant's actions or neglect damage the property, the landlord can give 7 days' notice to repair the damages or vacate. If the tenant causes irreparable damage, immediate eviction may be warranted.

Criminal Activity

Landlords can evict tenants who use the rental property for any criminal activity under Florida law. This includes both violent crimes and drug offenses. If the tenant commits a crime on the premises, the landlord can give 7 days' notice and proceed with eviction.

Refusing Access to Landlord

If the lease gives the landlord reasonable rights to enter the unit under certain conditions, tenants cannot refuse access. Denying the landlord entry as agreed to in the lease is grounds for a 7-day notice and eviction action if the tenant continues to refuse access.

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 Much Notice Is Needed For Non-Payment Of Rent

In Florida, landlords must provide tenants with 3 days written notice for non-payment of rent before beginning the eviction process. This notice must specifically demand that the tenant either pays the rent owed or vacates the rental property within 3 days. 

The notice should clearly state the amount of rent owed by the tenant, and it must provide the tenant with the exact date and time by which they must pay or move out. This gives the tenant a 3 day window to get caught up on rent before the eviction proceedings can start.

The written notice must be properly served to the tenant by posting it on their door or handing it to them directly. Simply mailing the notice is not considered proper service. The notice cannot just demand possession of the unit, it must give the option to pay the past due rent.

If the tenant fails to pay all rent owed or move out after being served this 3 day notice, then the landlord can proceed with filing an eviction lawsuit. The landlord cannot take any other action, such as changing the locks, until the court is involved. The 3 day notice for non-payment of rent provides tenants a last chance to avoid eviction by getting caught up on what they owe.

How Much Notice Is Required To Evict For A Lease Violation

Florida law requires landlords to give tenants 7 days written notice before filing an eviction lawsuit for lease violations. This notice period gives the tenant an opportunity to correct most violations before facing eviction.

The notice must specify the violation and demand that the tenant remedy the issue within 7 days or face eviction. Common lease violations that require 7 days notice include having unauthorized occupants, pets, or guests, damaging the property, or violating community policies.  

For minor violations, tenants can avoid eviction by correcting the issue within the 7 day window. However, the law does not require giving tenants a chance to remedy serious lease violations that threaten health and safety. Landlords can move directly to filing an eviction in cases of criminal activity, violence, drug use, or similar severe violations.

Overall, landlords in Florida must give tenants 7 days written notice and a chance to correct for most lease violations before proceeding with the eviction process. This ensures tenants have adequate warning and opportunity to avoid eviction for minor issues. But for major violations, landlords can file immediately to remove dangerous tenants.

Can I Force A Renter To Leave My Florida Property

As a Florida landlord, you cannot use force, threats, or lockouts to remove a tenant from your rental property. While you may want the tenant gone immediately, there are legal procedures that must be followed.

Florida law prohibits landlords from forcibly evicting tenants on their own, even if the tenant is behind on rent or violating the lease terms. You cannot change the locks, turn off utilities, or physically remove the tenant and their belongings. Doing so could open you up to lawsuits and penalties.

Instead, you must go through the court eviction process if a tenant refuses to vacate after proper notice. This involves filing a lawsuit, receiving a judgment from the court, and getting an order directing the sheriff to remove the tenant. The sheriff will then forcibly remove the tenant if they do not leave willingly. 

The key is that the tenant must be given sufficient written notice first, ranging from 3-15 days depending on the reason for eviction. You need to provide an opportunity for the tenant to respond before taking legal action. Patience is required even though the process takes time.

Relying on the sheriff to forcibly remove the tenant after the completion of a court eviction case is the only legal way for a landlord to force a tenant to leave their rental property in Florida. Taking matters into your own hands can only lead to trouble.

How Can I Get Someone Removed From My Rental Home

Getting someone removed from your rental home in Florida involves several steps. As a landlord, you must follow the proper legal process or you could face severe penalties. Here is an overview of how to legally remove a tenant:

Give Proper Written Notice

The first step is providing sufficient written notice to the tenant. The notice must state the reason for eviction and give a specific timeframe to vacate the property, such as 3 days for nonpayment of rent. The notice forms and delivery method must adhere to Florida laws.

File Eviction Lawsuit If Tenant Doesn't Leave

If the tenant fails to vacate after the notice period expires, you can file an eviction lawsuit in county court. You will have to pay a filing fee and submit the required paperwork, including a copy of the notice given. This starts the legal proceeding.

Get Judgment From Court Ordering Eviction

During the court process, you will have a hearing where both sides can present evidence and testimony. If the judge rules in your favor, they will issue a judgment that formally orders the eviction of the tenant. This authorizes the next steps.

Sheriff Will Remove Tenant After Court Order

Once you receive the judgment, the court will issue a writ of possession. This document orders the sheriff's department to forcibly remove the tenant if they are still there. When the sheriff arrives, the tenant has 24 hours to vacate or be removed along with their belongings.

Following this lawful process ensures you properly exercise your rights as a Florida landlord to evict and recover your rental home. Avoid taking extrajudicial steps like locking out tenants, which can lead to lawsuits against you. Rely on the legal system to remove unwanted tenants.

How Long Does The Eviction Process Take In Florida

The eviction process in Florida can take 3-8 weeks from start to finish depending on the circumstances of the case. Here is a breakdown of the typical timeline:

Notice Period

The landlord must provide proper written notice to the tenant, which could be 3 days for nonpayment of rent or 7-15 days for other lease violations. The tenant is given this period to either vacate the property or remedy the issue. 

Filing Lawsuit

If the tenant fails to comply with the notice, the landlord can file an eviction lawsuit with the court. This is usually done within 2-3 weeks after notice expires.

Court Hearing & Judgment

The court will schedule a hearing within 1-2 weeks after the landlord files the eviction lawsuit. If the judge rules in favor of the landlord, they will issue a final judgment ordering the eviction.

Writ of Possession

1-2 weeks after the judgment, the court will issue this legal document authorizing the sheriff to forcibly remove the tenant. 

Removal by Sheriff

Once the sheriff posts the writ of possession on the property, the tenant has 24 hours to vacate before the sheriff returns to forcibly remove them.

So the full eviction timeline ranges from 3 weeks for a straightforward nonpayment case to 2 months for a contested eviction. But on average, expect the total process to take 4-6 weeks from initial notice to final removal in Florida.

How Much Does An Eviction Cost In Florida

The costs of an eviction in Florida can vary widely depending on the circumstances. Here are some typical costs landlords may incur:

Filing and Service Fees

To start an eviction, you'll need to pay a filing fee to the court, which runs $100-300 on average. You'll also need to pay for service of process to have the eviction papers properly served on the tenant, which costs around $50-100.

Attorney Fees

While not legally required, many landlords hire an attorney to handle the eviction paperwork and appear in court. Attorney fees typically run $200-500, depending on the complexity of the case.

Additional Court Costs

If the eviction goes to trial, there will be additional court costs such as fees for subpoenas, depositions, etc. This could amount to several hundred dollars more. 

Sheriff Enforcement

Once you receive a writ of possession, the sheriff's department will enforce the eviction order. There is usually a fee of $50-150 for this.

Lost Rent

Throughout the eviction process, the tenant is likely not paying rent. The rent lost during the 1-2 months it takes to evict can be a major cost.

Property Damage

Tenants being evicted may damage the property in retaliation. Repairs for this can be expensive.

Collection Costs

If the tenant owes back rent or other money damages awarded by the court, the landlord will likely need to spend time and money trying to collect.

So in summary, a typical eviction in Florida may cost a landlord $500-1,500 including court costs, legal fees, and other expenses. The total costs rise significantly if the case goes to trial or the tenant causes property damage.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the eviction process in Florida?

The eviction process in Florida begins with the landlord providing proper written notice to the tenant, either 3 days for nonpayment of rent or 7 days for other lease violations. If the tenant does not comply, vacate, or remedy the issue within the notice period, the landlord can file an eviction lawsuit with the county court. The court will schedule a hearing where both sides can present evidence and testimony. If the judge rules in favor of the landlord, they will issue a court order for eviction and schedule the writ of possession. The writ orders the sheriff to forcibly remove the tenant from the property. Once posted, the tenant has 24 hours to vacate before the sheriff returns to remove them.

How long does an eviction take in Florida?

The full eviction process in Florida generally takes 3-8 weeks from start to finish. It begins with 3-7 days for the written notice period. Once a lawsuit is filed, it takes 2-3 weeks until the court date. The judge issues a ruling in 1-2 weeks. After another 1-2 weeks, the writ of possession is posted and enforced within 24 hours by the sheriff. Delays or legal challenges can extend the timeline.

What are the eviction laws in Florida?

Florida eviction laws specify the required notice periods, acceptable grounds for eviction, and procedures that landlords must follow to legally remove a tenant. Reasons include nonpayment, lease violations, property damage, criminal activity, refusal of access, or no-cause terminations. Proper written notice ranging from 3-15 days is mandatory. Landlords cannot forcibly remove tenants and must use the court process.

Can a landlord evict without notice in Florida? 

No, Florida law requires landlords provide written notice before starting eviction proceedings, even if the tenant is behind on rent. The notice period is 3 days for nonpayment and 7 days for other lease breaches. No notice is only allowed if the tenant poses imminent harm.

How many days notice for eviction in Florida?

The required notice periods for eviction in Florida are:

  • 3 days for nonpayment of rent
  • 7 days for lease violations 
  • 15 days for no-cause lease terminations

Longer notice may be required under specific rental agreements.

How long do you have to vacate after eviction in Florida?

After a Florida eviction is finalized, tenants have 24 hours to vacate the property once the sheriff arrives to forcibly remove them and posts the writ of possession. All tenants and belongings must be fully moved out after that point.

What happens after an eviction is filed in Florida?

Once an eviction is filed in Florida, the court schedules a hearing within a few weeks. If the landlord wins, the court will issue an order for the tenant to vacate. After another 1-2 weeks, a writ of possession is scheduled for 24 hours later. The sheriff enforces the writ by removing the tenant if still present.

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.

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