Landlord & Tenant

Typical Eviction Actions In Florida

eviction

If you come home and find a 5-Day Notice to Quit or Pay rent on your Door, the attorneys at the Horton Law Group, P.A. can help you. So, what is a Quit or Pay Notice? Under Florida Law, a landlord must provide the tenant with written notice before a tenant may be evicted. (Florida Statute 83.20). If a tenant offers the full amount of outstanding rent after posting notice, the landlord must accept it. However, if the tenant offers less than the outstanding amount, the landlord does now have to accept the amount offered. However, there is always room to negotiate a deal. From the boardroom to the courtroom, the attorneys at the Horton Law Group, P.A. can help.

Not Paying Rent = Eviction (5-Day Notice)

When a tenant stops paying rent, a landlord will start the eviction process by posting pre-suit notice of an eviction proceeding, which is usually a 5-day notice to pay your rent otherwise the landlord will file a lawsuit against you to have you removed from the premises.

Breach of Lease = Eviction (7-Day Notice)  

The failure to pay rent is the most common reason a landlord may want a tenant out of the house, but there are many other reasons a landlord might want to evict a tenant, such as:

  • breaching of lease,
  • nuisance violation,
  • the tenant is violating the law,
  • the lease term ended and the landlord does not want to renew,
  • excessive noise,
  • property damage,
  • having pets when the lease does not permit doing so, or
  • not following parking protocols. (Fla. Stat. 83.20).

If you receive the 5- or 7-Day Notice or some other notice, you should retain counsel quickly. If you do nothing, a Default will be entered against you and within a short time, a Sheriff will knock on the door and remove you from the property. How you plead (respond) in Court will dictate the outcome of your case, how long the case will take, who will be responsible for attorney fees and whether you will have to vacate the property. One thing that is for sure, is that you should NOT proceed alone, you should have qualified legal counsel by your side every step of the way.

At the Horton Law Group, we treat our clients like family. We are actively involved in the community, and we maintain professional relationships with our clients long after their cases are resolved. We are aggressive, knowledgeable about the law and passionate about what we do. We are confident that you will be happy with your decision to hire the Horton Law Group to represent you during this difficult time.   Please contact the Horton Law Group, P.A. at 561-299-0018 or email legalsupport@hortonlawgroup.com to schedule a free 30-minute consultation with a qualified member from our team.

notice of eviction in red in an envelope that came 2021 09 01 11 15 17 utc

Eviction Litigation Moves Quickly

Once the landlord files a lawsuit, a Summons will be issued, and a tenant will be served with process. (Fla. Stat. 83.11 – 83.13). A tenant will only have FIVE DAYS to file a responsive pleading. If a tenant does not respond, a Default Judgment will be issued, and the tenant will be removed from the premises by the Sheriff. (Fla. Stat. 83.22).

If a tenant is also being sued for non-payment, the tenant is required to deposit the disputed amount of rent with the Court until the Judge determines the amount of rent owed, if any. A tenant will not be entitled to an evidentiary hearing to dispute the amount of rent the landlord claimed is owed, should the tenant fail to deposit the disputed amount with the Court as required by Florida law. (Fla. Stat. 83.232).

Once the tenant files an Answer and Affirmative Defenses to the Complaint, a trial date will be set.

Defenses can include but are not limited to:

  • Landlord Retaliation: under Florida law, a landlord may not retaliate against tenants for requesting repairs or exercising any right to a safe rental dwelling. Landlords cannot stop utility services that the tenant is entitled to, such as water, electricity, or gas, prevent a tenant reasonable access to the property, remove appliances, increase rent, or change the locks. Landlords who are found to have engaged in any acts of retaliation against a tenant can be held liable for actual damages.

The parties can engage in depositions, discovery, and mediation on an expedited basis. If the parties cannot agree to a resolution of the case, the Judge will decide and render a Final Judgment at trial. If the landlord wins and obtains a Judgment for Possession, a Writ of Possession will be executed, and the Sheriff then posts this Notice on the tenant’s rental dwelling. (Fla. Stat. 83.241). The tenant then has 24 HOURS to move out. After 24 hours, if the tenant does not leave, the Sheriff will remove the tenant from the home.

The eviction process can take anywhere from 2 weeks to several months depending on the defenses plead, how litigious the case is and how back logged the Court and the Sheriff’s office is. Regardless, you do not EVER want to be on the receiving end of an eviction notice, or even worse, an eviction Judgment, as it will negatively affect your credit and your ability to rent a place to live in the future.

At the Horton Law Group, we treat our clients like family. We are actively involved in the community, and we maintain professional relationships with our clients long after their cases are resolved. We are aggressive, knowledgeable about the law and passionate about what we do. We are confident that you will be happy with your decision to hire the Horton Law Group to represent you during this difficult time. Please contact the Horton Law Group, P.A. at 561-299-0018 or email legalsupport@hortonlawgroup.com to schedule a free 30-minute consultation with a qualified member from our team.

On the Flip Side: If you own real property and you have a problem tenant, the Attorneys at the Horton Law Group, P.A. can help.

First, you should contact the Horton Law Group, P.A. to meet with a member of our team to review your Lease Agreement to ensure it follows Florida law and covers you in the event your tenants fail to pay rent or breach the lease.

Second, litigation is expensive, and it can take a long time to have a tenant removed from your property, we can help fast track the process and should we prevail, you may be able to recover unpaid rent and your attorney fees and costs from the tenant.

Third, security deposits are a tricky area of the law. If you do not comply with the law and you don’t return the deposit back timely to the tenant, you could be paying the tenant damages and attorney fees when they sue you.

Fourth, Insurance…protect your asset. You should always have homeowner’s insurance and require your tenants to have renter’s insurance. It is always better to have insurance and not need it than to need it and not have it.

Fifth, the rules and laws pertaining to commercial leases and residentials leases are completely different. Under Florida law, the obligations of the landlord are different, insurance requirements are different, and the return of the security deposit rules are different. Do not make a huge mistake by thinking you’re complying but actually, you are not. It could be costly.

At the Horton Law Group, we treat our clients like family. We are actively involved in the community, and we maintain professional relationships with our clients long after their cases are resolved. We are aggressive, knowledgeable about the law and passionate about what we do. We are confident that you will be happy with your decision to hire the Horton Law Group to represent you during this difficult time. Please contact the Horton Law Group, P.A. at 561-299-0018 or email legalsupport@hortonlawgroup.com to schedule a free 30-minute consultation with a qualified member from our team.

 

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