Over five million households are behind on rent, which is only one of the reasons why landlords evict their tenants.
As a landlord, knowing your rights and the tenant's is crucial; otherwise, you could be in hot water. But, if you’re not familiar with the state of Florida’s law, it can feel frustrating not knowing where you stand.
If you're currently in this situation, we're here to help. Read our landlord's guide to evictions to learn more.
Determine Whether You Can Evict the Tenant
Before starting the eviction process, know when you can legally remove tenants. A common reason is if the renter has missed a payment or has breached the lease agreement. You can also evict tenants who have destroyed your property or engaged in illegal activities on your premises.
But even if the tenant is in the wrong, you can’t forcefully remove them yourself. For instance, you can’t change locks or shut off utilities because the tenant may sue you. As a result, you’ll spend a fortune and ruin your reputation as a landlord, so following the legal route is crucial.
Give Your Tenant a Written Notice
Once you know where you stand, it’s time to discuss how to evict bad tenants.
Landlords must send a written eviction notice to the renter. If they haven’t paid rent, give them a three-day notice (not including holidays or weekends) to pay the full amount or they must leave. You may strike lucky and receive the payment within three days, which means you must stop the eviction process.
If you’ve discovered that the tenant is breaking the lease agreement, give them a seven-day curable notice. This is when the tenant has caused a disturbance, destroyed the rental property, and repeated the same violation within a year.
Or, if the tenant is engaging in illegal activity or has severely damaged your property, give them a seven-day unconditional eviction notice. This written document means that the tenant must leave within the week.
In Florida, landlords can give tenants a 15-day notice to finish a month-to-month tenancy without reason. Once delivered, this notice gives the renter 15 days to move out.
File an Eviction Complaint
When you've handed over the notice, you must file an eviction complaint with the county clerk.
The application costs $185 and you must complete the packet, which includes a pre-stamped envelope addressed to the tenant and five copies of the lease agreement. And don't forget to attach a completed eviction complaint.
Handling tenants can be stressful, so hire a property management company that will do the heavy lifting and ensure that you have great tenants.
Our Guide to Tenant Evictions in Ocala, FL
Now you're an expert on evictions in Florida, you can start the process.
To legally evict a tenant, you must know whether it's legally viable and send a written notice with a deadline. Then, file a complaint with your county clerk and you're good to go.
If you need professionals to manage your property in Ocala, contact us here for a free consultation.