If you own or manage a rental property, you need to know all of the rules and regulations surrounding non-payment of rent. There are various actions that must be taken if a tenant ceases to pay rent, and one of them is the three-day notice. Each state has its own rules and regulations surrounding non-payment of rent. If you have managed or operated a property in another state, the rules might be different in Florida.
Providing the right forms and documentation to a tenant that is not paying rent is key if you are planning to take action to evict them. Make sure that you know each step of the process and that you don’t forget to take any of the necessary actions as you work to evict a tenant who is not paying rent.
The team at Lopez Law Group has years of experience with these kinds of cases and can provide support and assistance to those managing rental properties in Florida.
This is the first step that must be taken when a tenant stops paying rent. One of the key steps involved in ending a tenancy is making sure that you provide notice to the tenant. The required documentation for this notice is the Three-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit. This notice cannot be given until the tenant is three days late with rent. You must exclude legal holidays, Saturdays, and Sundays in consideration of this three-day period.
The notice needs to include specific information as well, such as notification of the requirement to pay rent within the next three days. You also cannot consider legal holidays and weekend days as part of the three-day eviction notice period.
The language of this notice is critical to its validity in court. This is one of the areas of tenant law where having access to a skilled and experienced and skilled law firm is key. The team at Lopez Law will help you to draft a letter that you can use for this eviction process that is legal and valid. Being sure that you are serving a document to your tenants that cannot be invalidated in a court of law is essential.
If your tenant does not respond by paying rent or by moving out by the deadline listed in your notice, then you are able to proceed with filing an eviction lawsuit.
Can You Terminate Without a Cause?
In the state of Florida, you don’t have to have a reason to end someone’s tenancy early. You can even evict someone who is current on their rent. In situations where there is no cause for termination, you will need to abide by the rules that were laid out in your rental agreement. If the tenant is paying month-to-month or yearly, the laws regarding this kind of termination can vary.
Termination without a cause cannot be done solely based on the three-day notice to quit. In situations where you wish to break the contract that you have with a renter ahead of the stated end period of the agreement, seeking the advice of a skilled legal expert is a good idea. You do not want to break any laws related to the way that your lease or rental agreement was set up. Often, having a lawyer look over the document that you have in place will be sufficient to help you to determine which steps you can take to remove a tenant from your property.
What Actions Are Not Allowed?
If you are tempted to do things like change the locks on the rental property, you need to be aware that you cannot do this under Florida state law. In order to successfully sue for the removal of a tenant, you must be sure that you do not take the person’s property, remove anything that is not yours from the house or property, or change the locks. You are also not allowed to show up at the property on a regular basis demanding rent.
Following the state laws and guidelines when it comes to non-payment of rent is critical. The actions that landlords take during these kinds of disputes can have lasting repercussions on the eviction process. A skilled lawyer will be able to advise you about the actions that you are allowed to take if you are ready to remove a tenant from your property.
How Does the Three-Day Notice to Quit Have to be Delivered?
The tenant needs to have confirmed notice of the three-day notice to quit that you wish to deliver. However, you do not have to actually see them in person to be able to deliver this information to them. You can leave a copy of the notice to quit on the door or drop it through the mail slot if you are not able to make contact with the tenant in person.
This is allowed because, in some cases, the tenant has already left and is no longer present at the dwelling. You will need to observe the three-day notice period even if you know for a fact that the tenant has moved out and is no longer in residence at the rental unit or property in question. Once the three-day period has passed, you are free to begin the process of legally evicting the tenant so that you can access the property without repercussions.
What Information Has to be in the Three-Day Notice to Quit?
The document that notifies tenants of the date they must pay or move out must include specific information. There are lots of generic forms out there that you can use, but you should always consider working with a legal team to draft this important document.
The notice will need to state the tenant’s name and address and the date of the removal or payment that must be made. You will also need to include a blurb that discusses the amount of the debt, the name of the tenant, and the Florida statutes that support the three-day eviction process. You will also need to indicate at which point the tenant will be sued for violation of the agreement so that they can be formally evicted.
The landlord will sign the document and indicate their address and contact information as well. Below this, there needs to be a blank to indicate when the notice was hand-delivered or posted. If a witness was present for you to deliver the notice, then they will need to sign and provide their contact information as well.
The statute which allows this notice to be served can also be mentioned at the bottom left of the document. You will cite rule 10.2.2(a) when you indicate which legal precedent allows you to evict the tenant based on their non-payment of rent.
How to Sue for Eviction
Once the tenant’s three-day period has elapsed, you will need to move on to filing suit for eviction in the state of Florida. This is a process that a lawyer can handle with ease, and you will want to work with the Lopez Law Group to make sure that this part of the process is done correctly.
Fla. Stat. § 83.59 allows for the landlord to file suit for eviction at the county courthouse. This courthouse must be the one that has jurisdiction over the rental property area. You will not need to worry about this if you are working with a legal expert, but if you are trying to file on your own, be sure that you are applying for the suit with the correct court.
The following information has to be gathered to be able to file this kind of suit:
- Complaint for Eviction
- Non-Military Affidavit
- Double-stamped addressed envelope for each defendant
The complaint needs to contain all the information that the court needs to be able to order the eviction. You will need to be sure that your landlord information is correct, provide the location of the property and the kind of tenant violation that has led to the eviction request. There are various reasons that a tenant might be asked to remove from a property, so you need to state that this violation is for non-payment of rent and a subsequent lack of response to the request to pay or quit.
The lease or rental agreement will need to be provided to the court as well. Make sure that you provide the entire document as well. As with other legal requests, when there is documentation missing, your eviction lawsuit might be delayed until the correct paperwork can be collected and examined.
The eviction request also expressly states that you wish for the tenant to be evicted. This is because there are various other remedies that are offered to landlords in Florida related to tenants who are in violation of their rental agreement. Eviction is not the only remedy that is offered to landlords to resolve disputes with tenants.
The court needs to know that eviction is your goal so that other solutions and remedies are not offered to the tenant first before the eviction notice is made legal.
What Happens After the Eviction Complaint is Made?
If the eviction complaint is examined by the court and made official, then the tenant must be summoned to court. The tenant also has to be served this notice. The county clerk will send a notification to the tenant, and a copy of the summons has to be delivered to the tenant in person. You can see why some court cases are delayed for weeks or even months during this stage of the process.
If you wish to hire someone to serve the tenant, you can do so. Sometimes this helps to track them down and properly offer them access to the notice that they are being evicted. It is up to the tenant to respond to the summons and appear in court for their eviction hearing. If they do not choose to do so, the process will move ahead without their presence in the courtroom.
The court date will serve as the chance for the tenant and the landlord to argue their side of the case. Having a skilled lawyer from the Lopez Law Group at your court date is a great way to make sure that your eviction notice is finalized correctly. You will also be much more likely to secure the outcome that you were looking for when you have a skilled lawyer overseeing your case.’
You and your lawyer must show up to the court date for the eviction notice to be processed. If the tenant does not reply to the complaint, once five days have passed, the judge will set a court date anyway. You will just need to appear and present evidence and your testimony to the judge for the eviction to be finalized by the judge in these cases.
Who Evicts the Tenant?
It can be tempting to appear at the property and evict a difficult tenant yourself. However, you will need to serve a Writ of Possession to the tenant, and a county sheriff will need to take care of this step. The county sheriff will serve this writ of possession for a small fee. After the writ has been served and 24 hours have passed, the sheriff will come back to remove the tenant in person if they are still there.
The landlord can request to have the property looked at by the Deputy as well. This can help to ensure that there is no one hiding in the house and that there is nothing illegal that was left behind in the home or apartment. If there are lots of possessions left behind by the tenant, these can now legally be removed by the property owner and disposed of. Removing items that belong to a tenant before they have been properly served is not legal and can lead to problems for your eviction. Make sure that you do not anticipate this step of the eviction notification.
What Can Lopez Law Do For You?
If you have a tenant that you need to remove from a property that you own, the Lopez Law Group can help. We can tackle all of the stages of the eviction process and ensure that they are conducted correctly. There are various steps and processes that need to be undertaken during any kind of eviction, and the team at Lopez Law is familiar with all of them.
One of the primary benefits of having the help of a skilled expert working on this kind of eviction notice is that the exact amount of rent that is owed must be carefully calculated before the notice can be served. This will be pro-rated in most cases, even if the tenant has paid a yearly rental fee. Late fees, monthly surcharges for things like pets, and insufficient bank fees can also be included in the total that is due.
A skilled eviction attorney will be able to sort out the right amount of money that is due so that you do not run into issues with your eviction process related to mistakes made when calculating fees and rent costs. The fewer mistakes that are made during the eviction, the better. Always be sure that you do not take any actions in relation to the property without speaking to your lawyer as well. Even something that you do not think of as a “big deal” might actually be illegal under the terms of eviction laws in the state of Florida.
A skilled legal team will be able to handle all of the documentation, the timelines, and the stages of your eviction process. They will also be able to represent you in court to ensure that your side of the story is correctly relayed to a judge. Being sure that the entire eviction process will be handled correctly is easy when you choose to work with an experienced lawyer like the Lopez Law Group.
Three-Day Eviction Notices Need to be Handled Correctly
If you have looked into the three-day eviction notice process and think that you can tackle it yourself, you should still consider speaking with an attorney. There are various requirements that must be met in the state of Florida to be able to evict a tenant, and small mistakes can end up being costly to your efforts to remove a tenant from your property. You will want to avoid delays and other slowdowns related to mistakes that could have been avoided by securing the help of a skilled legal team.
The Lopez Law Group has years of experience in defending landlords against tenants who are not paying their rent. If you are not sure how to go about removing a tenant from your property, we can help! Contact us today and get on our schedule for a free consultation. We will be happy to tackle all of your rent dispute needs with your tenants, no matter what kind of property you are renting out.