Commercial Tenant Eviction In St. Petersburg, FL
Serving You and The State of Florida
Commercial evictions are something that you sometimes cannot avoid when you own a commercial property. There are many reasons that you might be forced to evict a tenant, and you have to follow the correct process in all of these cases to be able to evict them legally. When you do not follow the right protocols during the eviction, you can find yourself subject to legal action against you. This is something that all commercial property owners want to avoid, and for good reason. These legal wrangles can be time-consuming, expensive, and stressful.
If you have found yourself in a situation that requires that you start the eviction process, you need to be sure that you are going to handle the process correctly. Seeking legal counsel for this difficult job can be essential in order to be sure that you are following all the right steps for the process. Working with the team at Lopez Law group can make all the difference in your commercial eviction process. We have years of experience with evictions in St. Petersburg, Florida, and we can make sure that you do not miss any critical steps in the process that can lead to a lawsuit or other legal action being taken against you.
Commercial Eviction is Not Like Residential Eviction
There are some key differences between commercial eviction and residential eviction that you need to be aware of. Many business owners are not fully educated on these differences and this can lead to mistakes being made that will lead to legal issues later on.
Commercial evictions are not as limiting as residential evictions because people do not reside at their commercial rental location. Commercial evictions might also be subject to different paperwork processes and they might also refer back to the lease agreement in every case, no matter how unique your lease agreement might be. Following the letter of the law with regard to commercial evictions has more to do with your lease agreement terms than anything else.
This is one of the reasons that your lease agreement needs to be written properly. If you have created a lease agreement that is very generic, you might have a lot more trouble evicting a tenant than you expect. All well-crafted lease agreements need to have extensive provisions for the actions that can be taken when an eviction is needed.
Commercial Eviction Remedies
When you have decided that eviction is the correct action to take, the most common remedy is to evict the tenant from the premises and then pursue money and damages that are due or owing after the eviction. This is because commercial rental law allows commercial property owners to “mitigate their damages” by re-letting the property as soon as possible. This is different from residential evictions, but it can cause legal difficulties if the lease agreement does not provide for this step to be taken.
Landlords in this situation in St. Petersburg can then pursue the tenant for the full unpaid portion of the lease agreement minus any recovery that is made after re-letting. This is the most ideal situation for the commercial property owner, and often the easiest one to enforce legally.
Landlords also have the right to sue for damages and unpaid rent without evicting the tenant from the leased property. This is rarely an ideal solution to the problem since the tenant might not be able to pay future rents either.
When commercial properties are in high demand, a property owner can also evict only and choose to waive the future rent that might be due under the lease. This is often a very simple kind of eviction, but it can become complicated if the tenant does not wish to move or if they choose to vandalize the property in some way before they leave. The quicker the eviction process can be handled, the better in this situation. This is one of the kinds of evictions that is best backed up by legal support to prevent problems with compliance.
Other Solutions Besides Eviction
The commercial real estate lawyers at Lopez Law can also help clients to seek other remedies in the instance that eviction is not the ideal solution. Modifications to lease agreements can be made if the tenant and the property owner agree on the changes in question. This can be a better solution if your property is hard to find tenants for or if you think that the amount of rent that needs to be recovered can be secured if there are adjustments to the agreement in place for the lease.
The landlord in this situation might find themselves without recourse to collect fees or other costs after the process is complete. However, if you want to keep a tenant in your property for one reason or another, this can be the right solution. Florida eviction laws are complex with regard to lease agreements and alterations to leases that are already in place, so you need to be sure that you are not breaking any laws when you make this change.
Working with the skilled team at Lopez Law will prevent issues with your adjustments to the lease that could lead to long-term problems with your current tenant. You will want to have the help of a legal expert when you go through this kind of process because many parts of a lease can be dependent upon others in some way. You might need to adjust many parts of the lease to fit your proposed changes, and this is best done by a legal expert.
Steps in a Commercial Eviction in Florida
You will need to be aware that you cannot just call your existing tenant and tell them to remove themselves from the property by an arbitrary date. There is legal precedent for this process and your lease agreement will likely also deal with how this process is to be completed. You need to follow the letter of the law or you will run into issues with lawsuits down the road in many cases.
1. Provide Notice
Three days is the Florida minimum requirement for eviction and you must post a proper notice that is compliant with Florida law. This is a place where Lopez Law can be a big help to you in your work to evict someone and we can draft a correct and legal notice that will meet Florida law requirements. This notice must be delivered within the timeframe stated in your lease as well, so you need to be sure that you are providing this information to the tenant in a way that satisfies both sets of requirements.
This notice must be posted on the door or handed to the tenant on the day that notification is served. You will ideally want to give the notice to someone personally, but you will sometimes not be able to find anyone to speak with, and posting your notice is all that you can do.
2. File for Eviction
Once the three-day period of notice has elapsed (note that these are business days and not weekends or holidays), you will need to file for eviction. The eviction will need to be filed in court, and we at Lopez Law can help you with this part of the process. The wait time for a response from the tenant can vary some since the court will need to serve the tenant with the order to remove from the property. If the tenant does not choose to respond, things can be more complicated going forward, which is another good reason to have a legal expert on your side.
If the tenant does not want to be evicted, they can request a hearing for the matter. This will make the process take much longer as you will both have to wait for the hearing date to meet before a judge to have the issue heard. The rent that is not paid during this waiting period will continue to accrue and in most cases, will not be forgiven by the judge.
If the tenant does not respond, or the hearing has been completed and the tenant is still expected to be removed from the property, the eviction will be enforced by a Sheriff who arrives in person at the property. This helps to enforce the removal order and helps to make sure that the tenant is going to remove as expected. You are usually required not to be present during the eviction process to help prevent altercations, distractions, and other legal issues from cropping up during the eviction as it proceeds in real-time.
Representatives from Lopez Law can handle this part of the process for you as impartial participants in the process. This is important in cases where the eviction is contentious and there is the chance that arguments or other problems could crop up. Allowing us to handle this sensitive part of the process can make all the difference in the success of your eviction order’s execution.
Commercial Evictions Are Best Handled by Legal Experts
If you are struggling with a tenant who is not paying rent, not following the rules of the lease agreement, or engaging in other undesirable behavior, you need to secure legal support for your eviction process. Commercial evictions can be very complicated if your tenant is not cooperative and you might have a lot of back rent that you want to try to collect if at all possible. Having a legal team on your side can make your eviction much less stressful and it will eliminate the chance that you will end up in a legal wrangle with your former tenant.
Commercial evictions are much easier to manage when you have legal support for the process. The team at Lopez Law group can make sure that you do not have to struggle to handle your commercial eviction from start to finish. Being sure that you are not missing any important steps can make all the difference in your eviction and can help you to get control of the property again as soon as possible. Contact us today for a consultation to get the support that you need for your eviction process.
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What Our Clients Say
Mr. Lopez was a Godsend and really helped me with my situation. Him and the entire firm were very diligent and helped speed the early stages of the process along due to a pressing situation. Throughout my experience working with the firm, they were always responsive and available any time I had a question or wanted to check on the state of affairs. Hopefully I won’t have to recommend Lopez Law Group to my friends or family, but if those unfortunate circumstances arise then there’s only one name I would trust. Thank you again for all your help!