As with any legal arrangement, when one party breaks the contract, there are steps that must be followed to ensure an appropriate resolution. If you are having trouble getting a tenant to move out, these tips from our Miami eviction lawyer can help.
The landlord/tenant relationship can be a healthy one. You have a business to run and you want to provide accommodations for your tenants in return for payment of rent. Your tenant needs those accommodations and pays you to live or work on your property. But what happens when you need to evict a tenant and they refuse to move out? Our Miami eviction lawyer at Casais & Prias answers the top questions regarding eviction in Florida.
What Are The Most Common Reasons A Landlord Serves An Eviction Notice?
As a landlord, you must have cause to evict a tenant. Although there are a variety of reasons for eviction, these are the most common:
- Not paying rent
- Breaking the terms of the lease
- Illegal activity
- Repeated late rental payments
- Damaging property
If your tenant is responsible for any of the above violations or others that are grounds for eviction, there is a process you, as the landlord, must follow to ensure that every action you take is in accordance with the law. The team at Casais & Prias has a Miami eviction lawyer available to guide you through this process if you need assistance.
How Much Eviction Notice Does A Landlord Need To Give A Tenant?
The first step in the eviction process is a written three-day notice to the tenant informing them that they will be evicted unless they can resolve the issue that precipitated the notice.
The three-day notice is the initial document that now has to be served to the tenant, and it is the condition precedence of filing the lawsuit. Florida’s Landlord-Tenant Law is landlord-friendly but one of the defenses a tenant has is a defective three-day notice. It is a condition that is met before a landlord can file an eviction lawsuit. We can provide legal guidance if you need help filing a three-day notice document.
What Are The Next Steps If My Tenant Refuses To Move Out?
If your tenant does not respond to the three-day notice, you can file a lawsuit to evict with the Clerk of Court. A copy of the lawsuit will be served to the tenant by a process server, and a copy will also be left on the tenant’s door. These documents are legally binding and begin the five-day response period.
Now the tenant has five days to respond in writing to the Clerk of Court explaining why they feel they should not be evicted. That document will be sent to the landlord, and then you have an opportunity to respond. If the tenant does not respond in this five-day period, the court can settle with a default ruling against them. This ruling can include directions to pay the court the amount owed in rent. The tenant can file a motion if they disagree with the amount they are directed to pay.
Can My Eviction Case Go To Court?
If there is no resolution during this five-day period, a hearing date can be set. Our Miami eviction lawyer can help you prepare for this hearing. You will need to bring several documents with you to the hearing, including:
- A copy of the lease
- Any photographs of damages or other issues
- Receipts for repairs
- Any witnesses to the problems with the tenant
- Anything else you want the court to see
After the hearing, the judge will make a decision. If the tenant does not appear, you will automatically win and the court will give you a Judgment of Possession. The local sheriff will be notified and they will post a notice giving the tenant 24 hours to vacate the property.
If your tenant does not leave during this 24-hour period, the sheriff can force them to leave and lock them out. Any of their belongings left behind can be used to defray any costs owed to the landlord.
What Does A Miami Eviction Lawyer Do?
At Casais & Prias, our team of skilled attorneys will meet with you to discuss your situation. We are well-versed in Florida’s landlord-tenant and eviction laws. We can help you draft documents and get them filed appropriately. If you have any questions about the eviction process, contact us today. We look forward to speaking with you.