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Evictions - How and Why

Driving off without paying for a tank of gasoline is a crime which can land you in jail. Living in a rented home without paying for it is not. The gas station looses maybe $35.00. The landlord can loose thousands.

Driving off without paying for a tank of gasoline is a crime which can land you in jail. Living in a rented home without paying for it is not. The gas station looses maybe $35.00. The landlord can loose thousands.

The most successful landlords carefully select their tenants. Other landlords say they are a good judge of character. The "Characters" --people who know they can't rent from landlords who screen their tenants -- are looking for landlords who think they are a good judge of character.

This may be why some landlords have more experience with evictions than others. Tens of thousands of evictions are filed every year in every major Florida County.  That means a fairly small percentage of all landlords lost hundreds of millions of dollars in uncollected rent and eviction expense.  (See "Why Would You Give The Keys To Just Anyone?"

You invest in real estate to make a profit. Successful investors know they must act quickly if the rent is not paid on time to preserve their investment. If the rent is due on the first of the month then it is late on the second day of the month. So, here are the steps to take to quickly evict a tenant for non-payment of rent.

1. Three-Day Notice
The Three Day Notice is a simple one page notice which must be delivered before filing a Complaint to recover possession in County Court. The Notice demands payment of rent within three days or possession.

This notice should be hand delivered to the tenant or left at the premises. You may also send by US Mail but you must add five days to the process.

Important: Demand only the full amount of rent which is due. Never include late fees or other amounts as the Judge may require you to re-file the case. The law says you can evict for non-payment of Rent nothing else. This doesn't mean you relinquish your claim to any other money your tenant owes you.

2. Complaint & Summons
If the rent is not paid by the end of the third day, as demanded in the Three Day Notice, you take the case to Court by filing a Complaint.  You must provide enough copies of the Complaint, for each tenant, with the Clerk of the Court.

The Court must also receive a copy of the Three-Day Notice and a copy of the lease, if one exists. You must also attach a copy of the notice and lease to each copy of the Complaint. Like most things legal this is a lot of paper, depending on the county, 60 pages sometimes more.

After the Complaint is filed and the fees are paid, the Clerk will issue an Eviction Summons.

3. Court
The tenant has five days (excluding weekends and holidays), after service of the Summons, to file an answer. If an answer is filed and the money demanded in the Three Day Notice is deposited with the Court, you will be notified of the time and date of a hearing.

If the tenant fails to answer the Summons and/or pay the money demanded in the Three Day Notice, you may file a Motion for Default and proceed with obtaining a Final Judgment for Possession and a Writ of Possession. This is done by furnishing the Clerk with an original Final Judgment for Possession and a copy for each of the tenants and yourself. You must also furnish the Clerk with pre-addressed stamped envelopes to each tenant and yourself for mailing the copy of the Final Judgment.  Yep, more paper.

4. The Sheriff
After entry of the Judgment, the Clerk issues a Writ of Possession to the Sheriff commanding him to put you in possession after 24 hours notice conspicuously posted on the premises.

After the 24 hours notice the Sheriff will meet you at the premises. He will command anyone and everyone in the property to immediately leave. Then you remove any personal property placing it on the curb for trash pickup.

The whole process includes a lot of paper, several trips to the Courthouse, and sometimes a house filled with furniture you have to empty. Still, it usually takes only a few weeks from start to finish.
You invest in real estate to make a profit. Yet, those who fail to move quickly when the rent is not paid are guaranteed to loose lots of money. The most successful landlords carefully select their tenants. They evict them less often than landlords who think they are a good judge of "Characters".
 

Florida Landlord Network provides a easy Eviction Service to many counties in Florida.  
Click Here For Details

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