An eviction is a legal process of removing a tenant from the rental property with an enforced court order.

Residential evictions can be stressful in real estate, especially when it’s on a residential level. In the real estate industry, there is always something going on. There are sales to make, rent to collect, updates for properties…you name it!

Commercial evictions can become complex fast, depending on the lease type and negotiated terms. It’s also common for commercial leases to be different from tenant-to-tenant.

Though evictions have specific lawful procedures that must be followed, evictions are mostly used against tenants who don’t pay their rent on time and break the lease agreement’s terms.

How Long Does an Eviction Take in Florida?

Residential evictions in Florida are usually fast, but it all depends on the tenant.

If a tenant is evicted for not paying rent, then the eviction process will depend on the landlord’s documentation of unpaid balances, including utility bills directly related to the property.

However, if a tenant breaks other rules in their lease, evictions can take less than a month. It will depend on the court date the tenant receives.

When it comes to evictions, many factors are taken into consideration by both parties involved in the eviction process. However, evictions are also categorized depending on their respective situations that may include:

  • Eviction for nonpayment of rent

  • Residential evictions that result from a “material breach” of the lease

  • Eviction for holding over after the expiration of a lease or termination

In evictions resulting from nonpayment of rent, the landlord must show proper documentation before filing a complaint. In evictions resulting from material breaches, either party has five days to answer the allegations. A tenant who has been evicted for holding over must vacate within a reasonable period of time.

Does an Eviction Take in Florida?

Before an eviction can occur, the first step is for the landlord to properly document the breach and notice that it will proceed further should a tenant fail to comply with their request. These notices must contain specific language as per Florida’s Landlord/Tenant Act.

If an eviction is due to non-payment of rent, the landlord must submit a sworn complaint and documentation to claim damages. The court will review the paperwork and give an eviction hearing date to both parties.

The tenant has five days to answer the complaint before receiving notice for trial. If no answer is made, tenants automatically forfeit all rights, and the landlord automatically wins the eviction proceedings.

What Landlord Should Never Do

The eviction process can be complicated and frustrating at times, but necessary for landlords to uphold the law and tenant rights when conducting evictions. There are certain do’s and don’ts when evicting a residential tenant. If conducting a commercial eviction is important to fully understand the terms contained in the lease as the evictions laws are different between residential and commercial in Florida.

Make sure that evictions are carefully conducted and aren’t used as a means to retaliate. A landlord should never do the following:

  • Evicting tenants based on their race, religion, sexual orientation, etc.

  • Remove outside utility lines, turning off the water, or disconnecting utilities.

  • Remove locks or doors for entry into the property.

  • Entering the property without proper documentation or permission

  • Take tenant’s belongings, regardless of any state laws

  • Misinformation about evictions to keep tenants living in fear

  • Retaliate for any reason against tenants who try to assert their rights

  • Use threats or intimidation tactics to force payment or access into the unit

  • Evicting someone without the proper eviction forms filled out and filed

  • Taking back possession of property without going through the correct legal evictions process

Why Should Landlords Use an Attorney?

There are many reasons why landlords should use an attorney when evictions occur, by using an attorney can help to ensure that your eviction goes smoothly and quickly, without any problems. However, evictions are also complicated legal processes that tenants can contest.

Landlords need to understand their rights when conducting evictions. Using a legal team will help to ensure evictions are conducted properly and tenants evicted as soon as possible.