An Eviction action cannot be filed unless the tenant has first been given a written notice. The notice should be done in triplicate and the original hand-delivered, or if the tenant is absent from the premises, by leaving a copy thereof at the residence or mailed to the tenant. “If the landlord mails the three day notice, the tenant will be permitted to respond by mail. This will increase dramatically the time period in which the tenant is required to pay rent. First, an additional five days for mailing will be added to the letter sent by the landlord to the tenant. An additional five days for mailing will be added to the letter sent by the tenant to the landlord. Thus, instead of the three days to the tenant to pay the rent or vacate, it ends up becoming thirteen days (three days to pay the rent and five days each for the landlord’s and tenant’s letters)”. Florida Res. Landlord Tenant Rule 3.01(1)(a)(iv)
The landlord will be required to furnish TWO (2) copies of the notice and TWO (2) copies of the lease (if applicable) if ONE tenant is being evicted to the Clerk’s Office. If there is more than one tenant, an additional copy of the notice (and the lease if applicable), for each additional tenant will be required.
If the tenant has not paid the rent, the landlord is required to give a three day notice in writing to vacate the premises or pay the rent. (Please state the full amount due). After three full days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays) have elapsed from the date of the notice (not counting the date the notice is delivered to the tenant), if the tenant has not complied with the notice, the landlord then comes to the Clerk’s Office and files the complaint for eviction of the tenant. Copies of the lease (if one exists between the parties) will also be required when filing. This type of eviction may be filed by the owner, agent, or an attorney for the owner. F.S. 83.56(3).
7-DAY NOTICE WITH CURE
This notice may be used if the landlord has a lease and a tenant who is undesirable, but the situation could be remedied (i.e. unauthorized pets, guests, or parking, etc.). The notice states the non-compliance and gives the tenant seven days to correct the problem or to vacate the premises. The tenant would be allowed to stay if they complied. If they do not comply, then the landlord may filed a complaint for eviction based on the notice given. This type of eviction must be filed by the owner or any attorney for the owner only. F.S. 83-56(2)(b).
7-DAY NOTICE WITHOUT CURE
When a tenant is undesirable with a serious non-compliance (i.e. destruction, damage, or misuse of property, unreasonable disturbance, etc), this notice informs the tenant that the rental agreement is terminated and no further rent will be accepted. It also lists the items of non-compliance. If the tenant has not moved in seven days, the landlord may file eviction proceedings. This type of eviction may be filed by the owner or an attorney for the owner only. F.S. 83.56(2)(a).
If the landlord has no lease and wants possession of his property, and it is not for any of the above reasons, and the rent is paid on a month-to-month basis, the tenant must be given a fifteen day notice to vacate the premises. The notice would state that the rental agreement is terminated, and that no further rent will be accepted. This notice should be given fifteen days prior to the rent next being due. If the tenant does not vacate, the landlord files his complaint for eviction. If a written lease agreement has been entered into, this section does not apply. This type of eviction may be filed by the owner or an attorney for the owner only. F.S. 83.57.
(1) If there is a written lease, then it is to be followed in giving the NOTICE TO MOVE if it provided differently from the above;
(2) If the landlord accepts rent with actual knowledge of a non-compliance by the tenant, the landlord then waives his right to terminate the rental agreement or to bring a civil suit for that non-compliance, including non-payment of rent.
FILING FEE FOR EVICTIONS PAYABLE TO CLERK OF CIRCUIT COURT: $185.00
FEE FOR ISSUING EACH SUMMONS PAYABLE TO CLERK OF CIRCUIT COURT: $10.00
After filing a complaint for eviction, a summons is prepared and sent to the Sheriff’s Office. They will serve the paperwork for a fee of $40.00 per tenant named. This fee is to be paid by cash, money order, or check made payable to: Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.
The tenant has five (5) working days after being served in which to answer in writing to the Court why they think they should not have to move.
- In an action by the landlord for possession of the dwelling unit, if the tenant interposes any defense other than payment, the tenant is required to pay into the Registry of the Court the accrued rent as alleged in the Complaint for Possession or as determined by the Court, and the rent which accrues during the pendency of the proceeding when due. The Court will notify the tenant of such requirement in the summons. Failure of the tenant to pay the rent into the Registry of the Court or to file a motion to determine the amount of rent to be paid into the registry within 5 days, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and Legal Holidays, after the date of service of process constitutes an absolute waiver of the tenant’s defenses other than payment, and the landlord is entitled to an immediate default. F.S. 83.60(2).
- If the tenant moves in the time allowed by law after being served or pays the rent, the landlord should notify the Clerk’s Office in writing so the case may be dismissed and closed out. Judgment may be entered if the tenant moves owing rent and has not offered written defenses to the Court as required, and, if personal service has been accomplished. The Landlord will need to file an Affidavit as to amounts due. If the complaint was posted and the Landlord wants a money judgment as stated in Count II of the Complaint, the Landlord must have the Defendant personally served by the Sheriff or by certified mail.
- If it is necessary for the Sheriff to serve the summons by attaching it to some part of the premises (Posting), then the landlord shall provide the Clerk with an additional copy of the Complaint for Eviction and a pre-stamped envelope addressed to the tenant at the premises involved in the proceeding. If there are two (2) defendants (tenants) named on the complaint, a mailing will be required for each tenant. Service shall be effective from the date of mailing, and at least 5 days must elapse from the date of service before a default/judgment for final removal of tenant may be entered. Failure of the landlord to supply the Clerk with the above will result in service not being performed and the default will not be issued. The Sheriff’s Office will not post the summons unless the landlord gives them permission to do so. Posting the summons waives the landlord’s right to a judgment for money in the eviction action.
- If the tenant answers in writing and/or deposits the rent demanded into the Registry of Court (if applicable) before the time allowed by law is up, the case may be scheduled for a Hearing, and both the landlord and tenant will be notified of the Hearing date.
- At the Hearing, the Judge will rule on whether the tenant has to move and if so, when they are to move.
- If the tenant does not move and does not answer the complaint as stated above, within the time allowed by law, the landlord is entitled to a default. It is the responsibility of the landlord to notify the Clerk’s Office to request that the default be issued. The default is then entered and a final judgment may be signed by the Judge without hearing. The landlord is then entitled to a Writ of Possession. The landlord should deliver the Writ of Possession to the Sheriff’s Office for service. The fee for serving the Writ is $70.00 payable to the Sheriff’s Office. As soon as the Sheriff’s Office receives and serves the Writ of Possession, the tenant will have 24 hours to vacate the premises.
Landlords wishing to evict Mobile Homes should refer to F.S. 723.002/723.061.