Chapter 83 of the Florida Statute provides the steps to follow when evicting a residential tenant in Florida. If you are evicting your tenant for non-payment of rent, you will need to give the tenant a 3-day written notice to pay the rent or vacate the residence. The three (3) days does not including the date of delivery, weekends or holidays. The landlord may post the notice on the door or hand deliver it to the tenant. The notice should only seek the rent that is due.
If the tenant does not comply with the notice, the landlord will need to take a copy of the notice to the Clerk of Court in the county where the property is located and file an eviction complaint. A copy of the lease and the 3-day notice must be attached to the complaint.
The tenant has five (5) days (exclusive of Saturdays, Sundays and holidays) after service of the summons to file an answer as to possession of the property. However, the tenant has twenty (20) days from service of the summons to file a response to the complaint regarding any damages sought by the landlord.
If the tenant fails to file an answer with the court within the five (5) days, the landlord should seek a default from the Clerk. Once the default is entered by the Clerk, the judge will enter a Final Judgment for Possession and direct the Clerk to issue a Writ of Possession. The Writ of Possession will be sent to the Sheriff in the county where the residence is located. It will describe the premises and command the Sheriff to put the landlord in possession of the residence after giving the tenant 24 hours notice.
If the tenant files an answer to the eviction complaint and deposits the monies owed into the court registry, the matter is considered a contested eviction. At that point, the landlord must contact the court to schedule a hearing to have the tenant evicted.