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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Answer. You could but you could also end up losing your case as the landlord cannot accept rent from the tenant after eviction to start or the judge can dismiss the case. Collecting rent is considered a waiver of the termination of the lease arrangement.  However the landlord can enter into a settlement stipulation with the tenant to accept the rent and allow the tenant to remain in the property. Or the landlord can place the rent paid into the court registry and file a notice with the court, with a copy to the tenant, that the rent paid was delivered to the court registry and was not accepted by the landlord.

Answer. Yes you can. When the eviction case is started the court must be informed in the correct legal way that the lease is based on an oral agreement.

Answer. You are supposed to attach a copy of the lease to the eviction complaint. If the lease has been lost or been destroyed then it is possible to do a count for a lost instrument to revive the lost lease.

Answer. It depends.  The 3 day notice can only contain items specifically designated in the lease agreement as rent or additional rent. That means you can only include the monthly lease amount for oral lease arrangements.  However, a security deposit not paid can not be used as a basis for a 3 day notice to pay rent or vacate.

Answer.  Without involving the courts you can enter into a repayment plan agreement with the tenant. But if the tenant does not comply with it your only remedy at that point would be to start the eviction. Or you could start the eviction case and tell the tenant that after she is served you will then do a settlement agreement. Then if she does not comply with the settlement terms you have a quicker remedy and can follow through with the eviction quickly.

Answer. Florida law does not allow for self-help evictions. The only legal way to remove the tenant at that point would be through the courts with an eviction case.

Answer. After a final judgment is issued the judge orders the sheriff of the county to physically remove the tenant.

Answer. It is always best to arrange in advance to have people present to remove the tenants’ property during the removal process with the sheriff. During the removal the landlord should place the tenants’ property at the property line. That way the tenant can come back later to collect their belongings without trespassing.

Answer. One way is to place a number on the door of the unit you want to do the eviction for. We can otherwise spell out in addiction complaint which units of a duplex the eviction is for. However in both cases the 3 day notice to pay rent or vacate should also designate which unit is the eviction is for. That way it is consistent all the way through in case the sheriff is ultimately needed.

Answer. Yes you can however, you would likely have to first serve the tenants with a 7-day notice to cure by paying the security deposit. If they do not comply then you can do an eviction based on the 7-day notice.

Answer. Yes you can but it depends on the situation and you must review your lease and section 8 agreements as there are more steps you must typically follow before you start an eviction.

Answer. The answers typically depends on the severity of the violation. A violation that amount to being illegal typically can call for a 7 day notice to vacate. For example a tenant found to be dealing drugs need not be served with a 7 day notice to cure.  Rather, the landlord can go straight to a 7 day notice to vacate and consider the lease terminated.

Answer. Yes is all but one situation. The only type of eviction that does not require a notice to first have been served on the tenants is when an eviction is based on the expiration of the time of a written lease and it has not been renewed and a tenant is not considered a holdover tenant.

Answer. Yes you can. It is best to wait until the prior notice expires. And it is advisable to state on the new 3 day notice that it replaces the prior 3 day notice.

Answer. For the most part the procedures are the same as well as the applicable laws.  However, there are also material differences that must be followed.

Answer. Florida law does not allow for self-help evictions. So if you are doing an eviction a landlord must use the courts. However under Florida law and subject to what the lease says, a tenant is presumed to have abandoned the rental property if they have been absent from the property for at least 15 consecutive days and have unpaid rent due, and the landlord does not have actual knowledge that the tenants are only away temporarily.

Answer.  Since accepting rent after the eviction case starts is considered a waiver of the right to evict, then assuming the landlord does not want to stop the eviction the landlord should promptly mail or otherwise deliver the rent payment back to the tenant.  The same thing goes if the landlord has an arrangement whereby the tenant makes deposits directly into the landlord’s bank account.  The landlord should promptly as possible send the tenant a check for the amount deposited.

Answer. Yes.  An eviction case can be dismissed.  But if the landlord intends to resolve the issue with the tenant, it should be done through a settlement stipulation.

Answer.  After the case starts, a settlement stipulation can be entered into.  If the tenant does not comply with it, then all that needs to be done is a statement (via appropriate affidavit) to the judge that advises the judge that the tenant has breached the settlement and the judge should enter the final judgment and the writ of possession will be issued without delay.

Answer.  The tenant can try to, and at times can cause a delay of the process.  However there are ways to cut short such efforts by tenants.

Answer.  First, we know the eviction process very well.  We have processed thousands of evictions and seen all sorts of efforts by tenants to block or slow down the process so we are prepared to deal quickly with these efforts. Second, we have very specialized systems in the office that we follow to ensure quick responses.  And third, we keep pushing our cases forward.

Answer.  We recommend doing the eviction to remove the tenant so that it is vacant and a better paying tenant can move in.  There are some delays when the landlord sues a tenant for unpaid rent at the same time as suing to remove the tenant.  A second summons must be served on the tenant so personal service is achieved.  The tenant has to be personally served by the process server.  So that often takes longer to accomplish than the posting on the door as is allowed for an eviction for removal only. Also, the tenant has 20 days to respond to the count for money whereas the tenant only has 5 days to respond to the count for eviction removal.  Additional delays are brought about by seeking money damages.  We recommend a collection company.  The one we use has a department that focuses on working with landlords to collect unpaid money from tenants.  Also, a landlord is able to bring 2 separate lawsuits, one for eviction and later a second one for unpaid rent or other moneys owed the landlord.

Answer.  Much of the answer depends on the written lease and what it say about the tenant not taking possession.  The lease can require a refund or say that the landlord can retain all deposits if the tenant fails to take possession.  So your lease should address these issues. If not than the issue is more grey. Generally, the landlord would be entitled to recover damages suffered by the tenant’s failure to take possession.  But the landlord has a duty to mitigate damages and try to get another tenant.  So the best way to resolve this is to share in the loss, where the landlord retains some of the moneys already paid in and the tenant gets a partial return.

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