If there is a written or verbal lease between the landlord and the tenant to pay rent, and the tenant fails to pay the rent, the landlord is required to give proper notice to the tenant. Notice forms are not provided by the Clerk’s Office, but may be obtained at most office supply stores.

See Florida Statute 83   (Landlord and Tenant).

See Florida Statute 723 (Mobile Home Park Lot Tenancies).

The landlord may serve the tenant with a Notice to Pay or Vacate. The notice signifies that an eviction suit will be filed if the tenant does not pay the back rent or move.

If the tenant fails to pay or move within the required time limit, a complaint may be filed for Removal of Tenant for Non Payment of Rent. There are three types of complaint forms. One is for the possession of the property only, the second is for possession of the property plus past due rent, and the third is for eviction for other than failure to pay rent. Information sheets and eviction complaint forms may be obtained from the County Civil Department.

Once the eviction suit is filed, the sheriff will serve the tenant with a summons and a copy of the complaint.
A summons will be issued to the tenant/defendant directing them to file an answer and pay any past due rent into the Registry of the Court. If the landlord is asking for the rent and damages, an additional summons will be issued requiring an answer to be filed as to the damages.

The summons will direct the defendant to answer and deposit the amount in dispute into The Registry of the Court within 5 days after service of the summons and complaint. Only cash or cashier’s checks will be accepted as payment of rent. Failure to pay and/or answer may result in a judicial order for eviction without further notice.

If the defendant files an answer, deposits rent and/or files a Motion to Determine the amount of rent to be paid into the Registry of the Court, a court date will be set as soon as possible.

If the case proceeds to a hearing, the Judge will hear testimony from both parties and render a decision. If the Judge orders the tenant to be evicted, the landlord may request the Clerk’s Office to issue a Writ of Possession. The Writ of Possession will be served by the sheriff and will allow the tenant 24 hours to move. If the tenant has not vacated within the 24-hour period, the sheriff can remove the tenant. A tenant may not be removed without a court order. The Judge may also allow the tenant additional time to move. A writ may not be issued until the proper amount of time has elapsed.

If the sheriff has to remove the tenant, the sheriff will contact the landlord regarding taking possession of the property. If the eviction is for a mobile home belonging to the tenant and is governed by Florida Statute 723, the writ will not be issued for 10 days. A writ may not be issued without a court order.

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