An eviction is the process of removing a tenant from possession of real property for non-payment of rent or another breach of the lease agreement between the landlord and tenant.
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Evictions for Non-Payment of Rent
Prior to filing an eviction action for non-payment of rent, the landlord is responsible for providing the tenant(s) with a 3-day written notice requiring the tenant(s) either pay the rent or vacate the premises. When calculating the time, do not count the day of delivery, weekends, or holidays. The notice must be delivered, by mail or hand delivery, to the tenant or if the tenant is absent from the premises by posting the notice in a conspicuous place on the premises. The 3-day notice must seek only rent that is due. If the tenant does not comply with the notice, a copy of the 3-day notice is to be submitted to our office along with the eviction complaint to be filed with the court.
Evictions for Material Noncompliance
Prior to filing an eviction action for material noncompliance of the lease, the landlord is responsible for providing the tenant(s) with a 7-day written notice requiring either a 7-day notice to vacate or a 7-day notice to cure the material breach, depending upon the nature of the noncompliance. Please seek the advice of experienced legal counsel to assist with analyzing if a breach of the lease is material as well as what type of notice is appropriate to your circumstances under Florida law.
Evictions for a Lease without a Specific Term
If the tenancy is week to week, a 7-day notice prior to the end of the weekly period is required. If the tenancy is month to month, a 15-day notice prior to the end of the monthly period is required. If the tenancy is quarter to quarter, a 30-day notice prior to the end of the quarter period is required. If the tenancy is year to year, a 60-day notice prior to the end of the annual period is required. Please refer to Florida Statute 83.57 for more detail regarding requirements for the notices. If the tenant does not comply with the notice, a copy of the notice is to be submitted to our office along with the eviction complaint to be filed with the court.
Filing the Eviction with the Court
If, after appropriate notice is given to the tenant, the tenant fails to vacate the property the landlord is entitled to file an eviction action to have the tenant(s) removed from the property. Eviction packets are available under Forms section of our website. If you are unable to obtain the eviction packet from our website, the clerk will provide the appropriate forms to file the eviction based on the type of notice given to the tenant. A copy of the tenant notice will be required as well as paying all filing fees.
Serving the Summons
Once the eviction is filed, the clerk will prepare a summons for pro se landlords to be served on the tenant. The summons may be served by the Clay County Sheriff’s Office or, with the appropriate court order, a private process server. If the pro se landlord chooses to use the Clay County Sheriff’s Office for service and provides the appropriate fees for service to the Clerk’s Office, the clerk will forward your summons to the Clay County Sheriff’s Office for service. Upon service, the tenant has 5 business days to respond to the eviction portion of the complaint. The tenant is instructed to file their original answer to the clerk with a copy provided to the landlord.
If an answer to the eviction portion of the lawsuit has not been filed within 5 business days, the landlord will need to file a Motion for Default and a Non-Military Affidavit. Upon receipt of these documents, the clerk will forward the file to the Judge. The Judge will either set the case for a hearing or grant the landlord possession of the property. If the Judge grants the landlord possession of the property, the clerk will issue a Writ of Possession.
Writ of Possession
The Clay County Sheriff’s Office charges $90.00 to execute the Writ of Possession. The Sheriff will post the Writ of Possession and then contact the landlord to deliver possession of the property.
Landlord and Tenant Eviction Helpful Tools
For more information and to learn about your legal rights please review the following items or seek the assistance of an attorney.
- Chapter 83, Florida Statutes
- Department of Agriculture Landlord-Tenant Brochure – English
- Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Website
- Florida Bar – Rights and Duties of Landlords and Tenants
- Florida Law Help – Help, I Just Got a 3 Day Notice!
- Florida Law Help – Illegal Evictions
- Florida Law Help – Eviction and Paying Rent into the Court Registry
- Florida Law Help – Form: Pro Se Eviction Answer
- Florida Law Help – What Every Tenant Should Know about Evictions
- See General Eviction Section of FloridaLawHelp.org