By some estimates, 15.6% of renters in Florida could be facing eviction very soon. This number is the second-highest in the country behind South Carolina.
20.2% of renters in the state of Florida are behind on their rent. A shocking 77.5% of late-paying renters are expected to be evicted in the next few months.
If you’re a property manager struggling with renters, you need to know the Florida eviction laws so you don’t break any rules protecting the rights of the tenants.
While it might be frustrating when a tenant isn’t doing what they agreed to in a lease, they are protected through the eviction laws in Florida.
If it’s necessary to get rid of a bad tenant, then you want to follow the laws explicitly so you can get through the process more quickly.
Read on to learn the eviction laws in Florida so you know what to do.
Florida Eviction Laws
Eviction laws in Florida spell out what you can and can’t evict a tenant for.
You can’t just decide you can get more rent money from a different tenant and kick out the current one, for example.
You can, however, move through the eviction process if a tenant isn’t paying their rent or is not following the rules listed in the lease agreement. If you don’t like cats and said no to cats, they must abide by the written lease rules.
Florida tenants must also maintain the conditions of a dwelling to certain standards or risk eviction.
Yet, there are some things you as a landlord can’t do to move the eviction process along. You can’t:
- Remove doors from the property
- Change locks so the tenant can’t enter
- Take away basic utilities to the property
While you might be motivated to get rid of the tenant, Florida is going to make you follow the rules like the tenant.
Eviction Notice Laws
The eviction laws break down whether you can evict a tenant with or without cause.
Your reasons for wanting to remove the tenant will help you to know which set of rules to follow.
This helps you to define the eviction notice laws you’ll follow and how long the process will take, too.
Termination With Cause
The first option for eviction is if as the landlord you have a cause for eviction. This means the tenant has done something that gives you a legitimate reason to evict them from the rental unit.
This might include:
- Not paying rent
- Violating the lease or rental agreement
- Committing an illegal act
If you feel like you have cause, here are the steps you should follow.
In many cases, the desire for eviction stems from the tenant not paying rent. If the tenant has not paid rent, then the landlord can issue what’s called a three-day notice to pay rent or quit.
This acts as official notice that the tenant has three days to either pay the rent up to date or move out. If they don’t do one of those two things, the landlord can start the eviction process.
If the tenant doesn’t pay the rent, at the end of the three-day notice, the landlord can file an eviction lawsuit.
It should be noted that when counting the days, it’s only weekdays, also excluding holidays.
Seven-Day Notice to Cure
With the seven-day notice to cure, the tenant is given seven days to fix a problem. If they aren’t following a lead, they get seven days to cure the issue or face eviction.
At the end of the seven days, if the tenant has cured whatever the problem was, then the landlord can file an eviction lawsuit.
Seven-Day Unconditional Quit Notice
Florida also allows landlords to use a seven-day unconditional quit notice. This means the landlord isn’t giving the tenant time to cure the issue. At the end of the seven days, the eviction lawsuit will be filed.
You can only use an unconditional quit notice for certain things like the tenant:
- Intentionally destroys the rental property
- Creates unreasonable disturbances
- Repeats the same lease violation within a 12-month period
At the end of the seven-day period, if the tenant has not moved out, then the eviction lawsuit should be filed.
Termination Without Cause
The Florida lease laws also allow a landlord or property manager to terminate a lease without cause. How to do this depends on whether the tenant has a month-to-month agreement or a set lease.
Month-to-Month Rental Agreement
In a month-to-month agreement, the landlord can opt to terminate the tenancy of the renter without cause. They must provide written notice informing the tenant they are terminating.
The landlord must give the tenant 15 days to vacate and should expect that they will be out at the end of the 15 days.
If you have a tenant who has a signed lease, you can’t remove them until the end of the lease agreement without cause.
As the landlord, you must wait until the end of the lease agreement to end the tenancy. You don’t have to provide notice. If a new lease isn’t in place, you should expect the tenant to be out by the end of the lease term.
Tenant Removal Rules
The eviction rules then spell out how you can actually remove a tenant. Simply, the landlord can’t remove a tenant.
They must file an eviction lawsuit and then work to get the tenant out. The landlord can’t do anything to force them out, either.
Only law enforcement has the authority to remove a tenant after the correct procedures have been followed in an eviction lawsuit.
Sometimes a tenant will leave, but will also leave a bunch of their property behind. The landlord must provide written notice to remove the property. Depending on how the notice gets delivered, they must wait between 10 and 15 days before removing their belongings.
The landlord is entitled to charge the tenant because their property remains in the rental unit.
Avoid the Need for Evictions
As a landlord, your goal is to never get to the point of needing an eviction. You want to use property management tools to make sure you get the best tenants who won’t make evictions necessary.
Property manager help can provide you with the tools needed to screen for the best tenants. It can also create a professional dashboard where you can collect rents and communicate effectively with your tenants.
You can also use these tools to market available properties and share information online.
Know Florida Eviction Laws to Avoid Your Own Trouble With the Law
If you’re faced with a challenging tenant who isn’t paying rent or abiding by the terms of their lease, you need to know the Florida eviction laws.
Let us help you market your properties and find the best tenants for your property. Contact us today to learn about how we can help you manage your properties.