It’s a scenario every landlord wants to avoid, but if you own rental property for long enough, you may eventually have to deal with an eviction. If you own rental property in Florida, you must follow very specific procedures to lawfully evict a tenant. Not following these procedures can have severe financial penalties for the landlord and greatly extend the eviction process.
Before you make the decision to evict a tenant, consider the following points:
Condition of the Property
One of the most common tenant defenses to eviction involves inhabitable or unsafe property conditions. If there is any part of your rental property that violates state building codes or safety laws, the tenant can use this as justification for not paying rent or performing activities in the property that are not allowed.
Before you start any kind of eviction process, conduct a thorough, lawful inspection of the property and document everything you find, preferably with video and/or photos. Consult with a real estate attorney experienced in evictions before this inspection to be sure that you don’t miss anything that might come up in court. They may even recommend having a home inspector visit the property for increased credibility.
When you know that your property is in top-notch, 100% legal condition, then you may proceed with the eviction.
Type of Eviction/Notice
The reason for the termination of the tenancy will dictate which type of notice you must give the tenant about the end of their tenancy and the potential for an eviction lawsuit if they do not comply. This gives the tenant a fair opportunity to find another place to live.
Improper delivery of termination of tenancy notices and not adhering to the required waiting periods for each notice can be grounds for a tenant to fight the eviction, so it is extremely important to provide the correct notice and wait for the required amount of time before proceeding with an eviction lawsuit.
Common reasons to terminate a tenancy in Florida and the required notice to the tenant include:
- Failure to pay rent: 3-day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit
- Correctable violation of the rental or lease agreement: 7-day Notice to Cure
- Uncorrectable violation of the rental or lease agreement, criminal activity, or destruction of the property or other tenant’s possessions: 7-day Unconditional Quit Notice
- Termination of tenancy without cause: For month-to-month renters, give a 15-day written notice to vacate. For fixed lease or rental terms, you must wait until the end of the term to terminate the tenancy, with no need to notify the tenant unless the agreement requires it.
Some evictions happen quickly, with the tenant vacating the property promptly after receiving the notice. Other evictions drag on for months, or in a worst-case scenario, years. During this time, you can lose valuable income on rental payments waiting for the eviction case to be heard in court, not to mention your time traveling back and forth to represent your interests in the case. If you do not live here in southwest Florida, the travel expenses alone can pile up quickly.
But, when you choose Douglas Realty Property Management for your property management needs, we handle the entire eviction process for you from start to finish! We’ve partnered with a local law firm to take the burden of this process off of the landlord and put it into good, knowledgeable hands. Evictions usually cost our landlords around $450 and require no in-person time or court appearances.
Property Management in Southwest Florida
If you own rental properties in southwest Florida, including Cape Coral, Fort Myers, Lehigh Acres, Port Charlotte, and Punta Gorda, we would love to discuss how Douglas Realty Property Management can make your life easier and your properties more lucrative. Call us at (239) 542-6906 or contact us online and turn your investment properties into passive income today!