The Florida real estate market remains hot, with home prices, sales, and a population influx continuing to dominate the headlines. However, evictions in the rental market are a topic that also warrants some discussion. Let’s face it, evictions are uncomfortable for both landlords and tenants, and the laws surrounding them are strict. Here are some basics you need to know.
Causes of Eviction
By definition, an eviction is when a landlord forces a tenant to move out. There are several reasons why a landlord would evict a tenant, but landlords must adhere to due process in doing so. Here are some of the reasons why an eviction would take place:
- Non-payment of Rent: before allowing anyone to occupy a property, a rental agreement should be put in place. Some agreements may include penalties and periods a tenant can stay at a dwelling before being evicted. If that time expires, a notice can be sent, followed by an eviction filing if the notice is neglected.
- Lease Violation: there are often non-monetary terms of leases that must be followed. Some common violations are having unauthorized pets, unapproved long-term guests/occupants, illegal subletting, wrongful use of property, and too many disturbances.
- Property Damage: extensive property damage beyond normal wear and tear, such as holes in the wall and floor, can lead to an eviction.
- Illegal Activities: a tenant can be evicted if they are involved in illegal activities, such as drug-related crimes.
- Expiration of Lease Agreement: once a lease agreement expires, a landlord has the right to evict a renter without any cause.
In some instances, a resolution can be made between both parties before an eviction notice is sent.
What Landlords Can’t Do
Unfortunately, there are many instances when an agreement cannot be reached. I’m sure you or someone you know has heard a horror story of how both landlords and tenants retaliate while in a rental dispute. It’s important to know that it is illegal for landlords to do the following in an effort to force a tenant out:
- Shutting off utilities
- Changing/removing locks
- Removing doors or windows
- Taking tenant property
Recommended Eviction Actions
Landlords will experience the swiftest eviction when properly following the eviction process. Simply stated, if a landlord wants to evict a tenant, they must send a written notice to vacate, followed by legal paperwork in the form of a summons and complaint. The tenant is granted some time to respond, and it will be determined in court if the eviction is granted or denied. If the eviction is granted, a writ of possession will be posted.
DHG Law Can Assist with Landlord and Tenant Evictions
Whether you are a landlord trying to evict a tenant for reasonable cause, or a tenant that needs representation, it is always a wise decision to seek the advice and legal counsel of an attorney to help you through the eviction process.
The Law Office of Donna Hearne-Gousse represents both landlords and tenants in the South Florida market, most notably Palm Beach County. If you are in need of eviction services, we have a long, proven track record of success representing both sides. We welcome you to contact us to discuss your situation and negotiate on your behalf.
The Law Office of Donna Hearne-Gousse
Royal Palm Beach, FL