Florida Eviction Process (2024)

How to Evict a Tenant in Florida (7 Steps)

Florida Eviction Process (1)

Step 1: Serve the Eviction Notice

Florida Statutes Chapter 83 regulates evictions in the state. You can begin the eviction process by serving your tenant a written notice via any of the following methods:

  • Personal delivery
  • Mailing
  • Leaving it at the residence (if they are not around to receive it)

The judge may require you to provide proof of service. An easy way to prove service is to send the eviction notice through certified mail and get a return receipt.

Step 2: Wait for the Tenant to Respond

If the tenant complies with your demand by either “curing” (resolving) the violation or vacating the premises, you won’t have to do anything else. The tenant may also reach out to you and try to resolve the issue.

However, to continue in the eviction process, wait for the deadline in the notice to elapse before you begin a court action.

Step 3: File a Lawsuit with the Court

If the tenant did not respond to your eviction notice and the deadline has elapsed, file a complaint and summons at the County Court where your property is located (Fla. Stat. § 83.21). A Summons for Damages Complaint (Form 8) or a Summons for Eviction-Only Complaint (Form 7) goes with one of the following:

The number of copies you’ll provide depends on how many tenants you want to evict. You can always confirm with your local County Court Clerk’s Office.

You’ll also need to prepare the following documents:

  • The original and copies of the summons and complaint.
  • Copies of the lease or rental agreement, where applicable.
  • Copies of the eviction notice you served the tenant.
  • The filing fee in cash, money order, check, or credit card.
  • Proof of service.

You may file your case with the clerk of the circuit court and the comptroller’s office in the following ways:

The filing fee in most counties is $185 and above, depending on whether you want to only evict the tenant or seek damages. For example, the filing fees in Palm Beach County Court are:

  • Eviction alone or with damages of $2,500 or less: $185
  • Evictions with damages over $2,500 up to $15,000: $300
  • Evictions with damages over $15,000: $400


After filing the eviction lawsuit, it typically takes 2 to 3 days for the court to issue the summons and another 2 to 3 days for the tenant to be served, possibly requiring multiple attempts.

Step 4: Serve the Tenant with the Court Papers

The next step is to serve the tenant the summons and complaint. You’ll pay a county sheriff or a process server to deliver a copy of the documents to the tenant.

State law mandates that there must be at least two attempts to serve the tenant the court papers in person before using other methods. (Fla. Stat. § 83.22).

Step 5: Attend Court Hearing

The tenant has five days, minus weekends and legal holidays, to respond to the summons and complaint. Two things may happen:

  • The tenant contests the eviction. In this case, the tenant will pay filing fees, file a written response to a complaint for eviction with the court clerk, and serve the landlord with the response. The court will schedule a hearing where both parties will present their case before a judge.
  • The tenant doesn’t respond. When this happens, the landlord is entitled to a judgment by default.

As the landlord, you’ll follow a two-step process to obtain the judgment:

  • First, you’ll obtain a Clerk’s default by delivering to the clerk of the court an executed Motion for Clerk’s Default.
  • The next step is to obtain a default from the judge handling the case. You’ll do this by delivering a Motion for Default Final judgment to the court.

Step 6: Understand Possible Outcomes and Restoration of Possession

  • Landlord wins: If the court upholds the landlord’s claim, it will award them possession of the premises and order payment of the due rent and costs in an amount within its jurisdictional limitation. The court may also award the landlord attorney’s fees and costs (Fla. Stat. § 83.625).
  • Tenant wins: If the tenant wins the case, they will remain on the property. The court may also order the landlord to pay their attorney’s fees and costs.
  • Restoration of Possession: The clerk will issue a Writ of Possession to the sheriff, describing the premises and instructing the sheriff to put the landlord in possession after a 24-hour notice posted visibly on the premises.

Step 7: Have the Tenant Forcibly Removed

After 24 hours, the sheriff and landlord will come to the premises to eject the tenant. In practice, it may extend to 48 or even 72 hours as both parties have to be present.

The sheriff will remove the tenant if they are still on the premises and stand by while the landlord removes any personal property from the unit and changes the lock. Usually, the sheriff will charge the landlord a reasonable hourly fee to provide this service (Fla. Stat. § 83.62).

Eviction Reasons

State law provides specific reasons for a landlord to evict a tenant, with various notices and procedures tailored to different circ*mstances.

Notice for Termination With Cause

A landlord can evict a tenant for the following wrongdoings:

  • Defaulting on rent
  • Failing to comply with the lease agreement
  • Failing to maintain the property
  • Destroying the property
  • Disturbing the peace

The reason for termination of the rental agreement will determine the duration of the notice and whether the tenant will be allowed to fix the non-compliance issue. There are different types of notices:

1. Three-Day Notice To Pay Rent or Quit


  • Used if a tenant’s rent is due for up to three days, excluding weekends and legal holidays.
  • Instructs them to pay outstanding rent within three days or move out of the property (Fla. Stat. § 83.56(3)).

2. Seven-Day Notice to Cure


  • The seven-day notice points out the exact lease violation, such as having an unauthorized pet, unauthorized parking, or leaving the tenancy unit in unsanitary conditions.
  • It will inform the tenant that if they don’t fix the issue within seven days, the landlord will terminate the lease agreement (Fla. Stat. § 83.56(2)(b)).

3. Seven-Day Unconditional Quit Notice


  • Used when the tenant has committed a major lease violation.
  • These include damaging the landlord’s or another tenant’s property, committing illegal activities, creating disturbances, and repeating a lease violation within 12 months.
  • Informs the tenant that the lease agreement has been terminated and that they should vacate the premises within seven days.

Notice for Termination Without Cause

Reasons you may need the property vacated even though the tenant has not violated the rental agreement include:

  • Personal use or use by a family member.
  • To demolish or remodel significantly.
  • You want to stop renting out the property.

1. Notice to End a Periodic Tenancy


  • For tenants renting month-to-month and quarterly, use a 30-day notice, a 7-day notice for those renting weekly, and a 60-day notice for year-to-year tenancies (Fla. Stat. § 83.57).
  • The notice should direct the tenant to vacate the premises by the end of the specified day.
  • State law bars landlords from retaliatory conduct, meaning you can’t end the rental agreement simply because the tenant did something you don’t like (Fla. Stat. § 83.64).

2. Notice to End a Fixed Term Tenancy


  • Landlords cannot terminate a fixed-term tenancy without cause, so you’ll have to wait for the tenancy to expire.
  • However, whether you must notify the tenant that you do not wish to renew the tenancy depends on your lease agreement.
  • If your lease agreement mandates that the tenant notify you before they vacate your property at the end of the agreement, you must notify them if you don’t intend to renew the tenancy (Fla. Stat. § 83.575).

3. Notice to End Tenancy At-Will


  • Where there’s no tenancy agreement in place, the landlord can end the tenancy by giving notice.
  • For tenants renting weekly, use a 7-day notice; for month-to-month tenancy, a 15-day notice; for quarterly tenancy, a 45-day notice; and a 3-month notice for those renting year-to-year (Fla. Stat. § 83.03).

Eviction Timeline

ReasonCurableLease TypeDurationNotice Period
End of leaseNo
Fixed Term










Not required. The lease terminates immediately unless the lease agreement states otherwise. Then it will be between 30 to 60 days.

7 days

30 days

30 days

60 days

Overdue RentYesAnyAny3 days
Lease ViolationsYesAnyAny7 days
Illegal Activity or
Repeat Violations
NoAnyAny7 days

Tenant Rights in Florida

Landlords can evict tenants for lease violations or dangerous behavior, but tenants have rights to habitable conditions and protection from unlawful eviction or forcible entry.

Self-Help Evictions

Landlords are prohibited from unauthorized actions intended to force a tenant out, such as:

  • Cutting utilities, including gas, water, heat, and electricity.
  • Changing locks or using boot locks or similar devices.
  • Removing doors, roofs, walls, or windows unless it’s to repair, replace, or maintain the property.
  • Taking the tenant’s belongings unless it’s after abandonment or surrender by the tenant or when they take possession after a lawful eviction.

Consequences of violation:

  • If a landlord violates the tenant’s rights by doing any of the above, the tenant can hold them liable for actual and consequential damages or three months’ rent, whichever sum is higher.
  • The tenant can also recover costs, including attorney’s fees.
  • Repeat violations are counted separately from the first violation. So the tenant can recover damages for each violation.
  • The tenant can also pursue additional remedies under any other applicable law apart from these specific practices (Fla. Stat. § 83.67).

Abandoned Property

Florida law gives detailed directions on how to handle abandoned property. Fla Stat. § 715.104 requires landlords to notify the former tenant(s) or anyone they “reasonably believe to be the owner of the property.” The notice must:

  • Describe the property adequately.
  • State where the owner can come to claim the property.
  • Provide the date by which the owner must claim it.
  • Mention that the owner may pay reasonable storage costs when claiming the property.
  • Be personally delivered or sent by first-class mail with prepaid postage to the last known address of the owner.


Florida Eviction Process (2024)


How long does the eviction process take in Florida? ›

How long does the eviction process take in Florida? On average, it takes 20 - 37 days to evict a resident of your rental property in Florida. If the eviction is not contested and the process runs smoothly, it could take as little as 7 - 15 days.

Can you beat an eviction in Florida? ›

If you comply with the eviction notice by either paying all the rent due and owing or correcting the lease violation, then, in Florida, the landlord must not proceed with the eviction (see Fla. Stat. Ann. § 83.56(5)).

How hard is it to evict a tenant in Florida? ›

Steps of Eviction Process in Florida. An eviction process starts with a written notice and ends with a writ of removal. If you follow the right steps, an uncontested eviction can take as little as one week, or an average of 15 days. Sometimes it can take several years under unusual circ*mstances.

Can you be evicted in Florida without going to court? ›

The only lawful way to remove a tenant from a rental property is to follow the termination procedures above, and then get an eviction order from a court. Only a law enforcement officer—such as a sheriff—can physically remove a tenant from a rental. Taking illegal self-help measures can have serious consequences.

How far behind on rent before eviction in Florida? ›

3-day notice

The notice must say that their tenancy is terminated if the tenant doesn't pay within three days. If the tenant fails to pay after the 3-day notice and doesn't move out, Fla. Stat. § 83.56(3) allows a landlord to start a lawsuit for the eviction process.

How do I clear an eviction in Florida? ›

To expunge an eviction, a tenant typically files a form with the court in person, through mail, or e-filing online. The tenant is also required to serve the landlord involved in the action with notice of the filing.

What is a valid defense to an eviction in Florida? ›

Common Defenses to an Eviction Lawsuit

Improper notice, meaning the landlord did not follow proper procedures with the eviction notice. The landlord's failure to maintain the rental unit. The landlord's acceptance of partial rent. Housing discrimination. Misuse of security deposit.

How much does it cost to evict a tenant in FL? ›

Since various fees can apply to the eviction process in Florida, the overall cost can vary. However, on average, you can expect to pay between $3,000 and $4,000. This cost does not include the rent you will lose.

What happens when you get a 24 hour eviction notice in Florida? ›

The 24 HOUR period begins at 12:01 a.m., the business day following the posting, not including weekends or legal holidays. If the tenant does not vacate within the 24 hour period, the Sheriff's deputy will place the landlord in possession of the premises by removing the tenant or tenants.

Can you overturn an eviction in Florida? ›

If you want to stop an eviction, you must file your appeal before you are removed from the rental unit. Once you are evicted (removed), there is no ready way to "undo" the removal and get back into the property.

Can you respond to an eviction online in Florida? ›

Are you being evicted or filed an eviction case? You may be able to resolve your case online. The Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida now offers online dispute resolution for residential eviction cases through courtHELP.

How long does a tenant have to respond to eviction in Florida? ›

A tenant has 5 working days to respond. If they answered and paid the outstanding rent, contact the county court to schedule a trial. Ensure the delivery of the hearing notice to the tenant along with case number, hearing time, date and venue details, and the date of notice.

What is the 7 day eviction notice in Florida? ›

The Florida 7 Day Notice to Vacate is used for incurable violations or re-occurring offenses within a twelve (12) month period. The notice to vacate does not give the tenant a chance to remedy a situation it only offers the option to vacate.

How much does eviction cost in Florida? ›

On average, filing fees for eviction in Florida can be $275 to $556. The tenant must also receive a written notice, and if a process server is used for serving these legal documents, the service fee can range between $30 to $150.

Do evictions go away in Florida? ›

In Florida, an eviction can remain on your record for up to seven years. This information is based on the general practice of credit reporting agencies. However, it's important to note that eviction records can vary depending on the specific circ*mstances and the reporting practices of individual agencies.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Corie Satterfield

Last Updated:

Views: 5349

Rating: 4.1 / 5 (62 voted)

Reviews: 93% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Corie Satterfield

Birthday: 1992-08-19

Address: 850 Benjamin Bridge, Dickinsonchester, CO 68572-0542

Phone: +26813599986666

Job: Sales Manager

Hobby: Table tennis, Soapmaking, Flower arranging, amateur radio, Rock climbing, scrapbook, Horseback riding

Introduction: My name is Corie Satterfield, I am a fancy, perfect, spotless, quaint, fantastic, funny, lucky person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.