Below is a general description of the eviction process and costs involved, not including legal fees. The Florida eviction process involves going through a lot of hands. Miscommunications and mistakes are not uncommon. As the eviction winds its way through all the parties, a good eviction lawyer knows how to keep on top of everything – make sure to get status updates from your Florida eviction lawyer.

Find Florida eviction lawyers in your county at Property Manager Pages. Below is a summary of the process. There are several possible ways a tenant may be evicted: for non-payment of rent, non-payment of other amounts due such as security deposits and pet fees, violating the rules of the property, violating the law, interfering with other tenants’ right to enjoy their use of the property or staying after their lease expires without consent:

1. 3-Day Notice or 7-Day Notice or 7-Day Notice to Cure or Notice of Non-Renewal is Served. Do not include the day of service of the Notice, weekends or holidays. Be extra careful to fill out the form correctly – if you’re not sure, ask your Florida eviction attorney.

2. Upon expiration of the applicable time period, file original complaint plus copies for each tenant with the County Clerk. For each tenant, include a copy of the lease if there is one and the Notice. Make sure the complaint is signed in front of a deputy clerk or notarized. The filing cost to the clerk of the court is $185 in Florida.  The case must be filed in the county where the rental property is situated.

3. The County Clerk issues an Eviction Summons. The clerk of court also charges $10 for each summons to be issued, which is for each tenant.  The Summons must be served by either the Sheriff in the county where the eviction case is filed, or by a licensed private process server.

4. Some Florida Sheriff’s offices allow a private server to serve the Eviction Summons. Other Sheriff’s offices do not allow private servers to perform this function. Most Sheriff’s offices charge per tenant. Sheriff’s charges usually range between $10 – $45 per tenant. Private servers are usually a little more expensive. However an eviction attorney will usually contract with a private process server to charge a lower amount. If permitted, it may help expedite the process to use a private server – especially during holiday seasons.

5.  The tenant is afforded five days – again, not counting weekends, holidays and day of service of process – to answer/respond to the summons. If the tenant responds and deposits the funds with the court, you or your attorney need to schedule a court hearing.

6. If the tenant does not respond within the five days, you or your eviction lawyer can file Motion for Default with the Clerk of Court in order to get a Final Judgment for Possession and Writ of Possession. Once Default is entered by the Clerk, the Judge will review the file and enter a Final Judgment for Possession and direction for the Clerk to issue the Writ of Possession. If the tenant does respond, then different and additional procedures are involved which can include striking the response, requiring the tenant to deposit rent into the clerk of court registry, mediations, hearings to determine rent to deposit into the clerk of court registry and trials.

7. You or your attorney will give the Clerk the original Final Judgment for Possession together with copies for all tenants and you.

8. The County Clerk issues a Writ of Possession to the Sheriff.

9. The Sheriff posts the Notice of Removal on the tenant’s door. The Notice of Removal gives 24 hours notice for the tenant to vacate and remove their personal property.  The Sheriffs charge a fee of between about $90 to $115 for their services.  After 24 hours – which may mean the following day to several days – the Sheriff returns to perform the physical removal of the tenants.  The Sheriff is not a moving company or a locksmith -  his responsibility is to perform the removal of any occupants and to keep the peace.  So the landlord must have access to the property, either with a spare key or with a locksmith, and have people present to remove the tenants’ personal property in the rental property to the property line.  Additional rules and procedures are involved in dealing with tenants’ personal property that must be complied with.

10. Usually the tenant leaves before the Sheriff shows up to force him out. The Sheriff generally remains on the property during the removal for about 15 minutes.  If the tenant attempts to return after the removal, the tenant should be considered a trespasser, and the police can be contacted.

The above is a general explanation of the process and is not all inclusive nor should it be considered the giving of any legal advice or opinion.  The above process is for eviction only and does not include the additional processes, forms, fees and laws related to collection of any sums due from the tenant.  For governmental sponsored properties including Section 8, voucher properties and tax credit properties, additional laws, rules, forms and procedures may apply.

Thanks to attorney Kevin Fabrikant for his help with this post. Kevin can be reached at 954-966-0881 or see profile for The Eviction Law Firm. The Eviction Law Firm does evictions throughout all of Florida.




    • I agree, Robert. The longer you wait, the depper the tenant gets into a hole.

      • And what about the landlords who retaliate against tenants like me? I am being non-renewed for retaliatory reasons after NINE years without ever being late on my rent.

        THIS is why laws are on the tenants’ side. Because of unscrupulous landlords.

        • The fact that there are some unscrupulous landlords does not mean that laws should be biased against landlords. There are also dishonest tenants. The best justice system is one that is not biased either way.

          • Laws are made in this fashion to do what is called “checks and balances.” If this does not exist it opens the door to additional civil lawsuites for misinformation and discriminitor acts. This is when someone could sue and win on something called “culpable negligence;” the act of injuring another with careless intent to the truth.

            Shirsch, sorry you are a landlord who does not like the law, but if you don’t like it there is always an option- sel your property and get out. I am with Kathy. Laws are formed not scewed to one side or another, but to bring balance. It is when the judge decides to give his/her spin on the issue that mucks up the law.

            Laws are not full proof but are there to try to protect all involved.

        • Hey Kathy,
          whats the real reason for your “non-renewed”, paying your rent on time, alone, dose not guarantee you a renewal, there are other factors, that I’d like to know.
          Tell us about it, Kathy…..

        • i strongly disagree tenants have far more rights then landlords. Landlords are the ones paying all fees to the state and the courts and to police force just to evict a non paying tenant

        • I just bought a piece of property with a house a guy lives there doesnt pay rent has no lease from me the new owner i want to move into my house but he is protected i am not he wont go so put yourself in this inherited landlord shoes. Now i have to pay 10,000 to an attorney for eviction

        • Kathy, keep in mind that the landlord is investing his/her money, time, and bearing all the risk. We have all been tenants at on time or another and yes there are some downsides (like everything else in life). I suggest you save some money and roll the dice, take a risk just once in your life and try to start a business. Become a Landlord (yes, it is a small business) and experience the other side, believe me, it will be enlightening.

        • @ Kathy…not all landlords are unscrupulous, but have you given the thought that some tenants pick the fights..we have a pair in the process of eviction because they have been harrassing us the home owners (we own a front-end duplex). One picks fights with the one who actually pays the rent (tenants are girlfriends), the agressor throws the other up against the wall when they have fights, mind you this happens at 1:30 am and 3:30 am when one is asleep. These two have no regard for those around them or us the landlords. They have racked up the water bill to $200 just between them two since they wash cloths daily..and no there are no kids its two grown women with a dog. Have had to call a plummer cause they’ve thrown a bottle cap down the toilet and caused us money. Now they are destroying the a/c we put it a year ago. So yes I agree with Shirsh there are some dishonest tentants that force the landlords to do such things.

    • 15days!!! Up here in Maryland, it takes a minimum of 45 days to get rid of a non-paying tenant. I may start buying prperty down there.

  2. Question? After writ of possession is issued and the eviction completed, if the tenant is able to come with the amount of back rent in total, is there a possibility of being able to return to the property and fulfill the lease?

  3. What about someone like me. I’ve been evicted while I was out of town.I came back to having a final judgments because I never responded to the papers plus that was all I got. Nothing else so now I have a 24hr notice coming by Monday to move out and I have 2 kids since my husband had to get work out of state

  4. Can I sue the association that manages the condo I rent for denying access to the electrical Room in order to check an outage in my apartment which is in foreclore, understanding the “owner” hasn’t paid Association fees for about two years?

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