How do I evict a tenant?
County Court does not give legal advice regarding Evictions. However, you can obtain forms from
flcourts.org, through turbocourt.com, or an office supply store. For additional information,
you may need to seek legal advice from an attorney.
What steps must be taken before an eviction can be filed?
Before you can file a removal of tenant action, proper written notice must first be given to the tenant.
The form of the notice will depend on the landlord reason for terminating the lease.
Who can file a residential landlord or tenant action?
A landlord (the owner or lessor of a dwelling) or a tenant (a person entitled to occupy a dwelling unit
under a rental agreement) may file a Residential Landlord or Tenant Action. If you have a commercial,
agricultural or personal property lease, you should consult an attorney for the proper procedures to
After proper written notice, what are the next steps?
You must file a petition and request the Clerk to issue a summons, and deliver the summons to the Sheriff
or a private process server for service. Bring the following documents with you when you come to file the
action: Petition: original and two copies (original for the court file, one copy for service, and one
copy for mailing from the Clerk's office) For each additional defendant, add two copies. Summons:
original and three copies for each defendant Lease Agreement: three copies (one for the court file;
one for service; and one for mailing)Two additional copies for each additional defendant are required.
Notice: three copies (one for the court file, one for service; and one for mailing) Two additional copies
for each additional defendant are required. A stamped envelope, addressed to the tenant.
Do I need an attorney?
It is recommended that you consult with an attorney to obtain advice and to familiarize yourself with the
procedures for enforcing your rights under your lease. The residential landlord/tenant relationship is
controlled by the terms of your lease and by Chapter 83 of the Florida Statutes. The procedures for
enforcing your rights can be found in section 51.011, Florida Statutes. The public library and County
Law Library will have these reference materials.
May a lease for real estate be oral?
A lease is an agreement to rent property and it may be written or oral. Most are written, however,
because oral agreements can be subject to misunderstandings or difficulties of proof.
When will I go to court?
The party served the summons will have a specific period of time in which to respond, depending on the
type of summons issued. If a response is filed and/or moneys deposited into the court registry, the
file will be sent to the Judge for further action.
What happens when a Final Judgment for Eviction is entered?
If the Court enters a Final Judgment for Eviction against the party, you may ask the Clerk to issue a
Writ of Possession. The Writ must be served by the Sheriff's Office.
What if a tenant fails to pay rent?
Chapter 83 of the Florida Statutes provides that the landlord serve the tenant with a written notice
allowing three (3) days excluding weekends and legal holidays for the tenant to pay the rent or vacate
the premises. If the rent is not paid within the three (3) days, the landlord may begin the eviction
process. The landlord files suit in the office of the Clerk of the County Court, Civil Division, in the
county in which the dwelling is situated. The tenant then has five (5) days excluding weekends and legal
holidays to respond in writing to the court by filing the response with the Clerk of the County Court
Civil Division. If there is no response from the tenant within the required time, a default judgment is
entered against the tenant. If there is a response filed, upon request the court will schedule a trial
at which each party has an opportunity to present its case. If after trial the court enters a judgment
against the tenant, the Clerk of the County Court will issue a "Writ of Possession" to be served by the
sheriff notifying the tenant that the tenant will be evicted in 24 hours.
What is a “Writ of Possession”?
A Writ of Possession is a directive issued by the court instructing the sheriff’s department to enforce a
Court Order for possession by taking possession of a particular property and evicting those named in the
order from the premises.