FAQ: Landlord/Tenant

What is a Residential Landlord or Tenant Action?

A Residential Landlord/Tenant action applies to the rental of a non-commercial dwelling unit and is an action filed by a landlord against a tenant or a tenant against a landlord on common disputes such as payment of rent, non-compliance or breach of a lease or rental agreement.

Who can file a Residential Landlord or Tenant Action?

A landlord (the owner or leaser 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 resolve disputes.

Do I need an attorney?

You may wish to consult with an attorney or 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 Part II of Chapter 83 of the Florida Statutes. The procedure for enforcing your rights can be found in section 51.011 Florida Statutes which are often referred to as summary proceedings. However, because of the complexity of the Landlord/Tenant laws in Florida, we strongly recommend that use an attorney.

What do I have to do to file a Residential Landlord/Tenant Action?

Before you can file a residential landlord/tenant action, proper written notice must first be given to the landlord or the tenant. The form of the notice will depend on the landlord’s or tenant’s reason for terminating the lease.

After I give proper written notice, what do I have to do?

In order to file a landlord action, you must file a complaint and request that the Clerk issue a summons and deliver the summons to the Sheriff or process server for service.

There are different requirements for tenant actions. If you have questions, please consult an attorney for detailed information.

When will I go to court?

The party served the summons will have a specific period of time in which to respond dependent upon the type of summons issued. If a response is filed or monies are deposited in the court registry, you will need to motion for a hearing or a mediation may be scheduled. If no response is received or no monies are deposited in the court registry, you may file a Motion for Default with the Clerk’s Office.

If the court enters a default, what happens?

If the Court enters a Final Judgment against a party in default and the final judgment is for eviction, the Landlord may ask the Clerk to execute a Writ of Possession if the Landlord anticipates having to forcibly remove the tenant or tenant’s possessions.