The dream of becoming a landlord is one many of us aspire to. But what happens when that dream turns to something else: broken furniture, unpaid rent, and a tenant who avoids your calls?
It's not an everyday occurrence, but it happens. Fortunately, you can protect your real estate investment. Read on for our landlord's guide to managing evictions for your rental property in Florida.
You Must Know Tenant Protection Laws in Florida
As a landlord, it's your responsibility to keep up to date with Florida's eviction laws. That means knowing about any new or changing legislation. Currently, evictions must abide by tenancy laws.
These laws protect your tenants from unfair evictions. It means you need to demonstrate a valid reason if you want to pursue an eviction. That will include non-payment of rent or breaking lease rules.
You can also evict a tenant if they have damaged your property, but not for everyday wear and tear. You must also provide sufficient notice when you inform a tenant of your plan to evict them.
In Florida, that's a minimum of three days for non-payment of rent and seven days for other violations.
The Eviction Process in Florida
When you reach the point where you want to evict a tenant, your first step is to put it in writing. You'll need to outline your reasons for the eviction, providing evidence where appropriate.
Once you have sent this to your tenant, you'll need to allow your tenant time to either move out or remedy the problem. For example, you can give your tenant time to pay any debts on the rent to avoid progressing with the eviction.
If the tenant doesn't leave your rental property by the deadline, your next step is to pursue an eviction through the courts.
Here, you'll need to present your case to a judge with any supporting evidence. During this time, your tenants will also have a chance to defend themselves.
If the judge rules in your favor, they will instruct a sheriff to evict your tenant from your property.
Best Practices Before Evicting a Tenant
You can take specific steps as a landlord to help avoid eviction and ensure the process is stress-free if you do have to go down that route.
First, gather evidence of any issues you have with the tenant, including photographic evidence. And ensure you have a watertight lease. That will help you present a solid case if the problem goes to court.
Secondly, maintain good communication with your tenant. Many problems can be swiftly resolved via a quick phone call.
A Landlord's Guide to Evictions: Protecting Your Property
Evictions may not be the first thing on your mind when you invite a new tenant into your home. But it pays to be prepared for any eventuality. Use this landlord's guide to evictions to help protect your property.
At PMI Central Florida, we have a professional real estate team that can handle all your property management responsibilities. We can also oversee evictions on your behalf. To find out more about our services, head here.