Landlord/Tenant Actions FAQ's
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 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. A real estate company, acting as a landlord's agent, may also file a landlord / tenant action but cannot represent the landlord in court. 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.
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.
WHERE CAN I GET COPIES OF THE DIFFERENT NOTICES REQUIRED? The Clerk's Offices will have forms designed for use in the event of common residential/landlord disputes. There are forms landlords will need to send to tenants to terminate the lease and evict the tenant and forms for tenants to use to give notice to the landlord to end the lease or withhold rent payments.
AFTER I GIVE PROPER WRITTEN NOTICE, WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO? There are different requirements for tenant actions. You may wish to consult an attorney or refer to the public library or law library 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 moneys are deposited in the court registry, you will need to contact the assigned judge's office to schedule a court date. If no response is received or no moneys 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, you may ask the Clerk to execute a Writ of Possession if you anticipate having to forcibly remove the tenant or tenant's possessions.
WHERE CAN I OBTAIN MORE DETAILED INFORMATION ON FILING A RESIDENTIAL LANDLORD/TENANT ACTION? The public library or the law libraries will have the Florida Statutes for reference. The Landlord Tenant Handbook is also a source of information. Supreme Court Approved forms and information are available in the Clerk's Office for individuals filing actions on their own behalf.