For landlords, evictions are a necessary part of the business. They are also one of the more complicated parts of the business and can take up an extraordinary amount of time and energy. There are some strategies, however, to make things go a little faster.
1) Follow the rules correctly. Failure to follow the requirements of the eviction laws will result in tenants being able to stall evictions and the landlord continuing to lose income as well as having to expend funds to rectify the mistakes. One the best ways to prevent this is to limit the technical mistakes both in the paperwork and in the notice provisions to ensure that you are not handing your tenant an extra month’s delay on a plate.
2) Do your homework. Ensure that you have the names of all of the adult residents listed on your notice. This includes not only those adults who were listed on the lease but also those who have established a tenancy since the lease was signed. Figure out the amount owed and if it is more than the rental amount listed in the lease, figure out why and be prepared to explain it. Keep an eye out for a payment from your tenant, which, in some cases, may stop the process right there.
3) Get your dates right. If you are using the three-day notice, remember that the three days does NOT include Saturday, Sunday, legal holidays, AND the day that you serve the notice.
4) Know your rights. The amount of notice required and the ability of the landlord to evict the tenant relatively quickly depends in large part upon the violation of the tenant. In cases where the tenant intentionally destroys the rental property or property of other tenants, commits the same lease violation two times in a 12 month period, or creates an unreasonable disturbance, the landlord is allowed under Florida law to give an unconditional quit notice in which the tenancy is terminated at the end of a seven-day period, regardless of whether the tenant cures the violation or not.
If the violation is failure to pay rent, the landlord has the option to issue a three-day notice to pay or quit. If the tenant fails to pay at the end of the three days, the landlord can file the eviction. Of course, this is the three-day period that must be calculated so very carefully because failure to follow the requirements of the rule will result in the landlord having to start the process over again and the tenant being allowed to remain.
5) Consider a stipulation. This is an agreement between the landlord and tenant where the tenant agrees to pay certain amounts to the landlord but also agrees to vacate the property. It also sets forth what will happen if the tenant fails to make the necessary payment and/or vacate the property in the time period given. This has the benefit of becoming an order of the court upon being signed by the judge in the proceedings and can be a potent final judgment. A stipulation with the tenant can shave off considerable delay caused by tenant maneuvering and ensure the landlord a favorable outcome with some payment and an eviction.
If you are a landlord with an eviction issue, another great way to speed up the process is to get legal counsel involved from the start. Brian Chase is an attorney who can be there with you at every step and save you considerable time in securing a legal and enforceable eviction or stipulation. Call 813.241.8269 today to get started.