If you own a corporate property like a store or an office space and you rent it out to a business, it’s your worst nightmare when your tenant’s business begins to fail and they stop paying rent as a result. This leaves you in the uncomfortable situation of needing to evict your commercial tenant so that someone else can move into the space and you can start getting paid again. Where do you begin? What will the process be like? Read on to learn how the commercial eviction process works in Florida.

One of the most important things to keep in mind as you begin this process is the importance of going by the book. Don’t give the evicted tenant any reason to sue you or even threaten a lawsuit!

First, talk with an attorney and review the lease agreement to make 100% sure you are not infringing upon any of their rights or breaking the agreement by beginning this process. Next, you will need to give the tenant notice that you intend to begin eviction proceedings. If you are evicting them because they didn’t pay rent, you must give them three days notice. If you are evicting them for another reason, you must give them fifteen days notice. This is not the amount of days before they must vacate the premises, just the number of days before you can actually begin the official eviction process.

Once enough time has passed since you provided the notice, you can file an unlawful detainer complaint with your local state court. Your tenant will then need to be served with a copy of this complaint. The complaint must be thorough — it should include information about how much rent is due as well as who has legal possession of the property and whether your tenant will be required by the lease agreement to pay your attorney fees and court costs.

Your tenant has five days to respond to the unlawful container complaint once they’ve been served. Failure to respond will allow you to win the case by default. If they file a counterclaim, you then have a five-day window of your own to respond. After that, a court date gets scheduled.

Courts typically move quickly in these matters, but at present there may be a delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

You don’t have to handle the commercial eviction process on your own.

Mistakes in this process can be costly. You need to work with an experienced attorney to make sure that the complaint is properly presented so your tenant can be removed as quickly as possible. Don’t take a risk! Contact Atlas Law today to learn how our team can make this process less stressful so that you can get back to your life!