Time to Evict a Tenant? Here’s a Guide for West Palm Beach Landlords

Tenant eviction in West Palm Beach, FL can best be avoided with a thorough screening process, a strong lease that protects you as the landlord, and a large enough security deposit to cover unpaid rent. However, even good tenants can run into problems and it might be necessary to evict someone who isn’t paying rent or following the terms of the lease.

Reasons to Evict a Tenant

Before you can evict a tenant, you need to make sure it’s lawful to do so. Most landlords evict their tenants because rent is not being paid. However, there are other reasons to evict. For example, if you discover that your tenant has allowed unauthorized occupants to move into the property, violated your pet policy, or ignored HOA rules, you have grounds to evict. You can also file for eviction if your tenants don’t comply with federal, state, and local laws.

Deliver Your Notice of Eviction

The first step in your eviction process is to deliver a notice. Depending on your reason for eviction, this will either be a Three Day Notice to Pay or Vacate, or a Seven Day Notice of Non-Compliance. In Florida, if you have a month-to-month tenant, you are required to serve a 15 Day Notice. When the notice period comes and goes and you still don’t have the unpaid rent from your tenant, or the tenant has not taken care of the problem that got your attention, you can move forward with the eviction.

Filing with the County Clerk

After the notice period expires, file your eviction at the clerk’s office. You’ll have to complete an entire eviction packet, and pay the filing fee, which is usually about $200. Once you file the eviction, the clerk will issue a Service of Summons. Send your tenant that Summons as well as a copy of your eviction packet. Then, the tenant has five days to answer. If the tenant doesn’t respond, you can seek a default judgment from the court. If the tenant does respond or pays the rent, you’ll have to schedule a hearing with the court.

Eviction Hearing

When your hearing date arrives, you will go to court and hopefully win your eviction case. When that happens, the sheriff will be ordered to evict your tenant within 24 hours. You’ll get your property back and you can begin preparing it for a new tenant.

Talk to an attorney or a professional property manager when you need to file an eviction. There are a lot of details involved in this process, and everything needs to be handled perfectly, or you’ll end up spending more time and money than necessary to remove your tenant. Contact InvestPro Properties if you have any questions.