If you have tenants who are not paying their rent, who are destroying and damaging your property, or who are a nuisance to the quiet and peaceful habitation by your other tenants, it is time to start the eviction process by calling a Fort Myers eviction lawyer. Fort Myers and Florida have the laws needed to evict your deadbeat and destructive tenants. The longer you wait, the more rent you lose, the higher your frustration builds.
Fort Myers eviction cases are civil matters heard in the Florida civil courts. The courts are organized county by county with Fort Myers being located in Lee County, Florida. Thus, evictions are heard by judges in the Circuit Court of Lee County. Similarly, the Lee County Sheriff can accomplish service of process and must serve and execute the Writ of Possession if the tenant must be physically removed.
To evict a residential tenant, you must follow these steps:
The Lee Circut Court has an eviction information packet which can be found here.
In general, under Florida law and in Fort Myers, there are three commonly used types of notice: 3-day, 7-day "notice of cure" and 7-day "unconditional quit." Hiring a good eviction lawyer in Fort Myers can ensure that the notices are prepared and delivered correctly. Making mistakes will cost you time and money.
Three-day notices are used for tenants that have failed to pay their rent. This type of notice states the exact amount of rent that is due, gives the tenant three-days (excluding weekends and holidays) to pay and states that the tenancy is terminated if the tenant fails to pay the rent. If the tenant does not pay rent and has not moved out, then the landlord can file an eviction lawsuit. Fla. Stat. § 83.56(3).
Seven day notices are used for tenants who need to be evicted for reasons OTHER than non-payment of rent. There are two versions.
After the 3-day or 7-day notice has been given to the tenants and after the time has expired, you, as the landlord, may file a lawsuit in the county where the property is located -- in this case, Lee County.
To file your lawsuit, you must go to the Lee County Courthouse and file the following documents:
Note that you will need several copies of each. Note also that various fees will be charged.
The complaint tells the court that you are the owner, gives the property address and the name(s) of the tenant(s), explains why the tenant(s) must be evicted and asks the court to evict your tenant. The summons is the legal document that notifies the tenant(s) of your lawsuit. The Lee County Sheriff -- or a process server -- must take a copy of the complaint and the summons to the tenant(s).This gives the court jurisdiction.
Although you can fill out a Complaint, summons and other forms, to do it correctly, you need to hire dedicated Fort Myers lawyers that understand the legal system and the eviction process.
If you want to handle the legal process yourself, the sample eviction forms for filing in Fort Myers can be found here, or for more specific eviction notices, try these:
There is no reason to delay. Start your eviction today. Every day your tenant remains is a day without rent or a day where your tenant continues to violate your lease or the Fort Myers City Ordinances or the laws of the State of Florida.
Evictions can be complicated and, if you make mistakes, your case can be dismissed. You need an eviction lawyer in Fort Myers with the skills and experience to get your tenants evicted.