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.
A landlord (the owner or leaser 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. If you have a commercial, agricultural or personal property lease, you should consult an attorney for the proper procedures to resolve disputes.
You may wish to consult with an attorney or familiarize yourself with the procedures for enforcing your rights under your lease. The residential landlord/tenant relationship is controlled by the terms of your lease and by Part II of Chapter 83 of the Florida Statutes. The procedure for enforcing your rights can be found in section 51.011 Florida Statutes. The public library will have these reference materials. Forms approved for use in the Ninth Judicial Circuit are available in the Clerk’s Office for individuals filing landlord/tenant actions on their own behalf (pro-se).
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.
The Clerk’s Office will have packets that have been provided by the Florida Bar Association for purchase that are designed for use in the event of common residential/landlord disputes. The cost of the three (3) day packet for nonpayment of rent is $6.00; the seven (7) day packet for noncompliance with written lease is $4.50; and the fifteen (15) day packet for no specific term is $6.00. The tenant packet is $1.80.
In order to file a landlord action, you must file a complaint and request that the Clerk issue a summons and deliver the summons to the Sheriff or process server for service. The necessary documents are in the eviction packet.
There are different requirements for tenant actions. If you have questions, please consult an attorney or refer to the public library or law library for detailed information. If you have questions regarding the forms in the packet or the instructions, please refer to Florida Statute 83. The Clerk’s Office cannot answer questions regarding forms or interpret instructions.
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 monies are deposited in the court registry, you will need to motion for a hearing or a mediation may be scheduled. If no response is received or no monies are deposited in the court registry, you may file a Motion for Default with the Clerk’s Office.
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.
The public library or the law libraries will have the Florida Statutes for reference. The Landlord/Tenant Handbook is also a source of information. Pro Se forms and information are available in the Clerk’s Office for individuals filing actions on their own behalf.