Thanks. If your step mother has now died, that life estate terminated automatically at her death. So, you and your brother are now the sole owners and you have the right to force the step siblings out. Unfortunately, if they will not leave voluntarily, you do need to go through the legal process to avoid being accused of an illegal eviction. When there is no lease, the occupants are considered “at will” tenants and treated legally as month to month tenants. As such, you can terminate this tenancy by giving written notice of at least 15 days under Florida law. If they do not leave voluntarily, under Florida law, you will then need to give a 3-Day Notice to Quit...meaning they must vacate the premises within that period or face formal eviction. Then, if they still have not left, you will have to file a petition for an eviction order. Once that is granted...you can have the sheriff evict. Unfortunately, you are not allowed to move their stuff out, change the locks, shut off utilities, or take any other means of "self-help" eviction prior to obtaining the eviction order.
This is the part of my job I don't like...when the law is not in favor of my customer. I wish I could tell you that you could just force them out immediately, but I can only provide you information based on the law so that you can act on the best available information to you. ………..I wish I had better news, but can only hope you recognize and understand my predicament and don't shoot the messenger. I'm sorry!
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