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I have a tenant on a month to month basis. I served her with…

Customer Question
I have a tenant...

I have a tenant on a month to month basis. I served her with a 30 day notice and she refused to comply. I've had to hire an attorney to have her "legally" evicted. On March 5th I was advised that I had to give her until April 30th to vacate. She has not paid for March rent and I doubt she will pay for April. She has caused damage to my home, she has stolen from me and makes a mess within my house. Is there anything I can do to get her out prior to April 30th. My house is up for sale and her presence is preventing me from a sale due to her occupancy. She is rude and nasty to prospective buyers. I also have to extend the prospective closing date until she departs.

Lawyer's Assistant: What state is your tenant in? It matters because laws vary by location.

Florida, Broward county

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps has your tenant taken so far?

None

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Not really

Submitted: 3 months ago.Category: Real Estate Law
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Answered in 1 minute by:
3/30/2018
Real Estate Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 3 months ago
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 13,473
Experience: Licensed to practice before state and federal court
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Hello! I am a licensed attorney, admitted to practice in state and federal court. I have a nearly 100% satisfaction rating (click here for more info) so all that means is that you can count on me to help today. Because I want to provide you with the most accurate answer possible, do you mind if I take a moment to review your question?

Please keep in mind that our conversation does not include an attorney-client relationship and this is for general information purposes only.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
ok, I understand
Real Estate Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 3 months ago

I'm sorry to hear about your situation. Because you have begun the eviction process, you've taken the first step toward a legal eviction, but without the court's authority, there isn't a ton that you can do until and unless she commits some crime on the property.

So, the law generally prohibits landlords from physically removing tenants from the property or forcing tenants off the property by shutting off their lights, water, gas, or changing the locks. These are called “self-help” evictions and if a landlord engages in them, the landlord could be liable to the tenant for money damages.

If there is a tenant who has been evicted with proper written notice (e.g. 3-day or 30-day notice), but they do not leave the property, then they are considered a holdover tenant. The landlord of a holdover tenant must go through certain procedures before a tenant can be physically removed from the property. What this means is that the landlord must go to the courts in the county where the property is to get the court’s permission to have the person removed from the property. If there is something living on the property who is not on the rental agreement, there may be additional forms the county may require so be sure to ask. Basically, what the landlord must do is file a lawsuit often called an unlawful/forcibile detainer lawsuit.

Every county has their own specific forms for this. Once you fill out the forms, you should go back to the courthouse and file them. Most lawsuits require a filing fee. The court will stamp that the docs have been received. The court will keep one copy of the received document and the court will give you back the others (one for you to keep and one for you to serve).

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Real Estate Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 3 months ago

When you get those documents, you should go to www.thumbtack.com and find a process server to serve the documents on the tenants. A process server is a person who will serve a copy of the lawsuit on the other party. Service is required when you are suing someone for almost all papers you file with the court. A process server must be at least 18 years old and not involved in the case in any way. If you have a friend or family member who can do it, they can serve it for you, too. Otherwise, most process servers charge something like 50-100 dollars. Once service is complete, the process server will typically have to file a “proof of service” form to swear to the court that they filed the documents.

The tenant will have a chance to raise defenses to your complaint, but regardless, the court will set a trial date, listen to each side, and declare a winner.

Because I value your input, I would like to know whether you have any other questions for me today that I could help you with?

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Real Estate Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 3 months ago

Hi, I noticed that we never had a chance to reconnect on this. I’m totally ready to help. Did you have any follow up questions for me or any other facts to add? If not, would you be so kind as to rate your opinion of my service?

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