Is your landlord trying to illegally evict you?
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Florida Statute 83.67(3): A landlord cannot evict a tenant without taking the proper legal procedures
A landlord of any dwelling unit governed by this part shall not prevent the tenant from gaining reasonable access to the dwelling unit by any means, including, but not limited to, changing the locks or using any bootlock or similar device.
You don't have to accept a wrongful eviction attempt.
Florida landlords must follow specific rules and procedures when evicting a tenant. The state forbids landlords from taking the law into their own hands. Examples of illegal “self-help” evictions include changing the locks, removing the front door, or turning off the heat or electricity—all of which may be the basis for a tenant suing a landlord. Florida tenants may sue for actual damages or whichever is greater. A tenant may recover court costs and attorney fees.
A landlord must follow these steps before the tenant can be lawfully evicted:
- Give the tenant a written notice of lease termination (or notice to vacate), asking the tenant to leave by a certain date.
- File an eviction case in court if the tenant does not move out by the date in the landlord's notice.
- Win the eviction case and get an eviction order from the judge.
- Get a final 24-hour notice (“Writ of Possession”) issued from the court and have it posted on the rental home.
- Have the Sheriff come out to the property and evict the tenant. (The Sheriff will then allow the landlord to change the locks and remove any of the tenant's belongings that are still inside the home.)
If you are being wrongfully evicted, your first step should always be to communicate with your landlord. This can be done via phone call, email, or text. If your landlord ignores your requests, you should send written legal notice drafted by an attorney. This written notice is often enough to get your landlord to respond. It also serves a as a necessary form of proof if the dispute ultimately turns into a legal battle.
Tenant's Clinic and tenantsclinic.com offers affordable, unbundled legal services to tenants who may be having their rights violated by their landlord. All of our documents are reviewed by experienced tenant legal representatives and are prepared in accordance with all applicable Florida statutes and Florida Court Rules.