There are 4 main reasons to evict a commercial tenant: (1) non-payment of rent; (2) non-monetary material; (3) holdover by tenant after termination of the lease; and (4) personal property of the former tenant. In a rent nonpayment situation, as a landlord, proper notice must be given pursuant to the lease. If the lease is silent on notice, a 3-day notice is required. (§83.20(2), Fla Stat.) If the tenant fails to pay all rest as defined in the lease as due and owing within 3 business days after notice, the landlord may file suit in county court. For summary proceedings (§51.011, Fla Stat.), provides the tenant with 5 days to respond from service of the summons and complaint. If the tenant responses but fails to deposit rent due as alleged in the complaint, the landlord may move to strike all defenses. (§83.232(5), Fla Stat.) In a non-monetary material default, the tenant breaches the lease in some way other than non-payment of rent. The landlord must closely review the default and notice provisions of the lease. After careful analysis, the landlord must follow the provisions specifically by providing notice to the tenant of the exact nature of the breach and time in which the tenant must cure the defect. Once that time to cure has passed, if the tenant is still in breach, the landlord may proceed toward filing suit. If a tenant refuses to surrender possession at the end of the lease term, the landlord may file suit in county court for possession and/or holdover (which involves double rent). (§83.06, Fla Stat.) In the event that personal property remains on the formerly leased premises, the landlord must adhere to §§715.10 and 715.111, Fla Stat.
Bankruptcy filings have serious implications in real estate. When a debtor files for bankruptcy, there is an immediate stay on evictions. Defenses to this action would be to file an expedited motion demonstrating the bankruptcy was a bad faith filing. In order to do this, the indebtedness must be demonstrated, allegations of harm to the landlord must be asserted and an immediate hearing should be urgently requested.
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