There are several reasons to pursue for residential eviction litigation. Among these are: (1) non-payment of rent; (2) termination of the lease; (3) termination of the lease through recurring violations; (4) security deposit disputes; (5) right of the landlord to enter the leased premises; and (6) unlawful detainer pursuit to Chapter 82, Fla. Stat. If a tenant fails to pay rent or is otherwise in breach of the lease contract, the eviction process is not complicated, but each requirement must be fulfilled completely. The landlord or representative shall deliver a 3-Day Notice of Termination which details the reason the eviction process has been undertaken (rents owed/other breach). The tenant then has several options: pay the rent, resolve the disputed issue, vacate the property, make a counter-demand or do nothing. If the tenant does not comply with the demand of rent or resolve the breach issues, the eviction litigation commences with a complaint and summons served for possession. The tenant then has 5 business days to pay all back rent or resolve all issues and file an answer to the summons. If the tenant fails, a final judgment for possession is entered. The judge will review the case and determine if the landlord’s claim is valid and if so will approve the claim. The clerk will then enter the final judgment and a civil sheriff will evict the tenant.
As in commercial evictions, personal Bankruptcy filing can also have serious implications for the residential eviction process. 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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