Eviction vs Ejectment In Florida Real Estate
Landlord-tenant relationships are fairly straightforward; a tenant rents space from a landlord, until they decide to leave and rent elsewhere. However, sometimes complications arise – either a tenant may refuse to leave, or someone with no claim at all to the property may wind up staying there. In this event, a landlord has options, though they must be certain to start the correct procedure in motion. Determining whether an eviction or ejectment is appropriate will depend on the situation.
Eviction: For Tenants Only
Eviction proceedings in Florida are designed for a landlord to file against a tenant who refuses to leave premises. That said, a landlord cannot simply start eviction proceedings against a tenant unless certain criteria are met – a tenant has a lease, meaning that a contract has been concluded between them and the landlord, which grants the tenant certain rights. If nothing else, notice of termination of tenancy must be provided, giving the tenant appropriate time to vacate the premises before they can be said to be in breach.
Florida law requires at least 3 days of notice prior to the beginning of eviction proceedings if it is occurring due to nonpayment of rent, though the notice itself is not part of the proceedings. In other words, if the tenant receives the notice and then pays the rent within the 3-day notice period, the landlord no longer has a cause to pursue eviction. If no payment is forthcoming, the eviction can proceed.
Ejectment: No Tenancy Exists
Ejectment is the procedure used by landlords to remove those from their property who do not have a lease or a tenancy – in essence, squatters. Since no tenancy exists, there are far fewer requirements for ejectment proceedings; most notably, no notice is required before the landlord begins proceedings. Essentially, there is no relationship between the parties, so there is nothing to repair or correct. The landlord is simply removing someone from their property who has no legal right to remain.
In order to establish a claim for ejectment, all a landlord needs to do is to establish their legal title to the parcel or property in question, and that they have been dispossessed by the squatter. Florida has, in recent years, also placed most ejectment cases on a fast track of sorts, hoping to wind up the less complex cases quickly in order to ease the burden on overtaxed District Courts, so it is likely (though not guaranteed) that an ejectment case will be handled quickly.
Contact A Tampa Landlord-Tenant Attorney
If you own property and there is someone present who should not be, you have the right to have them ousted. A Tampa landlord-tenant attorney can help you determine which path is right for you, and how best to proceed through the legal system. Attorney Alicia Seward and the Seward Law Office are ready to try and assist you. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation.