Eviction / Landlord Tenant Law
Are you a landlord in need of eviction services? Avoid any problems; skip the forms service and hire an attorney. Fast service, fixed rates available for uncontested matters. Please call attorney Tom Oates at 954-942-6500, extension 3. Expedited services available.
How the Eviction Process Works
Evictions, wether residential or commercial, is the only legal way to remove a tenant from a property for nonpayment of rent, breach of a material condition of the lease, or due to the termination of a lease. The evictions process can be broken into two distinct parts:
Step 1 – Termination of the lease by the expiration of a proper notice (ex. three day notice), the filing of a summons, cover page and complaint for possession of the property along with the attached exhibits including the lease and notice. The complaint is served on the tenants by a process server and are commanded by the summons to file a response within 5 days, not including weekends or holidays, or risk a default. Often times the tenant will move out at this stage and the case can be dismissed without taking any further action.
Step 2 – If the tenant doesn’t move out, the only legal way to retake possession is to apply for and receive a writ of possession. In this step a default package is submitted to the court including a motion for default, proposed final judgment and the writ of possession. Once the judge signs the final judgment, the clerk will issue the writ of possession and it is sent to the local law enforcement agency. Once law enforcement gets the writ they will post a copy of the writ along with a notice requiring the tenant to vacate the premises within 24 hours. Thereafter, law enforcement will make an appointment to come back to the property, and if the tenant is still in the premises, they will remove the tenant and return possession to the landlord or their agent. At this time the landlord should change the locks.
How long does an eviction take? The time required to complete an eviction depends on several variables. It takes time to serve notices and the complaint, allow the required time for those notices and summons to expire, together with the clerks processing times and the time that is required for the matter to be placed before the judge for a ruling. Our general estimate of time to completion is usually less than 30 days. We employ couriers and only the most efficient process servers to try to minimize the delay and quickly obtain a judgment for possession.
How much does it cost? While we do offer fixed rates for uncontested evictions, if the tenant files an answer or other response the matter then becomes contested. Please call to discuss the fees and estimated costs involved in your eviction. While obtaining a judgment against your tenant for unpaid rent or damages to the rental property is not included in our fixed rate evictions, it may be done in the same action for an additional fee. If you choose not to pursue a judgment for unpaid rent or damages in your action for possession only, you can file a seperate collection for unpaid rent or damages later.