When you have an agreement with another person or business to occupy property owned by you in exchange for payment, that is called a Tenancy. To remove a Tenant, whether it is for not paying rent or for breaching other parts of the rental agreement, requires the filing of an eviction proceeding.
(Self-help evictions are illegal in Florida and can result in civil and criminal liability.)
But what do you do when the people in your property are not tenants, when you've never had an agreement with them to pay rent, should you file an eviction? No! Eviction cases are only permitted when there is a landlord tenancy relationship involved.
How can I remove them then if the Sheriff won't take them out? There is another process for removing people who either entered your property and remained without your permission (squatters) or people who entered your property with your permission, but now refuse to leave.
Do I need to give them advanced written notice before this other legal process can start? No. Unlike evictions, you do not need to give advanced written notices to people who are unlawfully in possession of your home or investment property.
What would cause the court to deny me the right to remove these people? Another owner giving that person the right to be there. A deed that shows they are in title. The unwelcome individual being a minor under your legal care.
How long does it take to remove an unauthorized person from my property? On average 4-6 weeks, but it can be more if the Sheriff has a very busy schedule or if the Court requests a hearing.
What if the person who is in my property is making alterations or changes to my property that I did not give them permission to do? These activities are considered damage to your property, no matter how aesthetically pleasing the unauthorized occupant thinks they are. Them making unauthorized changes or alterations does not provide a defense for them to be removed from your property.
What if the person is making threats? Do not engage the person. Take and print screenshots of any text threats. Print emailed theats. File a police report. Its important to create a record of any such threats.
I need to hire a lawyer NOW to remove the people in my home who are there without my permission, what should I do? You can email Natalia@lcolawfl.com for a courtesy consultation. We can help you within 48 business hours.
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