Basic Eviction Steps
Rental Agreement -- Nonpayment of Rent
Provide to the tenant a three-day notice of eviction to pay rent due or vacate premises. Do not include day of delivery, weekends, or holidays when calculating time. Notice may be mailed, posted on the door of the rental property, or hand-delivered to the tenant.
If the tenant does not comply with the notice in the time allowed pursuant to the notice, the landlord may file an eviction complaint with the Clerk & Comptroller. A copy of the three-day notice must accompany the complaint at the time of filing.
No Rental Agreement -- Possession of Property Only
When there is not a rental agreement and landlords are evicting a tenant for possession only, tenants must be given a seven-day or 15-day notice to vacate. For rent paid weekly, a seven-day notice applies. For rent paid monthly, 15 days notice must be provided.
For rent paid monthly, the 15th day must be the date rent is due again. If the tenant does not comply within the time allowed pursuant to the notice, the landlord may file an eviction complaint with the Clerk & Comptroller. A copy of the seven-day or 15-day notice must accompany the complaint at the time of filing.
Filing Your Complaint for Eviction
Landlords must determine, prepare, and file the appropriate complaint with the Clerk & Comptroller. The complaint filed will be based on the actions the landlord wishes taken by the Court, e.g., possession, demand for rent due, etc. Landlords must include a copy of the notice provided to the tenant.
Landlords also are required to submit payment for the filing fee: $185 in County Court or $400 in Circuit Court. The following payment types are accepted: cash, credit cards, or checks made payable to Nikki Alvarez-Sowles, Clerk & Comptroller. Payments for fees and costs must be remitted in U.S. currency. Checks must be drawn from a Florida bank.
Service of Your Summons on the Tenant
After the complaint has been filed, the landlord or the Clerk & Comptroller may prepare a summons to be served on the tenant. The summons notifies the tenant of the pending court action and tells him/her what is required. The fee for issuing the summons prepared by the landlord is $10.
Landlords who wish the Clerk & Comptroller to prepare and issue their summons must remit $17, payable to the Clerk & Comptroller. The Clerk & Comptroller will sign and seal the summons and return it to the landlord for service. Landlords should consult the List of Approved Process Servers (PDF).
The tenant must comply with the instructions on the summons and file an original answer with the Clerk & Comptroller, with copies to the landlord, within five days of receipt of the summons, excluding weekends or legal holidays.
Defendant Complies with the Summons
The defendant may file an answer to the landlord's complaint/summons and deposit rent monies into the Court Registry. Landlords then must set their case for a hearing with the Court.
Landlords may submit their request for a hearing in writing and file it with the Clerk & Comptroller, who will forward it with the court file to the assigned judge. Landlords must bring a blank copy of a judgment to the hearing for the Court's ruling and signature.
Defendant Fails to Comply with the Summons
If the defendant fails to respond, the landlord may complete and file with the Clerk & Comptroller a Motion for Clerk & Comptroller's Default and the appropriate judgment form. These forms are contained in the Landlord/Tenant packet.
The Court will either set the case for hearing or grant the landlord possession of the property. If the judge grants the landlord possession of the property, (s)he may request a Writ of Possession to be issued by the Clerk & Comptroller.
Executing Landlord's Writ of Possession
At the time they request the Clerk & Comptroller to prepare a Writ of Possession, landlords must remit $90 in a check made payable to the Pasco County Sheriff. The Clerk & Comptroller will forward the paperwork and check to the Sheriff, who will contact the landlord and post the writ on the property.
Enforcing Landlord's Judgment
There are numerous methods by which to enforce a landlord's judgment. Upon request, the Clerk & Comptroller can assist with the filing of a judgment lien for any rent money specified in the judgment still outstanding. Landlords can file a judgment lien by purchasing a certified copy of the judgment from the Clerk & Comptroller.
The certified copy of the judgment, recorded in the Official Records of the County, establishes a lien on any real property owned by the defendant in that county. See Chapter 55, Florida Statutes, for complete instructions.The costs for this procedure are:
- $1 per page for copies
- $2 to certify the judgment
- $10 to record the first page
- $ 8.50 to record each additional page
Required documents include:
- One copy for your records
- Two sets of copies per defendant with stamped envelopes
- Original for filing
- Final Judgment/Copies
- One copy per defendant with stamped envelopes
- Original for judge and file
Notice To Parties Not Represented By An Attorney
For parties with questions or concerns about these forms, instructions, commentary, the use of the forms, or their legal rights, consulting an attorney is strongly recommended. For attorney information, call the Florida Bar Lawyer Referral Service at (800) 342-8011, or visit the West Pasco Bar Association.