Orlando Eviction Process: What to Expect with Essential Steps for Landlords

The Orlando eviction process is an unfortunate but sometimes necessary aspect of property management. It doesn’t come naturally, but as a landlord, you need to understand how to handle an eviction because sooner or later you may have to evict a tenant who violates their lease. Remember this is a business. It’s not personal.

The Typical Eviction: Step-by-Step

If you use an Orlando property management company, they’ll handle many of these steps for you, but you should understand the process and how long an eviction can take. 

Of course, no two evictions will go the same way. Nearly every landlord will have heard an eviction horror story from another property owner (some of them might even be completely true). 

To lessen the chances of becoming the next horror story, follow the specific steps you legally must take to evict someone from a rental home in central Florida.

Assume that the time between each step is about a week although every central Florida county has their own timeline for proceedings. Ask your property manager or attorney what is a reasonable timeline for your property, but expect between 6-10 weeks. And for those thinking they can expedite things by handling this on their own, remember that self-help evictions are illegal in Florida. 

  1. Eviction Filed 

Your property management company will file the eviction motion for you with the local county court. The Realty Medics retain attorneys specializing in tenant evictions to ensure an efficient filing process. (Note: If the eviction is based on non-payment, a 3-day notice must first be placed at the property. The specific verbiage required on the 3-day notice can be found in Chapter 83.56 of Florida State Statute.)  

  1. Filing Received by the Court

Think of this as the notice you receive that the IRS has received your filing. Now you sit and wait for them to address it. How quickly the court addresses your filing depends on the county and their caseload. 

  1. Court Serves the Tenant with an Official Eviction Notice 

Tenants have five days to respond to the court notice. Frankly, the smoothest process happens when the tenant ignores the notice and fails to respond. This happens in approximately 95% of the evictions The Realty Medics have overseen. 

  1. Motion to Default to Final Judgment

If the tenant does not respond within five days, the property management company will move forward with the motion to default to final judgment. 

  1. Request for Writ of Possession

With receipt of the final judgment, the property manager will request a Writ of Possession from the court. This allows them to schedule and date and time for the eviction for you. (Note: Some judges will issue orders for the tenants to pay the past-due rent, which can prolong the eviction process.)

  1. Submit Writ of Possession to Sheriff

With the Writ in hand, your property management company will deliver it to the sheriff’s office. The time from submitting the request to the actual date of eviction depends on how many other evictions were filed ahead of yours. Most county sheriff offices are able to schedule the eviction in about a week or two from when the Writ is submitted to them.

  1. Sheriff Schedules Eviction

The sheriff will call the property managers to schedule the eviction, which typically occurs only 24 hours beforehand. Most importantly, the landlord (or their property manager) must be at the property for the eviction. All of the tenant’s personal belongings must be removed from the property at that time.

General Costs of An Eviction

As you can imagine, with so many legal interactions, the costs of an eviction can run into thousands of dollars. And that doesn’t include any rehab required from tenants less-than-enthusiastic about being evicted. Most commonly, there will be abandoned property to remove, a deep cleaning required, and often some degree of painting will be necessary. 

Having a property manager to oversee the eviction process takes the trial-and-error costs out of the process. It also alleviates much of the emotional and time costs necessary to legally evict someone. 

Clients of The Realty Medics benefit from our relationship with an experienced attorney. We require a $525 eviction start-up fee to start the legal process, but the final expense could exceed $1,000 when all is said and done. All legal fees are charged back to the tenant, who will be sent to collections if their balance is not paid after they’ve been evicted.

However, The Realty Medics offer comprehensive protection plans and eviction protection plan options for our property owner clients. As a benefit, The Realty Medics will cover the legal fees, including the initial start-up fee, for property owners who sign up for either of these plans. 

Delays in the Eviction Process

Unfortunately, if a landlord has to go through the eviction process without the support of a knowledgeable network of experts, things can go sideways quickly. For example, if a tenant fights the eviction notice with the court or files for bankruptcy, this can delay the proceedings for months. 

In addition, if the landlord doesn’t follow proceedings to the letter, they may soon find themselves on the defensive end of the process. For example, if it is found the landlord caused a deficiency of service or accepted rent payment while knowing there was lease noncompliance, a tenant can delay the eviction process or counter-sue the landlord. 

Even filing the wrong paperwork can delay a process that is better handled as quickly and unemotionally as possible. After all, during the entire process, the landlord is not receiving rent money and is paying out of pocket for legal fees.

Trust the Experts

The best way to avoid the headaches of an eviction process is to have a solid screening process to only accept highly qualified tenant applications. Occasionally, even with the best processes, evictions may become necessary. In these instances, property owners should rely on the expertise of those who handle eviction proceedings regularly. 

You can benefit from the best tenant screening processes and the support of specified attorneys when you use The Realty Medics as your Orlando property management company. Learn more about what to expect from a property manager or call our offices at 321-947-7653.