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How do commercial evictions work in Florida?

As a commercial landlord, a strong relationship with your tenants is crucial to your livelihood. While most will pay you on time each month, some may tend to pay their rent late – if at all. Other tenants may not uphold their lease’s terms, whether through misusing the premises or damaging your property. When a tenant is in arrears or disrespects your space, you may consider evicting them. Doing so is never fun. But it’s important to understand how commercial evictions work in Florida so you can follow the proper steps when pursuing one.

Florida’s commercial eviction laws

In Florida, commercial landlords must give tenants three business days’ notice before starting eviction proceedings. This window only applies to evictions caused by the nonpayment of rent. If you are evicting your tenant for other reasons, you will have to give 15 days’ notice before beginning the process. If your tenant fails to pay you or take corrective action, you will need to file an unlawful detainer complaint against them. Upon receiving your complaint, your tenant has five days to respond to it, which they have the right to file a counterclaim against.

If your tenant files a counterclaim, you two will make your cases in court. Non-payment judgments tend to favor the landlord. Yet, it is crucial to gather as much evidence as possible to make your case, especially if the eviction stemmed from other circumstances. If the judge rules in your favor, your tenant has five days to vacate your property, which a posted sheriff’s notice will enforce. Yet, your tenant may try and remain on your premises. If they fail to vacate after five days, you can have a sheriff put locks on your doors to keep them out of your property. And you will then serve your tenant a notice of belief of abandonment. This notice decrees that you will sell or dispose of their property if they fail to claim it within a certain time frame.

Stand up for your rights

You have the right to receive rent as a commercial landlord. If your tenant does not uphold their end of the bargain, it is within your purview to begin eviction proceedings against them. An attorney with commercial real estate experience can help you through the process.