Managing a Jacksonville rental property successfully requires the right strategies and insights (while following the law). So, when a property owner has to serve an eviction notice letter, it can be a frustrating event in an effort to protect your property without violating landlord-tenant laws.
Although the eviction process is usually a last resort when dealing with a bad tenant situation, it's vital to follow the right steps. Our Jacksonville property management experts are here to help you serve an eviction notice the right way.
Understand How to Apply Different Types of Eviction Notices
When you've determined that eviction is the course of action you must take, it's helpful to know which type of notice is appropriate for the situation. There are four types of eviction notices that are most common.
14-Day Vacate Notice
This type of eviction notice letter warns that the tenant has 14 days to pay rent. Otherwise, a rental property owner can move forward with the legal court proceedings of an eviction.
10-Day Notice to Comply or Vacate
When a tenant does not comply with a specific part of the lease, the landlord may send a 10-day notice to comply or vacate. This notice gives the tenant ten days to take action to correct the problem. The tenant must ensure they are following the rules and regulations of the lease, or they can choose to leave during this time frame. However, if they fail to comply, property owners can move forward with an eviction.
3-Day Notice for Waste, Nuisance, or Illegal Activity
The State of Florida outlines actions that qualify as a public nuisance. This can include illegal activities or potential destruction of the property. Nuisances can also include noise violations, disturbing neighbors with petty behavior, not caring for pets properly, and discarding appliances on the front lawn.
This notice is very serious and doesn't allow the tenant to remedy it. The renter must leave within three days or face eviction.
When operating under a month-to-month lease agreement, a property owner can give a tenant a 30-day notice to vacate without a cause or reason. This type of removal isn't due to anything the renter did wrong. However, if you want to sell the home or bring in different tenants at a higher rate, this notice lets your current renters know they need to move out within thirty days.
However, during a fixed-term lease, property owners must have a legal reason to evict a tenant.
Common Causes for Eviction
Tenants can be evicted for various reasons, but these are the most common reasons:
- Failure to make rent payments
- The tenant is in violation of the lease (i.e., breaking the lease rules)
- Participation in illegal activity on the premises (i.e., selling drugs out of the home)
Before serving a notice to your resident, consult your attorney and a Jacksonville property manager to make sure you have a legal cause for eviction.
Landlord Do's and Don'ts for an Eviction
It's crucial to follow the proper process for eviction and handle things the legal way. It may be tempting to "self-evict" a renter when they refuse to pay rent or comply with the lease. However, taking that route can lead to legal problems for property owners.
- Review the lease to ensure nothing in it prevents you from taking action.
- Follow the law.
- Work with a lawyer to facilitate a smooth eviction process.
- Talk to a Jacksonville property management company to assist with sending appropriate notices.
- Be calm and patient.
- Don't engage in any confrontations with the tenant.
- Don't change the locks on the property until the eviction is complete and the person has moved out.
- Don't remove the tenant's items.
- Don't require tenants to comply with anything not in the lease.
If you're unsure about any of these "do's" and "don'ts," a property manager can help!
What's the Timeline for Handling an Eviction?
Evictions follow a general timeline that guides the process to reduce the potential for retaliatory behavior or delays in removing the renter.
Property managers can guide you through these timelines, including:
- Provide the tenant with a notice that lets them know how they are in default (i.e., didn't pay rent).
- Allow the tenant time to correct the problem, or they are still in default.
- Prepare eviction papers or hire an attorney to assist you with the paperwork.
- Secure a process server to deliver an eviction notice to the tenant.
- Allow the renter time to respond to the eviction notice.
- Barring there isn't an adequate response, schedule a court hearing.
- Participate in the court hearing, where a judge will examine the evidence and listen to testimony.
- The court makes its ruling.
- The tenant leaves during the allotted time given by the judge, or the sheriff will remove the tenant.
While this might seem like a tedious process when you're anxious for a bad renter to move out, it's crucial to allow the law to do its job while removing a tenant.
Get Help From Jacksonville Property Management Experts for Evictions
Working with a property management company can make the eviction process easier. The right experts can even help you avoid evictions through a strong tenant screening process, routine inspections, and building good relationships with renters. With Spectrum Realty Services, you have the assistance you need to manage renters and operate rental properties legally and profitably! Reach out soon to learn how we help property owners maximize returns.
Learn more about the eviction process when downloading our free resource, "Rental Property Owner's Tenant Eviction Checklist."