In Florida, landlords may remove a tenant who does not pay their rent. This is how.

If a renter fails to pay rent in Florida, the landlord has the right to remove the tenant from the leased property. After getting an eviction notice, a tenant has three days to either pay the rent or vacate the premises.

Florida Rent Due Dates

Unless otherwise stated in the lease or rental agreement, rent is normally payable on the first day of each month, including weekends and holidays. If the due date comes on a weekend or holiday, some landlords may specify in the lease or rental agreement that rent would be due on the following business day.

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Eviction Notices for Nonpayment of Rent in Florida

If a tenant fails to pay rent on time, the landlord may issue a three-day notice for failing to pay rent, or a notice with a similar designation. The renter is then given three days to pay the rent or vacate the premises. The three-day period starts when the notice is handed to the renter. Weekends and legal holidays are not included as part of the three-day period (see Fla. Stat. Ann. 83-56(3)). This implies that if rent is due on a Thursday and the landlord issues the three-day notice for failing to pay rent the following day (Friday), the tenant has until the following Wednesday to pay payment or vacate the rented property.

Florida contains information Three-Day Notifications

The three-day notice for failing to pay rent in Florida must be written and contain the following statement:

“You are hereby notified that you owe me __ dollars for the rent and use of the premises (address of leased premises, including county), Florida, now occupied by you, and that I demand payment of the rent or possession of the premises within 3 days (excluding Saturday, Sunday, and legal holidays) from the date of delivery of this notice, i.e. on or before the _ day of , (year).

(Name, address, and phone number of landlord).”

This remark is taken straight from Florida state law concerning three-day eviction notices and must be included in the eviction notice provided to the tenant (see Fla. Stat. Ann. 83-56(3)).

It is preferable to provide the following information in the three-day notice:

The date the notice was served on the tenant(s), an ultimatum that the landlord may take legal action (an eviction lawsuit) if the tenant does not pay the rent or relocate, and a statement describing how the notice was presented to the tenant, either in person or by mail.

The Florida State Bar website has an example three-day notice for failing to pay rent.

In Florida, three-day notices are served.

Under Fla. Stat. Ann. 83-56(4), the landlord has three alternatives for serving the three-day notice:

1. The landlord or a landlord’s representative might physically deliver the notice to the tenant at the rented property.

2. A copy of the three-day notice may be sent by ordinary mail, registered mail, or certified mail. If the landlord sends the notice via mail, the landlord should seek a return receipt.

3. If the landlord is unable to provide the notice directly to the tenant, the landlord may post the three-day notice at the rental unit in a prominent location, such as taped to the front door.

If the landlord fails to properly serve the notice, the landlord must generate a new notice and restart the procedure. The three-day notice will not be effective unless the landlord serves the tenant correctly in one of the three methods specified above.

Tenant Options in Florida When Served With a Three-Day Notice

What happens next is determined on the tenant’s reaction to the three-day notice:

If the tenant pays the rent within three days, the landlord is not allowed to continue with the eviction (see Fla. Stat. Ann. 83-56(5)). If the tenant fails to pay rent in the future, the landlord must begin the eviction procedure all over again.
If the tenant fails to pay the rent but leaves within three days, the landlord may utilize the security deposit (if any) to repay the unpaid rent. If the security deposit does not cover the whole amount of rent owed, including late fees, the landlord may sue the renter for the amount still unpaid. Florida Statute Ann. 83-49 specifies how the landlord must utilize the security deposit and how to appropriately inform the renter of its usage.
If the tenant does not pay the entire rent within three days and does not vacate the premises, the landlord may file a summons and complaint in county court to obtain possession of the property (see Fla. Stat. Ann. 83-59).

Eviction Proceedings in a Florida Court

Before an officer of the law may lawfully take control of the property, the landlord must successfully win the eviction case in court. It is critical that landlords do not participate in “self-help” methods (such as changing locks or turning off utilities) and that they follow the eviction complaint filing processes (see Fla. Stat. Ann. 83-67).

Forms 5, 5a, and 7 of the Florida State Bar website include example complaint forms for eviction and rent recovery in Florida.

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