Do you need to serve a notice in an unlawful detainer?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Do you need to serve a notice in an unlawful detainer?

There is no rental agreement, and we have tried to
get him to leave before but refuses. I just wanted to
know if we should serve a notice before filing an
unlawful detainer.

Asked on November 16, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you must. Someone whom you initially  allowed to enter & stay in your property may remain until given notice to leave; therefore, as a precursor to any unlawful detainer action, you must show you provided notice to the occupant that he must leave. Written notice is therefore a prequisite, since you can't prove oral (that, not "verbal," is the correct term) notice if the other side disputes it. Send him written notice sent simultaneously by: certified mail, return receipt requested; regular mail; hand delivery; and if you have his email or cell number, a PDF or photograph of the notice sent electronically to him--you want be able to prove that you sent the notice. Given him at least 30 days to vacate to be certain you've provied sufficient time, then file the action. I failure to provide and prove adequate notice will result in your case being dismissed.

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