How long does the eviction process take?

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How long does the eviction process take?

My apartment lease ends on 10-31-10. I got laid off from my job mid-July and need to relocate out of state for monetary purposes. I will not be able to pay my rent for October since I will need to money to rent a truck to move. I just need to know the time frame I will have to move out of the apartment. In FL.

Asked on August 18, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

First of all, nothing can be done until you are officially in "default".  That means that you  haven't paid your rent when it is due.  If you don't pay October's rent (presumably due on the first, plus any grace period), then you will be in default.  At that time your landlord can serve you with a 3 day-notice to quit or pay rent.  If you fail to pay at that time then your landlord will need to file for an eviction proceeding in court. Accordingly, you will receive a summons to appear and will have 5 days to answer it.  If you fail to do so, your landlord may file a Motion for Default and proceed with obtaining a Final Judgment for Possession.   After entry of the judgment, the Clerk will issue a Writ of Possession to the Sheriff describing the premises and directing them to put the landlord in possession after 24 hours. This whole process typically takes between 14 -21 days in FL.  However, with so many defaulting tenants in this economy it could well take over a month for you to be physically put out of the premises.

Note:  You will however still be liable for the month that you did not pay as per your lease.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

First of all, bear in mind that  regardless of the time frame for eviction, if you do not pay a month (or more) of rent, you wiill be liable for it and the landlord could, if he or she choose, sue you to recover it and/or apply your security deposit for it.

In terms of time frame, once you breach the lease (e.g. don't pay rent on time), the landlord can serve you with a 3-day notice. If you do not leave, then he initiates a legal action by filing a summons. You'll have 5 days to respond (and it will likely take the landlord another 1 - 3 days after  the 3-day notice period to get to doing this). After that, they landlord will be able to obtain a writ of possession. It takes usually another 1 - 2 weeks after that for the actual eviction to occur, so you probably have around 3 - 5 weeks, start to finish, depending on holidays, weekends, exactly how fast everyone does everything, etc.


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