Evictions Are About To Get More Expensive for Landlords Who Delay
In Florida, evictions for non-payment are typically completed in a two-part process. Part one involves removing the tenant from the property while part two is the landlord’s claim for damages. “Damages” may include loss rent, attorney fees, court costs, and physical damage to the property.
Evictions are bifurcated because part one, tenant removal, can usually be accomplished in an expedited process called summary proceedings. Part two, a request for damages, comes later because a landlord won’t know their true damages until a tenant is out of the property and a full assessment can be completed.
Florida Statute 34.041 provides for a filing fee of $185 for a “removal of tenant" action. In Alachua County, our Clerk of Court has traditionally charged $185 for all residential landlord/tenant actions. However, we have received notice from the clerk's office that beginning on July 1, 2017, the Alachua County Clerk of Court will begin assessing a filing fee of $300 for all landlord/tenant cases that involve claims for money damages exceeding $2,500.
This means that if at the time of filing an eviction in Alachua County, if your tenant is $2,500 or more past due in their rental obligations, the fee to file your case will jump to $300, instead of the prior fee $185.
What should a landlord do? The best advice is to not let your tenant fall this far behind in the first place. In our experience, once a tenant has become significantly delinquent in their rental obligations, especially if that tenant is not proactively communicating with the landlord, the likelihood of the landlord being able to recover the lost funds diminishes. The longer a landlord waits to take action, the greater their loss.
If you have a tenant who is delinquent on their rent, we can help you reclaim your property so you can turn your investment cash-flow positive again. Contact our office to get started.
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