At InvestPro Properties, we have put together a list of the top 5 biggest mistakes in West Palm Beach that we see landlords making when trying to evict tenants and how you can avoid them. To assure a smooth eviction, you want to make sure that you’re following the law and doing everything correctly.
The first one, don’t expect this process to be completed overnight. The eviction process in Florida will take 3 to 4 weeks if you do everything perfectly. So be patient, understand the law
The second big mistake is simply not having a copy of the lease. It will be hard to evict someone without a lease. You’d be surprised how many times we receive calls from property owners who never had the tenant execute an actual written lease or they used a weak store bought form lease. It doesn’t matter if you’re renting to your sister, a best friend or some random person off of the street. You and your tenant must have a copy of the lease. That lease should include every breach that’s possible and what the remedy is for those violations. A good lease will explain when and how the courts will be used for remedy. All of our leases are attorney written for our owner’s protection.
Another mistake that will cause problems during the eviction process is not keeping accurate tenant records. When you take a tenant to court for not paying rent or for lease violations you need to have proof. The burden of proof is on you as the landlord. Record every tenant payment and every missed payment and document lease violations as well your attempts to address those issues of non-compliance.
Another mistake we see a lot is improper handling of the correct notices as required by Florida Law. If a tenant is not paying rent, then you must post a “Three Day Notice to Pay or Vacate”. If the tenant is violating a term of their lease such as having an unauthorized pet or occupant, then a “Notice of Non-Compliance” would be served. Not following the correct procedures can make a simple, clear cut eviction turn into a nightmare.
Finally, the biggest mistake we see is when landlords try to perform an eviction themselves. Showing up at the property and asking your tenants to leave or changing the locks during the middle of a work day are not acceptable ways to evict a tenant. Not only are they unethical, they are also against the law in Florida. Make sure you follow law and let the process play out. Once you have a Writ of Possession, you can bring the sheriff to your property to complete the eviction.
These are the five biggest mistakes we see people make when they are trying to evict in Florida. If you have questions, or you’d like help with an eviction, please contact us at InvestPro Properties, and we’d be happy to help you.