Commercial evictions are similar to residential, but there are a few important differences. If you own a commercial property and have tenants in your building, you need to know how to handle evictions. In this article, we’ll help you navigate the Florida commercial eviction process and what to do if a commercial tenant refuses to leave.
Reasons to Evict a Commercial Tenant in Florida
Commercial eviction occurs when a commercial tenant defaults on their rent payments or otherwise violates the terms of the lease agreement. Landlords must strictly adhere to Florida eviction laws since deviations away from the process can result in legal consequences. Legal consequences may include eviction delays, fines, and more.
Under Section 83.20, Fla. Stat. (2019), landlords can evict commercial tenants for the following reasons in Florida:
- Remaining in the rental unit after the lease’s contract expiration.
- Defaulting on payment of rent after three (3) days’ notice.
- Failing to cure a lease breach after fifteen (15) days’ notice.
Some landlords self-draft their eviction notices, while many others retain the services of an eviction lawyer, or commercial litigation attorney, to handle the eviction for them. Due to the complexity of evictions, you should consult an eviction lawyer as a matter of legal formality and remain consistent in your handling of commercial evictions.
What Is the Commercial Eviction Process in Florida?
If your commercial tenant refuses to vacate the premises due to non-payment, you can evict the tenant by following the Florida commercial eviction process. Florida law clearly defines the commercial eviction process, and commercial landlords must adhere to the steps precisely.
Step 1. Warning Issuance
You must give the tenant a minimum of three (3) days’ notice before eviction for non-payment of rent. Other contract violations require a minimum notice period of fifteen (15) days.
Step 2. Initiating an Eviction Proceeding
The owner may file a complaint for possession if the tenant still refuses to leave. You must serve them with the complaint. Tenants must respond within five (5) days.
Step 3. Counterclaims and Claims
A tenant may object to your complaint. However, you may also respond to the tenant’s claims. The court will then schedule your case for a hearing with the judge.
Step 4. Court Settlement
The majority of eviction cases are decided by a judge, not a jury. The judge will enter a ruling after reviewing the evidence and hearing from both parties.
Unless they have a valid legal reason for a contract breach, eviction cases are typically decided in the landlord’s favor. Ideally, the tenant vacates the property, and the landlord obtains a monetary judgment against the tenant for damages, which the tenant pays.
What to Do If a Commercial Tenant Refuses to Leave?
You should speak with a Florida real estate attorney if you are experiencing a troublesome tenant. There are landlord-tenant laws in place to protect your rights in this situation. Cipparone & Cipparone, P.A. offers Free Consultations to commercial landlords who need a legal plan to remove a commercial tenant.
**This blog is for general informational purposes only. Cipparone & Cipparone, P.A. does not distribute legal advice through this blog. As such, this blog does not constitute legal or other professional advice and no attorney-client relationship is created between the reader and Cipparone & Cipparone, P.A.Tags: commercial real estate, Negotiating With Tenants
Categorized in: Real Estate Law