South Florida Eviction: How long could it take?

6 Replies

I'm dealing with my personal nightmare: A charming 2 bedroom/2 bath home, a nightmare 1st tenant, and a property manager I never should have hired. Last Friday, I received a certified letter from a neighbor informing me his small dogs were almost attacked by my tenant's "dangerous dog" a mixed breed. The tenant has violated the terms of the lease: no pets. Saturday, we posted the 7-day quit or cure notice on the property. Monday he received a lengthy letter regarding the "no pets" lease violation by  FEDEX.  I know, the pets are not grounds for eviction. I've since learned my tenant has a lengthy court record that includes a 2009 eviction. This is a violation of the lease application: that states any lie on the application is grounds for eviction. However, my attorney points out that that clause isn't on the lease which will supersede the appThis Morning, My PM will inspect my home and notify the tenant we want him out. We have $5800 in security. Rent on the house is $3000 mo. The tenant believes my PM is coming to inspect the house after he got rid of 1) dangerous dog and  2) pit bull. But PM has been instructed to tell tenant we now know he lied, that he's been evicted before and that "He can go nicely and get his deposit back, or we'll immediately start eviction proceedings." I await word from my PM hopefully by Noon today how the conversation went. My PM is shocked this man lied to his face. I can't believe my PM was so nieve. He's been licensed PM in South Florida for over ten years, and was recommended by a reputable real estate Broker in Victoria Park. I'm beside myself fearing what will happen next. Does anyone care to predict. The only person I have faith in right now is my attorney I've hired.

Originally posted by @Alex Walsh:

Hi Alex, I'm very sorry to hear you're going through this. I did an eviction in Broward County last year and it only took 1 month. But - that was for non payment of rent, which requires a 3 Day Pay or Quit, and the tenant never responded to anything. A slam dunk. 

The short answer to your question - it depends on the tenant's reaction. If they plan to fight/appeal the eviction and it goes to court, I really don't know how long it can take.

You say:

"The tenant has violated the terms of the lease: no pets. Saturday, we posted the 7-day quit or cure notice on the property. Monday he received a lengthy letter regarding the "no pets" lease violation by FEDEX. I know, the pets are not grounds for eviction."

If the tenant violated the lease terms by getting a dog, and refuses to "cure" within 7 days, that would be grounds for eviction. I had that happen with a tenant in NJ. However, the burden of proving that there is actually a dog in the property is on you, at least in my experience. Do you have any photos of the dog, food bowls, etc.? Our tenant was dumb enough to have a huge wooden doghouse in the backyard that we photographed, along with the pit bull and 20 pound sack of dog food in the kitchen.

Lying on the application is grounds for rejection, but if you (or your PM) never did a background check, it's too late now. Getting a new PM would be my next step, but I always do my own verification of tenants. I don't trust realtors or anyone else to do the diligence I do, which is why I don't pay anyone else to do it. And I've made mistakes too, it happens. Your attorney sounds like he's sharp. 

If the tenant gets rid of the dog, would you consider letting him stay? Does he pay the rent on time and in full? When does the lease expire? Clearly the tenant knows a lot more than your PM.

@John Thedford  also has a great contact who's an expert at evictions, can't remember his name.  Though I think is on the west side in Naples/Ft.Myers, so may be out of jurisdiction.  

The attorney'w website is www.evict.com. His name is Harry Heist. He has lot of great information on his site and many free forms. I have not personally used him but know many that have and the feedback has always been positive. I attended one of his classes offered at the board of realtors. He is sharp and knows his business.

thanks for your posts. i fortunately have been able to work with the tenant with the help of an attorney. he's moving out by feb 28th and I'm cautiously optimistic it will be peaceful and with minimal damage. thank you again. kim

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