The Landlord's Lawyer

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Lawyer for evictions in Naples FL

Today is .   Need to evict your tenant fast? I'm ready to help you with your problem tenant. The best way to reach me is always by text message. Or, send me an email.

How long does it take to complete an eviction in Naples, FL? Here's a recent one of my cases: Eviction for non-payment filed with the court in Collier County on June 12, 2023. Tenants filed an answer alleging the June rent was paid. Final judgment of eviction issued on June 29, 2023. This case included a hearing with the judge. SEVENTEEN days!

How long does it take to complete an eviction in Naples, FL? My recent case in Naples, (Collier County) Florida, case number 23-CC-1368. Eviction complaint filed July 8, 2023. Tenant was served with the eviction complaint on July 12, 2023. On July 18, tenant files: (1) motion to determine rent, (2) answer, and (3) counterclaim. On July 20, I filed for a final judgment of eviction. On July 25, the judge signed the final judgment of eviction without a hearing. The writ of possession was executed on July 28. Total number of days from filing the complaint to the sheriff returning possession to the landlord: TWENTY DAYS! How do I get evictions in Naples (Collier County) FL done so quickly? I know the law and the procedure to bring the case to conclusion.

Landlord representation only

Naples, Florida Landlord attorney Dominick Russo represents landlords in residential eviction proceedings for non-payment of rent, violation of lease, or expiration of lease. I will help you with the entire eviction process from the notice posted on the door to the writ of possession, including attending any court hearings along the way.

I know you want your property back, and my objective is to help you get possession as soon as possible. Landlord representation only. My office is near the Collier County Courthouse. Being near the courthouse means that it's easy for me to walk the documents where they need to go to speed up the eviction process.
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The Florida eviction process often starts with a 3 day notice

The eviction process begins with some kind of notice, like a 3-day notice for non-payment of rent, or a seven-day notice for violation of the terms of the lease. I can either prepare the notice and email it to you, or I post if for you if you are not in Naples. If the tenant offers to pay the full amount shown in the 3-day notice, the landlord must accept it. The landlord could also accept a partial payment, and re-post a new 3-day notice showing the balance owed. If the notice expires and the tenant hasn't paid, then we can file for eviction in court.

Seven-day notice

The 7-day notice is used for violation of lease terms. There are two types of 7-day notices: for violations that can be cured, and for violations that cannot be cured. Types of non-compliance that should be given a chance to fix include, but are not limited to

Examples of tenant violations that would be subject to a seven-day notice of violation without opportunity to cure or fix include, but are not limited to

Thirty-Day Notice

The 30-day notice is used for termination of a month-to-month tenancy. Assuming rent is due on the first, the 30-day notice must be posted on the residence before the 1st, giving the tenant 30 days notice prior to the end of the month. If rent is due on the first, it would not be proper give the tenants a 30-day notice on the 15th of the month, saying they had to be out by the 15th of the next month.

Holdover evictions

A holdover eviction is done when the lease ends and the tenant doesn't leave. If your one-year lease term is going to end in the next month or two, it's good practice to give the tenant written notice that the tenancy will not be renewed. Written notice should be done on paper and posted on the door of the residence. Florida landlord-tenant law hasn't kept up with email and text messages. The written notice would say:

Dear Tenant:
Your lease at (property address) ends on X date. We will not be re-newing the lease or extending the tenancy in any way. We expect you to vacate at the end of the lease term. If you remain in possession after X date, you will be considered a holdover tenant, and we will be forced to file for eviction in the County Court, and we will demand double rent pursuant to Florida Statute 83.58.

Posted on (date)

When we file for eviction, we attach the lease to the complaint as Exhibit A, and the notice of non-renewal as Exhibit B.

Holdover evictions also apply when a tenancy is month-to-month, and the landlord posts a 30-day notice of termination of tenancy, and the tenant doesn't move out.

One-year lease,
or month-to-month?

Why is a one-year lease the standard in Florida residential tenancies? Often landlords believe the one-year lease gives them security. Sometimes the HOA requires a one-year lease. Many people who call me have issues with their current tenants, and they've got many months left on the lease.

When renting to a new tenant, I often advise to rent month-to-month from day one. Look for a long-term tenant, but the rental agreement would be month-to-month, instead of a one-year lease. The benefit for the landlord of month-to-month, is that if you have problems with the tenant, you can simply give them a 30-day notice to vacate. The 30-day notice doesn't even give a reason for the termination of tenancy. Then, if the tenant remains in possession after the notice expires, you can file a holdover eviction.

On one of my properties, a 4-plex, I rented a unit to a nice couple, after doing a background check on them. After I gave them the keys, I never saw them again. Apparently, they handed the keys to some drug dealers. My other tenants alerted me, told me they were very concerned because people were coming and going at all hours of the night. I didn't have to deal with a 7-day notice. I just gave them a notice of termination of tenancy, and they left.

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Restrictions on rental increases in the City of Naples

In the summer of 2022, the City of Naples passed the Fair Notice to Tenant Ordinance. The new law states as follows:

A residential landlord that proposes to increase rent by more than five percent shall, prior to the time of termination or renewal: (1) Provide 60 days' notice to a tenant(s) if there is a written lease for a term of 60 days or more; or (2) Provide 15 days' notice to a tenants(s) subject to another leasing arrangement for a term of 15 days or more, but less than 60 days.

My interpretation of this new law is that if you have a 12-month lease that is ending, if you're going to re-new the lease with a rent increase of more than 5%, you must give the tenant 60-days notice that the new lease will have the rental increase. Part two of the quote above essentially states that if your tenant is month-to-month, you must give 15 days notice, which is what the Florida statute requires for rent increases for month-to-month tenancies. So, this rental ordinance does not apply to month-to-month tenancies, another reason not to give your tenants one-year leases. My suggestion is month-to-month from day one. By having your tenancies month-to-month, this new ordinance does not apply. Also, during COVID restrictions on evictions, those COVID protections did not apply to month-to-month tenancies

This City of Naples rent ordinance only applies to residential tenancies in the City of Naples.

What if you're in the City of Naples and the lease terminates in less than sixty days and you forgot to give notice of the rent increase?

Does this mean you can't increase the rent because you missed the sixty-day deadline? No, just go month-to-month. Once you're month-to-month, you can increase the rent because the ordinance does not apply to month-to-month tenancies.

How do you switch a tenancy from a one-year lease to month-to-month?

Assuming rent is due the first of the month, and assuming the one-year lease expires at the end of February. On March first, the tenant pays you rent and you accept it. Now the tenancy is month-to-month.

Suggested terms for leases and rental agreements

Even if you don't have a one-year lease, you can still have a written, month-to-month rental agreement. Here are some suggestions for language to include. I'll add more as I think of more:

--"Late fees are additional rent." This allows you to include late fees in a 3-day notice.
--If tenant is responsible for paying the water bill that is in your name: "Water utility payments to the landlord are additional rent." Again, allows you to add the water bill to a 3-day notice.
--For termination of rental agreement, don't have a number of days greater than 30. Florida statute says 30 days for month-to-month tenancies. Don't add more days to that, because it restricts your ability to remove a tenant. In my month-to-month rental agreements, I don't even mention termination times because it's covered in the Florida landlord-tenant statute.
--Get the date or birth of the tenant and write it next to their name in the lease or rental agreement. Better yet, get a copy of their driver's license. Knowing the date of birth is helpful if we have to file for eviction because it helps with the non-military affidavit, which is part of every eviction.

How to give notice to a tenant

So many times Landlords tell me, "I sent the notice certified mail, but the tenant never picked it up." The best way to give notice to a tenant is post the notice on the door and take a picture with your phone. Do not mail the notice, do not send by certified mail. Do not text the notice to the tenant. Landlord/tenant law is very traditional. So, don't email a notice and expect it to be good enough for court. Just post it on the door.

Frequently asked questions:

Q. Do you need a lawyer for an eviction?
A. Many people file without a lawyer, but Florida eviction law is very particular. You need to get every step correct, or you will encounter delays, or worse, you may have to start over again. As your lawyer, I will make sure every step is done correctly, as soon as possible.

Q. How much does it cost to legally evict someone in Florida?
A. The Clerk charges a filing fee of $185, plus a summons fee for each defendant. The sheriff or process server charges a fee for each defendant, usually about $40. There's a writ of possession fee to the sheriff of $90, and also the legal fee. I charge a flat rate for evictions that includes all the fees and costs. If a court hearing is required, it's included.

Q. How long are evictions taking right now?
A. From posting of the 3-day notice to the execution of the writ of possession can be as short as 30 days in Collier County. My objective is to complete the process as soon as possible for you.

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