Unlawful Detainer vs. Eviction in Florida? Which one is it? Our office hears this question all too often. Do you have an invited guest staying in your home, but they are refusing to leave? Is this guest a family member or an ex boyfriend or girl friend? Squatter? What are your options and would the process of having them removed from your home be considered an Unlawful Detainer action or an Eviction in Florida?
Florida Unlawful Detainer
Florida Statutes, Chapter 82 details what an unlawful detainer action is and the remedies for an unlawful detainer. More specifically, an unlawful detainer action is used when an invited guest or squatter, in essence this means that no landlord/tenant relationship exists, refuses to leave the property. To prove an unlawful detainer, you must show
1) the person was invited into your home,
2) the person was not a tenant (did not pay any rent)
3) you asked them to leave, and
4) they refused to leave the home.
On the other hand, a Florida residential eviction, which is governed under Florida Statutes, Chapter 83 Part II, is utilized when there is a landlord-tenant relationship and the tenant refuses to leave the property after proper notice is given or the lease expires. Since there is a landlord/tenant relationship, an eviction would be the property method to remove the individual from the property. A landlord/tenant relationship exists when there is either a written lease or an exchange of payment (rent) for use and enjoyment of the premises.
The procedures are almost identical when initiating an eviction or an unlawful detainer except for an unlawful detainer, no notice is required. However, we always recommend providing notice. Further, both proceedings are expedited in the Florida judicial system and if the action is just seeking possession, the matter should be filed in county court. If you’re dealing with this type of headache, let the experienced West Palm Beach Eviction Attorneys and West Palm Beach Unlawful Detainer Lawyers @ Law Office of Ryan S. Shipp, PLLC assist. Call us today @ 561.699.0399 or stop by our Lantana office @ 814 W. Lantana Rd. Suite 1, Lantana, Florida 33462 to see how we can help.