Ejectment, Unlawful Detainer and Trespass – Removing Unwelcome Guests or Other Individuals from your Property

Sometimes people move in and then refuse to leave.   Such unwanted guests can include a friend, boyfriend, girlfriend, ex-boyfriend, ex-girlfriend, child over eighteen or ex-spouse. If there is no verbal or written lease agreement, your options likely include one of the following:

Ejectment

An ejectment action can be filed to determine a boundary dispute or the rightful owner of a piece of property.  It is also used to throw out (eject) an unwanted guest who once may have had permission to live upon someone’s property, but subsequently claimed that they had a legal right to be there and refused to leave when asked.

To prevail in an ejectment action, the plaintiff must prove that he or she has good title to the subject property and has been deprived of its possession by the defendant.  A chain of title should be attached to the Complaint.  The Florida Supreme Court has approved the following form Complaint for ejectment actions:

COMPLAINT

Plaintiff, A.B., sues defendant, C.D., and alleges:

1. This is an action to recover possession of real property in ____________________ County, Florida.

2. Defendant is in possession of the following real property in said county: (e.g. Tampa address and legal description) to which plaintiff claims title as shown by the attached statement of plaintiff’s chain of title.

3. Defendant refuses to deliver possession of the property to plaintiff or pay plaintiff the profits from it.

WHEREFORE, plaintiff demands judgment for possession of the property and damages against defendant.

The defendant can claim several different defenses to such a Complaint including improvement or betterment of the property and superior title.  In disputes where both parties have title, the one with the better title will prevail.

Unlawful Detainer

Another option for removing a tenant where no lease exits or where the lease has expired is an Unlawful Detainer action.    Jeff Lieser was recently interviewed live about these types of lawsuits.

The Florida Supreme Court has approved the following form Complaint for unlawful detainer actions:

COMPLAINT

Plaintiff, A. B., sues defendant, C. D., and alleges:

1. This is an action to recover possession of real property unlawfully(forcibly) detained in ____________________ County, Florida.

2. Plaintiff is entitled to possession of the following real property in said county:

      (insert description of property)

3. Defendant has unlawfully(forcibly) turned plaintiff out of and withholds possession of the property from plaintiff.

WHEREFORE, Plaintiff demands judgment for possession of the property and damages against defendant.

Trespass

A trespass can include merely entering a building without authority.  Trespass can also be committed by one’s continued presence on someone’s land or building, if it is not removed after consent has been terminated. Damages for trespass action can include loss of rental income, loss of enjoyment of the subject property, loss of privacy and other personal losses.

Call the Landlord Tenant lawyers at our firm to discuss your ejectment, unlawful detainer or trespass case today!