Other eviction steps can include:
Complaint & Summons
After the three-day notice expires, the landlord can file suit. The tenant then has a specific time frame to respond.
Service of Process
The summons will be served by the sheriff or a private process server. If the tenant cannot be personally served, the summons may be posted on the premises.
Failure of the tenant to comply with his or her obligations may result in a final judgment being entered.
Writ of Possession
In the case of final judgment, the clerk will issue a writ of possession to the sheriff who will post it on the property.
A landlord cannot remove a tenant without process by:
- Interrupting utility services,
- Changing the locks,
- Removing doors, locks, windows, etc., or
- Removing tenants property
If any of these things occur a tenant may have a valid cause of action for wrongful eviction, trespass or civil theft.
Tenants often have valid defenses to eviction actions. However, the defense that the landlord failed to maintain the premises is rarely effective. For that defense to work, certain steps must be taken in advance of the tenant’s rent payment default. In fact, if rent has not been paid to the landlord or into the court’s registry, the tenant can usually do little more than delay the eviction. That being said, any delay can be costly to the landlord who seeks to regain and re-let the premises as quickly possible.
Find advice on dealing with tenants during the Coronavis outbreak.
Read about dealing with tenants now that the COVID eviction moratorium is lifted.
The Tampa eviction attorneys at our firm have helped countless landlords in Tampa eviction cases. Call us today for assistance with your Tampa Bay eviction case.