A residential landlord/tenant action applies to the rental of noncommercial dwelling unit with or without a rental agreement. It involves an action filed by a landlord against a tenant or a tenant against a landlord for common disputes dealing with payment of rent and/or noncompliance or breach of a lease or rental agreement.
Chapter 83 of the Florida Statutes provides general information on landlord/tenant actions. Landlord actions typically involve nonpayment of rent and recovering possession of the rental property. Carefully review this section of the law before starting any legal action.
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You must determine, prepare, and file the appropriate complaint with the Clerk & Comptroller. The complaint filed will be based on the actions you wish taken by the Court (for example: possession of the property, demand for rent due, etc.). Include a copy of the notice you provided the tenant. The filing fee for an eviction case is $185 for County Court evictions and $400 for Circuit Court evictions. A case number will be provided by the Clerk & Comptroller upon receipt of the required documents and filing fee.
Landlord/tenant eviction packets are available for purchase at the Legal Resource Centers in Dade City and New Port Richey. Forms also are available online.
The tenant must comply with the instructions on the summons and file an original answer to your summons with the Clerk & Comptroller with copies to you within five days of receipt of the summons, not including weekends or legal holidays.
The defendant may file an answer to your complaint/summons and deposit rent monies into the Court Registry. You then will need to set your case for a hearing with the Court. You may submit your request for a hearing in writing and file it with the Clerk & Comptroller, who will forward it with your court file to the assigned Judge. You will need to bring a blank copy of a judgment to the hearing for the Court's ruling and signature.
If the defendant fails to respond, you may complete and file with the Clerk & Comptroller a Motion for Clerk & Comptroller's Default and the appropriate judgment form. These forms are contained in the Landlord/Tenant packet. The Court will either set the case for hearing or grant the landlord possession of the property. If the judge grants the landlord possession of the property, you may ask the Clerk & Comptroller to issue a Writ of Possession.
After the Judge has granted possession of the property, you may request the Clerk & Comptroller to prepare a writ of possession. You must remit a fee of $90 made payable to the Pasco County Sheriff in the form of business check, money order, or cashier’s check. The Clerk & Comptroller will forward your paperwork with the check to the Sheriff. The Sheriff’s Office will contact you and post the writ on the property. If you prefer to satisfy the $90 fee via credit card, payment must be made at a designated Pasco Sheriff’s office location.
You may complete and file an Application for Determination of Civil Indigent Status with the Clerk & Comptroller, Civil Department. If found indigent, the filing fee will be waived. If you are found not indigent, you may enter into a Payment Plan Contract. The Payment Plan Contract allows you to pay the filing fee in smaller, monthly payments. A service fee of $25 will be added upon the entrance of the Payment Plan Contract.