Landlord - Tenant Lawyer -- Eviction Lawyer

Naples, Florida landlord-tenant lawyer Mimi Wolok represents landlords in residential eviction proceedings for non-payment of rent. I will help you with the entire eviction process from the 3-day notice to the judgment 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. My fax number is: (239) 403-8733. Fax me your rental agreement and 3-day notice, if you have served one already. Make sure your fax has your contact information. I charge a flat fee if the tenant does not respond to the 5-day eviction summons, or an hourly fee if a hearing is required.

Naples Florida eviction questions:

Q. How long does it take to evict a tenant for non-payment of rent?
A. Best case scenario, about 3 weeks.

Q. How do we begin the process?
A. The eviction process for non-payment of rent in Florida begins with a valid 3-day notice.

Q. What do you mean 'valid' notice?
A. A landlord evicting a tenant for non-payment of rent must be very careful with the 3-day notice. Make sure your physical address is on the 3-day notice. Post Office boxes are not acceptable. Make sure the 3-day notice only requests unpaid rent. Do not request late fees or charges for the electric or water bill. Contact me if you need a 3-day notice, or if you have questions.

Q. After the 3-day notice is posted, then what?
A. If the tenant remains in the rental unit after the 3 days expire and does not pay the rent due, file an eviction complaint at the courthouse.

Q. What if I am out of town?
A. Our office can help you with the entire eviction process, from getting the 3-day notice created and posted, through judgment for eviction and damages, to the Writ of Possession.

Q. What are the court fees to file an eviction?
A. Filing fees are $185 plus $10 per summons, payable to the Clerk of Court. Service of the complaint is $40 per tenant, and the Collier County Sheriff's Office charges $90 to execute the Writ of Possession. That is $325 in court costs, assuming only one defendant. The court filing fee may be more if you sue for damages as well as eviction.

Q. Can I recover my court costs and attorney’s fees?
A. Court costs and attorney’s fees must be requested up front, or they are waived. I seek court costs and attorney’s fees in every eviction action I file on behalf of a landlord. If I obtain a judgment in either eviction or damages, or both, court costs and attorney’s fees are included in the judgment.

Q. After a tenant moves out, can I throw out the stuff left by the tenant?
A. If the tenant has left personal property such as kitchenware, furniture, electronics or clothing (but not including garbage and worthless items), you can lawfully dispose of the property, but only after giving the tenant a separate statutory notice. I can help you with the notice.

Q. Since the tenant owes me rent anyway, can I just keep the security deposit?
A. A common misperception is that you can automatically keep the security deposit as back rent owed. In Florida, you have either 1) 15 days to return all or part of the security deposit, or 2) 30 days to send a statutory notice by certified mail that you are keeping all or part of the security deposit, which includes a list of damages to the leased premises caused by the tenant and the cost to repair or replace each damaged item. Believe it or not, the tenant may be able to sue you and get his/her attorney’s fees and court costs paid by you if you do not follow the statutory notice procedure. I can help you with this notice.

Q. Do I need a written lease agreement to evict a tenant?
A. No.

Q. What are some important provisions to include in a written lease agreement?
A. When a landlord asks me to enforce a written lease agreement, I always look for 2 provisions: 1) A provision for the award of costs and attorney’s fees to the prevailing party in any action to enforce the lease agreement; and 2) A non-waiver clause. This is a sentence or two saying that even if you accept partial or late payments, and even if you waive any act of default by the tenant, you do not waive your right to enforce the lease agreement. Without this last clause, you waive your right to evict the tenant in any month that you accept late or partial payment.