If you live in Florida and you have been evicted from a property without notice from your landlord, you could have a cause of action. In Florida, it is illegal to evict a tenant from a property through means such as:
- Changing the locks on the property;
- Preventing the reasonable access to the tenant’s property;
- Cut off your utilities, such as water, gas, lights, garbage service, heat, elevators, or
- Taking off the tenant’s outside doors, locks, roofs, walls, or windows.
These actions would be considered “self-help” evictions and are illegal under Florida Statute
Chapter 83 Section 67.
What is the proper way to evict?
Before you determine how to evict someone, you must have a proper reason to evict someone. In order to lawfully evict someone in Florida, the landlord must:
- Give the tenant three days notice to either the pay the outstanding balance or vacate the premises.
- Write down a complaint and file for eviction with the county clerk.
- Find out if the tenant reverted to the summons from the clerk’s office. A tenant has five
- days to respond to the summons.
- Deliver the hearing notice to the tenant.
- If the tenant fails to answer the summons, you can file a motion for default judgment.
- At this point, you wait for judgment by the county court.
What can you do if your landlord conducts a self-help eviction?
You can sue your landlord for wrongful eviction by suing under the statute mentioned before, Florida Statute Chapter 83 Section 67. Under this statute, a landlord who conducts a self-help eviction is “liable to the tenant for actual and consequential damages or 3 months’ rent, whichever is greater, and costs, including attorney’s fees.” Furthermore, a violation of the statute would allow the tenant to potentially receive injunctive relief.