What is a Self-Help Eviction?

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.

EPGD Business Law is located in beautiful Coral Gables. Call us at (786) 837-6787, or contact us through the website to schedule a consultation.

*Disclaimer: this blog post is not intended to be legal advice. We highly recommend speaking to an attorney if you have any legal concerns. Contacting us through our website does not establish an attorney-client relationship.*

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Eric Gros-Dubois

Founding partner Eric Gros-Dubois established EPGD Business Law in 2013. With over a decade of experience expanding the firm and leading it to its current success, Eric now primarily manages the corporate division of EPGD. Given Eric’s educational background, holding both a JD and MBA, combined with his own unique experience of starting a business from scratch and growing it to a multi-million dollar firm, he brings a specialized and invaluable perspective to those seeking legal assistance for themselves and their businesses. Having now instilled his same values in our team of skilled corporate associates, Eric leads a firm that is always ready, willing, and equipped to handle any and every legal matter that a business owner may have.


*The following comments are not intended to be treated as legal advice. The answer to your question is limited to the basic facts presented. Additional details may heavily alter our assessment and change the answer provided. For a more thorough review of your question please contact our office for a consultation.



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