The eviction process in Sarasota County and Manatee County is pretty straightforward for property managers and landlords. Today we are going to breakdown exactly how it works, and what we do at Sarasota Management and Leasing when we need to evict a tenant for non-payment of rent.
The first thing we always advocate is being aggressive with the collection of rent. If it’s not going to work out with the tenant you have selected to live in your property, it’s better to know that sooner rather than later. If you need to make a change, it’s better to make that change while you still have the security deposit money (hopefully everyone collects a security deposit). That money should still be in hand so you can pay for flipping the property and getting a new tenant in your place. Here are the steps to take when a tenant does not pay rent:
1. Serve the 3 Day Notice. This is the first step in a legal eviction process. Generally, we recommend doing this as soon as rent is late. For example, at Sarasota Management and Leasing, rent is due on the first day of the month, and we have a five day grace period. Therefore, it is late after the fifth of the month. So, on the sixth or shortly thereafter, we serve a 3 Day Notice to anyone who has not paid rent. It is important to take this step even if you have been contacted by the tenant and a promise has been made to pay the rent. Sometimes, a promise will not pan out, and if that happens, you will find yourself behind in the process and it will take longer to make a change or get on top of the situation.
2. File an eviction. We typically file the eviction in the middle of the month. This does not mean that you will forcibly remove the tenant, but it does relay a strong message that this is serious, and the tenant is expected to pay rent, as promised when the lease was signed and the tenant moved into the property. We file an eviction a couple of weeks after rent is due. If the tenant is able to come up with the rent, they can buy off the eviction and get caught up. We always have the tenant sign a stipulation agreement. This is an agreement between you and the tenant that states you will pause the eviction if the tenant is not late paying rent anymore. This agreement becomes part of the court record, and it also tells the tenant that the late payment of rent is not acceptable. If the tenant is late again, you can continue with the eviction. You will not have to start the process again; you can simply pick up where you left off.
3. Look for eviction protection. Some property managers will offer insurance against eviction expenses. We do this at Sarasota Management and Leasing, and it protects our property owners from any court costs and attorney fees that are associated with pursuing an eviction. This puts you in good shape and ensures all of your eviction costs are covered.
This is how evictions work in Sarasota County and Manatee County. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.