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November 27, 2020     
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Court Services - Landlord & Tenant - Evictions
Last Updated 5-2015

Landlord & Tenant - Eviction matters are governed by the laws of the State of Florida ( Florida Statutes - Chapter 83 ) and by the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure.

There are four different types of notices given to tenants for evictions. Each one is very specific in what it requires. Listed below are the different types of notices. You must give the tenant one of the following notices by either hand delivery to tenant or posting the notice to the tenants door. After the required time has passed you will bring to the Clerk’s Office the filing fees and your completed complaint, along with five copies of one of the notices listed below, together with a stamped envelope addressed to each tenant. If there is a written lease agreement, bring five copies of it along with the notice and envelope to start the eviction procedures. There are Supreme Court approved forms for giving the notice and proceeding with the eviction procedure, these forms may be obtained from the Clerk’s Office County Civil Division or from our website, see below.

    If a tenant has not paid his rent, the landlord is required to give his tenant a three day notice in writing to vacate the premises or pay the rent. After three full days (Excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays) have elapsed from the date of the notice (not counting the date the notice is delivered to the tenant), if the tenant has not complied with the notice, the landlord then comes to the Clerk’s Office and files his complaint for eviction of the tenant. Fla Statute 83.56

    If the landlord has a tenant who is undesirable but the situation could be remedied within seven days (i.e. unauthorized pets, guest, or parking, etc.), the Seven Day Notice with cure could be given. The notice should state the non-compliance and give the tenant seven days to correct the problem or to vacate the premises. The tenant would be allowed to stay if he complied. If he does not comply, then the landlord would file a complaint for eviction based on the notice given. If the same noncompliance recurs within a 12 month period, the Landlord may commence with eviction proceedings without giving a subsequent notice. Fla Statute 83.56

    If a tenant is undesirable with a serious non-compliance (i.e. destruction, damage or misuse of property; unreasonable disturbance, etc.), the Seven Day Notice without cure could be given. The notice informs the tenant the rental agreement is terminated and that no further rent will be accepted. It also lists the items of non-compliance. If the tenant has not moved in seven days, the landlord would file eviction proceedings. Fla Statute 83.56

    If the landlord needs possession of his property and it is not for any of the above reasons and the rent is paid on a month to month basis, he would give the tenant a fifteen day written notice to vacate the premises. The notice would state that the rental agreement is terminated and no further rent would be accepted. This notice should be given fifteen days prior to the rent being due. If the tenant does not vacate, the landlord would file his complaint for eviction. If a written lease agreement has been entered into, this section does not apply. Fla Statute 83.57

When the eviction complaint is filed, the Clerk will issue a five day summons and send it to the sheriff for service on the tenant. The tenant will have five working days in which to file a written response to the summons with the Court or to vacate. If a written response is made, a hearing will be set before the judge assigned to the case and hearing notices will be sent to each party. If no response is made, the landlord may come back to the Clerk’s Office, with a Motion for Default, and pay another $90.00 to the sheriff (Business check or money order payable to the Escambia County Sheriff or you can take cash to Sheriff Dept.). You will need to complete and submit three (3) copies of a Judgment for Possession for the judge to sign, and three (3) copies of a completed Writ of Possession to be issued by the Clerk’s Office. The Sheriff’s Department will serve the tenant with a notice to vacate. If the tenant does not vacate the premises, the Sheriff will then proceed to evict the tenants.

If the tenant should vacate the premises or pay the rent prior to the landlord filing their Motion for Default, the landlord should notify the Clerk’s Office in writing and submit an Order of Dismissal for the Judge to sign.

Contact Information

County Civil Division

Telephone: (850) 595-4170   

Room 23010 - Second Floor
190 W Government St
Pensacola, Florida  32502
Clerk of the Circuit Court
County Civil Division
P.O. Box 333
Pensacola, Florida  32591-0333

Frequently Asked Questions

If a tenant won't pay rent, what can I do to get him out?A three (3) day notice may be given stating the amount of rent owed and the time the rent would have covered if paid. The notice must give them three working days, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, in which to pay the rent in full or vacate the premises. If they fail to pay rent or to vacate, a suit for eviction may be started.

What is the filing fee for evictions?
Please consult the Fee Schedule for a current list of fees and costs.

What do I need to bring to file an eviction?
A completed complaint along with five (5) copies of the notice given to the tenant and the lease (if applicable), and a pre-stamped envelope addressed to each tenant.

Can you accept a personal check for fees?
The filing fees paid to the Clerk can be paid in cash, personal check, money order, Visa, or Mastercard.  However, the Sheriff's fee must be paid in Business Check or Money Order payable to the Escambia County Sheriff's Department.

What if the tenant is doing other things other than not paying the rent, what can be done to get him out?
A seven day notice with cure can be given for non-compliance with the rental agreement (unauthorized people or pets, piling up trash, loud noise, etc...). If the tenant is seriously damaging the property, a seven day notice without cure may be given.

What if I just want my property back?
If you are on a month to month agreement, you may give a fifteen day notice in the middle of any month, terminating the rental agreement and asking for possession of the property after fifteen (15) days.

What happens when I file the eviction?
A five day summons is issued to the defendant. They have five working days to respond to the Court and a hearing will be set before a judge. If they fail to respond, the landlord must come back to the Clerk's Office, complete and sign a Motion for Default, and pay $90.00 to the Sheriff. A twenty-four hour notice to move will be served by the Sheriff. After the twenty-four hours has elapsed, the Sheriff will remove the tenants from the property.

What if the tenant moves and leaves possessions in the rental unit?
Please refer to Florida Statute 715.109 on how to dispose of the property and protect yourself from liability.

What if the landlord will not repair the dwelling?
You may give the landlord a written seven (7) day notice before the rent comes due to initiate the repairs needed or else you will be moving or withholding the rent. If the landlord fails to make the repairs, you can either move or withhold the rent. If you withhold the rent, the landlord may give a three (3) day notice for the rent and initiate eviction proceedings. You have the right to post the rent with the Court and have a hearing before a judge.

If I have contention with the landlord over the dwelling, can I post the rent into the registry of the Court?
Please refer to Florida Statute 83 for direction, or you may want to contact an attorney.

Can the landlord just come in and take possession or change the locks on the dwelling?
The landlord should give a proper notice in writing to you and then the landlord should start eviction proceedings with the Court which would serve you with a summons by the Sheriff and give you an opportunity to file an answer and have a hearing before a judge.


Please read the instructions for the forms that you are downloading.
Additional forms may be needed depending on your situation.

NOTE: The forms supplied by the Clerk's office are general in nature and may not meet your specific needs. The Clerk does not guarantee the legal sufficiency of these forms; therefore, you may need to consult with an attorney regarding your particular situation.