3 Day Notice and Evictions

Do the right thing first and avoid the last thing


In Florida, the last thing a landlord or property manager wants to do is file / sue for an eviction. As a tenant, the LAST thing you want on your record is an eviction because it stays on your public records record forever and it will hinder your ability to rent and even borrow money in the future. Communications is key between the landlord and tenant and everyone would choose the path of least resistance. The best plan is pay your rent on time and if you can not, move.


What is a "3 Day Notice" ? You can be evicted if you do not pay your rent. Your landlord must follow several specific steps to get a court order called a Judgment for Possession before you can be evicted.

Your landlord’s first step must be to give you a 3-day notice.

The 3-day notice must be delivered to you, in writing, and include the following information:

  • A statement that you did not pay rent when it was due.

  • The exact amount of rent due.

  • The landlord’s name, address, and telephone number.

  • The date the payment is due.

Your landlord doesn’t need to have the sheriff deliver the notice to you. Your landlord can hand-deliver the notice, tape it to your door (called posting), or mail it to you.


If you ignore the 3 day notice, What happens next?

If you do not pay your landlord the rent demanded within the 3-day deadline, you must move out or your landlord’s next step is to file a lawsuit. When the landlord files the lawsuit, it becomes part of your public records. Your landlord’s goal in filing the lawsuit is to get a Judgement for Possession, which is the result if they win in court. The judge would then issue a notice, called a Writ of Possession, which gives you, the tenant, 24 hours to move out.

To sue you, your landlord must do several things:

  • Pay a filing fee to the court.

  • File papers, called the Complaint, with the court. In an eviction lawsuit, the landlord’s Complaint asks for your eviction as their tenant.

  • Serve you with papers (called service of process). As the tenant, that means you will be given a copy of the lawsuit, including the landlord’s Complaint and the court’s notice of the lawsuit (the Summons). The papers are usually hand-delivered (brought to you in person) by the sheriff’s office. If you cannot be found, your landlord can serve you by having a copy of the papers taped to your door (called posting) and another copy mailed to you by the court clerk’s office.

Once you have been served with lawsuit papers, your landlord will not accept your rent.

You have 5 days to respond to the lawsuit by submitting the following to the court clerk’s office:

  • A written statement in response to the landlord’s Complaint, called the Answer.

  • If you do not agree with the amount of rent the landlord says you owe, a written statement asking the court to decide the amount you must pay, called a Motion to Determine Rent.

  • Payment for the rent you owe (both past due and future rent as it becomes due). After the eviction lawsuit is filed, you must give payments to the court clerk’s office, not your landlord.

  • Proof (receipts, copies) of any rent payments made to your landlord that are claimed in the lawsuit. The proof should be attached to your Answer.

The 5-day period begins at the time the papers are either given to you or posted on your door. The 5 days does not include weekends, holidays (when the court clerk’s office is closed), or the day you are served. For more information about answers, see the article Filing Your Answer to a Complaint.

If you do not submit your Answer, file a Motion to Determine Rent, or deposit the rent you owe with the court clerk’s office within the 5-day period, your landlord is likely to win by default. If this happens, the judge will evict you by issuing a Writ of Possession, ordering that you have 24 hours to move. Your landlord can prevent you from entering the property after the 24-hour period has passed.


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