Property Management Tampa Tip#19 – How to File An Eviction
There comes a time in Tampa property management when enough is enough, and you have to file an eviction on a tenant. The tenant might owe you 1 or 2 months worth of rent. You have called repeatedly, given a 3 day notice, and even talked to them in person on several occasions. Sometimes, a tenant is simply unable or unwilling to pay no matter what they promise or tell you. It is important to not let this tug of war stretch on for months.
When a tenant fails to pay rent, you must drop off a 3 day notice of non-payment of rent on their door. You can get these forms from the Hillsborough or Pinellas County Clerk of the Court website. If the tenant has been late several times in the past, the 3 day notice might not have any effect on them. However, sometimes the notice does galvanize them into action, and they either pay the rent or come up with a new story.
When the 3 day notice expires, the Tampa property manager now has the right to file for eviction immediately. You can either hire an attorney to do this for you which will cost $600 plus about $300-$400 in filing fees, or as the property owner you can file the paperwork yourself. Our Tampa property management company prefers to file the paperwork ourselves for 90% of evictions. If the tenant has received legal aid or they seem to be likely to cause serious problems at the court, we hire an attorney. However, most tenants that we evict simply ignore our notices, phone calls, and visits. We find it much more cost effective to file the paperwork ourselves on these types of tenants because they rarely show up to the court hearing.
An eviction is filed in several steps and different forms are used depending on how the tenant responds. In Tampa, a landlord files 2 different forms of paperwork at different times.
At first, an eviction seems very confusing and complicated. We have found the clerks at the courthouse either very helpful or completely unwilling to offer any assistance. If you have questions and encounter an unhelpful clerk, you should keep patiently asking your questions or switch to a different clerk. Obviously, an attorney can help your Tampa property management company file eviction, but you can save a lot of money by filing it yourself.