EvictionsEviction Forms

Evictions

A residential landlord/tenant action applies to the rental of a non-commercial dwelling unit with or without a rental agreement.  It involves an action filed by a landlord against a tenant or tenant against a landlord for common disputes dealing with payment of rent and/or non-compliance or breach of a lease or rental agreement.

Chapter 83 of the Florida Statutes provides general information on landlord/tenant actions.  Landlord actions typically involve non-payment of rent and recovering possession of the rental property.  You should carefully review this section of the law before starting any legal action.

The Clerk of Court cannot practice law and is therefore limited in the assistance that can be directly given.  The Clerk of Court provides a simple question and answer approach to preparing a Landlord Tenant package through 

The Basic Steps:
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 by posting the notice to the tenant’s door.  After the required time has passed, E-file the complaint, the notice, and a copy of your written agreement (if applicable) through the e-portal. Other options of filing are to mail your forms along with a money order or cashier’s check or bring the forms to the Clerk’s Office with the proper filing fees.

Three Day Notice
If a tenant has not paid rent, the landlord is required to give the tenant(s) a three-day notice in writing to vacate the premises or pay the rent.  After three full days (excluding weekends and legal holidays) have lapsed from the date of the notice (not counting the date the notice is delivered to the tenant),  if the tenant has not complied with this notice, the landlord may file a complaint, the 3-day notice and an agreement through the portal, by mail, or bring the forms to  the Clerk’s Office.

Seven Day Notice (With Cure)
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 compliant.  If he is not compliant, the landlord may file a complaint for eviction based on the notice given.  If the same non-compliance recurs within a 12-month period, the landlord may commence with eviction proceedings without giving a subsequent notice.

Seven Day Notice (Without Cure)
If a tenant is undesirable with a serious non-compliance (i.e. destruction, damages or misuse of property, unreasonable disturbance, etc.), the Seven Day Notice Without Cure may 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 may file eviction proceedings.

Fifteen Day Notice
If the landlord needs possession of his/her property and it is not for any of the above reasons and the rent is paid on a month to month basis, a fifteen-day written notice to vacate the premises is given to the tenant(s).  The notice states that the rental agreement is terminated, and no further rent will be accepted.  This notice is given fifteen days prior to the rent being due.  If the tenant does not vacate, the landlord may file a complaint for eviction.  If a written lease agreement was signed, this section does not apply. 

Service of your Summons on the Tenant
Once a complaint is filed, a summons will need to be issued and serviced to the tenant(s). The summons notifies the tenant(s) of the pending court action and explains what they are required to do.  The fee for issuing the summons is $10.00.  A $7.00 prep fee is added if this office prepares the summons. The summons fee is to be paid to the Clerk of Court.  The Clerk of Court will sign and seal the summons and email to the sheriff along with a copy of the complaint if the Sheriff’s fee is prepaid or the clerk may return to the filer to deliver to the Sheriff or a process server. (Please refer to the list of approved process servers below.)  The tenant must comply with the instructions on the summons and file an answer within 5 days of receipt of the summons not including weekends or legal holidays.

Defendant Complies with the Summons
The defendant(s) may file an answer to the complaint and, if required, deposit rent monies via cash or certified funds into the Court Registry along with registry fees.  The clerk will notify the Judge if an answer is filed and/or money is placed into the registry. Based upon the answer filed and/or money placed into the registry, the Judge will then determine whether a hearing should be set. If a hearing is set, the Judge’s office will notify both parties of the hearing date and time.

Defendant Fails to Comply with the Summons 
If the defendant fails to file a response, the landlord may file a Motion for Default and a Request for a Default Final Judgment.   If the tenant should vacate the premises or pay the rent prior to the landlord filing their Motion for Default, the landlord should file a Notice of Dismissal.  The recording fee is $10.00.

Executing your Writ of Possession
Once the judge has signed the Final Judgment, the landlord may ask the Clerk for a Writ of Possession, who will then prepare the Writ.   After the Writ of Possession is issued, a copy of the Final Judgement along with the Writ of Possession will be given to the sheriff with a check in the amount of $90.00, made payable to the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office, for service. The sheriff’s fee may also be paid at the Clerk’s office and a copy of the Final Judgment and Writ of Possession will be emailed to the sheriff for service.

Notice to parties not represented by an Attorney
If you have questions or concerns about the forms, instructions, commentary, or your legal rights, it is strongly recommended that you talk to an attorney.  You may obtain attorney information by contacting the Florida Bar Lawyer Referral Service at (800) 342-8011.

Additional Information
Filing fees and general costs for filing an eviction in Okaloosa County may include some or all of the following: 

Filing Fee:
$185.00 – County Court
$400.00 – Circuit Court (over $30,000)

Summons Fee:
$10.00 per defendant – Clerk of Court
$7.00 Preparation Fee per Summons – Clerk of Court
$40.00 per person – Sheriff’s Fee

Writ of Possession:
$90.00 – Sheriff’s Fee (After Final Judgment)
All payments to the Clerk of Court must be remitted in cash, certified check, money order, credit card, or debit card. Personal Checks are not accepted.

Approved Process Server List

Related Forms:
Situs Designation Form
Unlawful Detainer Packet
Affidavit Swearing to the Complaint

All other forms and packets are available through TurboCourt or The Florida Bar

 

Okaloosa County Courthouse
101 East James Lee Blvd.
Crestview, FL 32536
(850) 689-5000, ext 4450
Office Hours:
Mon – Fri 8:30am to 4:30pm CST
Courthouse Annex Extension
1940 Lewis Turner Blvd.
Ft. Walton Beach, FL 32547
(850) 651-7200, ext 4450
Office Hours:
Mon – Fri 8:30am to 4:30pm CST

 

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Don Allgood, D.C., RMO, RMLO, CPM
Office of the Clerk of Circuit Court and Comptroller
1940 Lewis Turner Blvd.
Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547
PublicRecords@Okaloosaclerk.com