Unlawful Detainer

Unlawful Detainer

There are many circumstances when a home owner needs to remove an individual living in their property by filing an Unlawful Detainer action because there is no lease.  Here’s how it works.  If there is an oral or written agreement which spells out a rental amount to be paid or work to be exchanged for living arrangements, then a lease has been created and this counts as a residential tenancy. It means that you must terminate the lease with proper notice.  If it is for failure to pay rent, you would give a Three Day notice.  Or, if the work to be performed was monthly but did not have a specific value agreed on, you might terminate the tenancy by giving a Fifteen Day Notice.

The problem arises when there is no agreement to speak of but the person has established residency in your property.  It might be an adult child or a boyfriend.  In these cases, you may be able to file an Unlawful Detainer action. The benefit of an Unlawful Detainer action is that there is no “notice” provision and the case will
still be subject to summary proceedings.  This means that instead of having to first give a Three, or Seven, or Fifteen day notice, (whatever would apply to evict a person with a lease agreement), you may simply file the Unlawful Detainer and Eviction with no prior notice.  A process server serves the individual with the law suit and they have five business days to respond.  If they don’t, you may file a Default Judgment and a Writ of Possession may be issued and executed by the Sheriff.

Unlawful DetainerAlthough the process is faster, you must make sure that your facts support an Eviction based on Unlawful Detainer.  If they do not and the resident Answers with the defense of some type of lease or possessory right to the property, the case may drag on or even be dismissed by a judge.  You will lose your filing fees, have to start over and may be subject to attorney’s fees.   This is why it is important to speak to an experienced Pasco County Eviction attorney to establish whether your facts support an Unlawful Detainer action.

 

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