For many people currently renting, the prospect of eviction is a worst-case scenario. No one wants to give up their home regardless of their financial circumstances. A dedicated attorney might be able to help resolve any disputes and allow you to remain in your home.
If you are living with the prospect of eviction, it is vital that you understand your legal rights. You cannot assume your landlord is acting within the law. A Fort Lauderdale eviction lawyer at Marc Brown P.A. can help you protect your rights and fight back against eviction efforts.
Steps in the Eviction Process
There are numerous steps in the eviction process in Fort Lauderdale, and landlords are required to comply with all of them, otherwise it may be necessary to acquire an attorney.
The first step in the eviction process involves a written notice. There are different notice requirements depending on the reason a landlord has for seeking eviction, but renters typically must have a three-day notice for eviction based on unpaid rent and seven days for eviction for cause.
Some renters simply choose to move out upon receiving their written notice. If this does not happen, the landlord will file a summons and complaint with the courts to formally begin eviction. Tenants that are served with the complaint and summons have the opportunity to respond. If they fail to do so, the tenant could win by default.
Once the tenant responds, they are entitled to a hearing. At the eviction hearing, the court will hear evidence from both the landlord and the tenant. During this hearing, the tenant has the opportunity to raise any defenses they might have in an effort to prevent eviction.
If the judge opts to side with the landlord, they will issue a final order for eviction. This order gives the tenant 24 hours to leave the premises with all of their belongings. The sheriff has the responsibility of posting this notice—known as the writ of possession—on the tenant’s door. The sheriff can forcibly remove the tenant after the 24-hour period expires.
What are Your Rights as an Evicted Tenant?
Part of the work a Fort Lauderdale eviction attorney can do is protect tenants from abusive practices before an eviction is complete. Many landlords believe that as soon as they file a petition for eviction, they have the right to force a tenant out of their property. Others feel that taking aggressive steps to force a tenant to leave is also a viable option. Neither is allowed under the law.
Some of the things a landlord may not do during an eviction include:
- Removing the tenant’s property
- Shutting off utilities
- Removing doors
- Removing windows
- Changing or removing locks
Marc Brown P.A. can help resolve these issues and potentially hold the landlord accountable for any unlawful behavior.
Contact a Fort Lauderdale Eviction Attorney Immediately
Facing eviction can be stressful and worrisome for anyone. Given the stakes, it is important to have an attorney help you deal with this significant challenge.
A Fort Lauderdale eviction lawyer could help you review your options and guide you toward a favorable outcome. Call as soon as possible for a confidential consultation.