Unlawful Detainer

An eviction is a common legal procedure recognized by lawyers and non-lawyers alike. What is not so common is something called an “unlawful detainer”. This proceeding is similar to an eviction but involves a property owner who is seeking the court’s assistance to remove a relative or friend from their property. 

For example, Bob owns a house. As a favor to his brother, he allowed his brother’s friend Bill, who had found himself on hard times, to live in a room of Bob’s house free of charge, until he got back on his feet. Six months later, Bill continued his couch potato lifestyle, continuously ate all Bob’s food and had a habit of inviting boisterous friends over at night. Seeing no potential future for Bill, Bob asked Bill to move out. Bill said he would but never did. Bob could not evict Bill because no lease agreement was ever in existence. The only thing Bill could do is file a Complaint in county court for “unlawful detainer”. 

Florida Statute §82.04, governs the “unlawful detainer” procedure. The Complaint requires proof of ownership, proof of revoking consent to live on the property and the defendant’s refusal to leave. An unlawful detainer claim is heard in county court and summary procedure is provided. This means that the process is expedited and usually takes, at most 3 months. 

Our firm is highly knowledgeable in both evictions and unlawful detainers. We are here to help if you or anyone you know finds themselves in the awkward position of having to ask a friend or relative leave their house against their will. 

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