When should a landlord decide to evict a tenant?

I tend to come across landlords who just do not know when to say when in relation to tenants not paying rent. The standard time table for an eviction in Florida (for nonpayment of rent) is about 30 days. So that means that if the landlord waits until the beginning of the next month, after the tenants non-payment, when it is all said and done from notice of eviction to a writ of possession, the landlord will more than likely go into the 3rd month of delinquent rent. For example, if a tenant doesn’t pay rent on January 1st, and they play the “next week I will have it” or “ it with be with next months rent” game, that landlord winds up waiting until February 1st to consider filing for an eviction. Unless the eviction process is started on buy posting notice on February 1st, for January’s rent, for January’s rent, it will more than likely be a business week until they contact an attorney and start the eviction process. This would start the eviction clock around the 5th of February, setting the timetable to have the writ of possession served by the Sheriff around the first week of March. The landlord cannot take possession of the rental until the first week of March, hoping to clean and turnaround the rental in about a week. The first possible move-in date of a new tenant would be the middle of March. So the landlord winds up missing 2 and a half-month’s rent by delaying on filing for an eviction.

While the above is pretty cold and calculated, there is of course the human factor with the idea of a single mother of 2 missing a payment during the winter holiday season, which makes certain situations not that cut and dry. My standard response to a landlord is to start the eviction process on the 15th of the month that is delinquent. This allows for some cushion room for the tenant, but also puts the landlord in a position to recover possession of the property by the 15th of the next month, stopping the bleeding at 1 and a half-month’s rent. A high percentage of the time, if the tenant gets one month behind, they will not be able to climb out of that hole.

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