Eviction Process

The Clerk of Court and Comptroller is an independent third party trustee of public records and public funds. The Clerk may help you navigate through court processes and refer you to resources, but we are not permitted by law to provide you with legal advice. The chart below shows you a general overview of what a simple residential eviction process entails -- some steps may differ and some forms may differ depending on the type of eviction and the circumstances of that case.

Eviction Process 

Commercial Property Eviction: used when a lease agreement exists between two or more parties for a commercial property -- tenant is required to pay rent.

Residential Property Eviction: used when a lease agreement exists between two or more parties for a residential property -- tenant is required to pay rent.

Unlawful Detainer: not an eviction -- there is no lease or rental agreement and no agreement for the occupant to pay rent.

Landlord Rights and Responsibilities

Tenant Rights and Responsibilities

Serving Summons, Subpoenas and Documents 

Can I evict tenants from my property if they have children?

Yes, a property owner is permitted to evict tenants from a residential or commercial property under certain conditions if they have children. Depending on the situation and the type of agreements you have with the tenant, you will need to give notice to the tenant that complies with the statutes for that property type. Find out more about residential evictions and commercial evictions.

Can my landlord evict me when there are so many repairs that need to be made? Can I withhold my rent payment until the landlord fixes my house or apartment?

The landlord and tenant both have obligations when it comes to maintenance and repairs. FSS 83.51 and 83.52 go into detail about these obligations and is further explained on the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs website. If you withhold rent before you have been evicted, the landlord might file to evict you to have you removed for non-payment of rent. After you have been served with the summons, you have 5 business days to file an answer with the Clerk and deposit all of the rent that is due into the Court Registry. The court will then decide on your case.

I am being evicted and I was told that I have to be out by tomorrow -- is this really true?

After a final judgment is signed and a writ of possession is issued and served to the tenant(s), the tenant(s) have 24 hours to vacate unless the judge orders a "stay" on the eviction proceedings. If there is no stay ordered, then the Hillsborough County Sheriff will authorize the landlord to remove all personal belongings from the house after the 24 hours and the change the locks, giving possession of the property back to the landlord.

Can I pay rent into the Court Registry if the landlord has not yet filed an eviction?

No, you cannot pay rent money into the Court Registry because the Clerk cannot deposit any money for your eviction case into the Registry until the landlord has filed an eviction with the court.

If I am being evicted and have deposited my money into the Court Registry, and the rent becomes due again, do I have to deposit more?

If you paid money into the Court Registry because your landlord filed an eviction against you, the eviction case is still active, you still live in the rental property, and the next month's rent is now due, then -- yes -- you do have to continue to place your rent money into the Court Registry every time that it becomes due.

When can a landlord dispose of property that has been left by a tenant that has moved?

If a tenant moves and leaves behind property that a landlord wants to dispose of, the landlord should file for a formal eviction to protect themselves from legal action by the tenant. Once the Hillsborough County Sheriff has served the final paperwork (writ of possession) on the tenant, the landlord is then authorized to remove anything left in the apartment.

How can I learn the status of an eviction final judgment, writ of possession or stay?

To find out if a eviction final judgment has been signed, a writ of possession has been issued, or a stay has been ordered, check the case online, call us at (813) 276-8100 or visit our offices in person: Downtown Tampa, Plant CityBrandon. See wait times.

FAQ’s for eviction/removal of tenant, Mailing Copies per FS 48.183 & 83.22

The Hillsborough County Clerk of Court & Comptroller now offers the optional service for plaintiffs to request the clerk to produce the copies and envelopes for mailings in evictions matters.   This process is offered when filing the new action through the Florida Statewide eFiling Portal.  This convenient service will alleviate the need for plaintiffs to bring in or mail in the extra copies and envelopes.  The Clerk will charge copy and postage fees to the plaintiff and we hope this is a cost-effective and time saving service for filers.

How many mailings do I need?

  • Fla. Stat. 48.183 and 83.22 requires the landlord to provide the Clerk of the court with two copies of the complaint and pre-stamped envelopes for mailing to the defendant (one for the address designated by the tenant for receipt of notice in the written lease and one for the residence of the tenant).   

How much are the fees?

  • The Clerk will charge $1.00 per page for making copies of the complaint/attachments and the summons in addition to charging $.75 per envelope/postage per tenant.  These fees will be computed at the eFiling Portal and you will be prompted to enter the number of mailings and the number of copies needed.

What does the mailing packet include?

  • The Clerk will make copies of the summons, complaint/attachments.

What is the process once complete payment has been received?

  • The Clerk will mail a packet to each tenant via 1st Class Mail and issue a certificate of mailing and file within the case record.

Whose return address will be on the envelope?

  • The Clerk will use the plaintiff/attorney return address when producing the envelope(s) for mailing. 

How long does the mailing process take?

  • The Clerk will strive to complete the mailings within 3 business days from the date of filing the action. 

Who do I contact with additional questions?

  • You can contact the Clerk at (813)276-8100 x7807.