WRIT OF POSSESSION
Is there a person living in your house that is not supposed to be there?
Has a guest overstayed their welcome?
Is there a prior owner who refuses to vacate your house?
The legal solution to your problem is to obtain a writ of possession. It is a legal document that allows a Sheriff to remove an unwelcome person from your property.
As the owner of real estate property in Florida, the law prohibits you from engaging in self-help methods to remove an unwanted occupant. Self-help methods means changing the locks, shutting off the utilities, interfering is anyway with a current occupant's access to the residence before the court issues of a writ of possession that the Sheriff needs to remove the person from the property legally.
If you engage in any of these self-help methods, you may suffer legal consequences, which include paying money to the tenant, squatter, or unwanted guest for triple damages plus their attorney's fees.
The following are some scenarios you should be aware of when you need to remove an unwanted person from your property:
Case Scenario One:
If you are a landlord who completed the eviction process, you must obtain a writ of possession from the clerk, which is then given to the Sheriff to execute upon the unwanted person before you can change the locks on the property.
Case Scenario Two:
If you are an investor who purchased the property at a foreclosure sale that is currently occupied by someone (regardless of whether it is the former owner, a squatter, or tenants), you need to file a motion requesting a writ of possession.
Depending on the circumstances, you may also need to (i) provide notice to the occupant and
(ii) attend a hearing.
If you purchased the property under the name of a company, an attorney must represent you if you wish to remove an occupant from your property.
Case Scenario Three:
If you are an owner who allowed someone (like your boyfriend, girlfriend, ex, adult child or friend) to crash on your couch for "a few days" and that person overstayed their welcome, you cannot engage in the self-help methods described above.
You must file the appropriate action in court to kick them out. Refer to our Eviction, Ejectment, and Unlawful Detainer pages for more details.
Case Scenario Four:
As a tenant, squatter, or guest, if a process server served you with a motion for a writ of possession, or posted a writ of possession on your property, you may be able to fight your removal if you meet certain conditions.
Whether you're the owner of a property or a tenant, guest, or squatter experiencing any of the difficulties described above, we highly recommend that you seek the services of an experienced attorney who handles Landlord/Tenant issues.
Please contact Kimberly M. Soto at 321.972.2279 so she can further advise you of the law regarding Writs of Possession. The Soto Law Office, P.A. is conveniently located in Altamonte Springs, Florida, near I-4, and proudly serves Brevard, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, and Volusia Counties.