Evictions

Process Outline

The first step to file an eviction is to give the tenant a written notice.

Non-Payment of Rent
If you are evicting your tenant for non-payment of rent, you need to give the tenant a 3-day written notice to pay the rent or vacate. When calculating this time, you do not count the day of delivery, weekends, or holidays. You may post the notice on the door or hand it to the tenant. The 3-day notice must seek only rent that is due. If the tenant does not comply with the notice, you would bring a copy of the 3-day notice to our office and file your eviction complaint with the court.

Possession of Property
If you are evicting your tenant for possession only, you will need to give the tenant a 7/15 day notice (depending on how the tenant pays the rent to you) to vacate. If the tenancy is week to week, you must give a 7-day notice. If the tenancy is month to month, you must give a 15 day notice. If you give a 15 day notice, there must be 15 days between the date you give the notice and the date you want them out. There can be more than 15 days, but no less than 15 days. The 15th day must be on the date the rent is due again. If the tenant does not comply with the notice you will need to bring a copy of the notice to our office and file your eviction complaint with the court.

The second step is to file your eviction with the court. To do this, you can present to the court a copy of the notice that you gave your tenant with the appropriate filing fee. If you don’t have the forms, you can purchase a complete packet from the Clerk’s Office.

The third step is to have your summons served. Once you have filed your eviction, the clerk will prepare a summons to be served on your tenant. You must tell the clerk if you want the summons to be served by the Sheriff or a Private Process server. The clerk will forward your summons to be served, along with you check or money order for process of service, or you man hand deliver the summons to the Sheriff. Once the summons is served, the tenant has 5 business days to respond to your complaint and the summons. The tenant is instructed to file their original answer with the clerk and send a copy to the landlord.

The fourth step is taken after the 5 business days have expired. When the 5 business days have expired, you would need to file another form to prompt the clerk to send the file to the Judge. If the tenant did not respond to the summons, you would file a Motion for Default and Default form. If the tenant did respond to the summons, you would need to file a Motion form. Once you have filed the appropriate form, the clerk will prepare any necessary paperwork and then send the file to the Judge. The Judge will either set the case for a hearing or grant the landlord possession of the property. If the Judge grants the landlord possession of the property, the clerk will issue a Writ of Possession.

The fifth step is to have the Writ of Possession executed. The Sheriff will charge to execute the Writ of Possession. Contact their office for fees. The Sheriff will post the Writ of Possession and then contact the landlord to deliver possession of the property.

All forms that you would need to file and eviction are available at the Clerk's Office for a fee of $6.75 per packet.

Evections FAQ's

Landlord - How do I seek back rent?
Once your summons has been served on your tenant, you must wait 20 days from the service date to ask the Court for a hearing on back rent and damages. You will need to file a Motion form and the clerk will send the file to the Judge to determine if a hearing will be granted. If the Judge grants the hearing, you will be notified by mail.
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Landlord - What will I need to file an eviction?
You may purchase a complete packet of evictions forms, which includes instructions from the Clerk.
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Landlord - How long does it take to evict a tenant?
We cannot determine how long it takes to go through the process, it will depend on certain factors that affect the process.
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Landlord - If my tenant deposits rent into the Court Registry, how do I get the money?
Money deposited into the Court Registry can only be released with a Court Order. You can file a motion and ask the Judge to release that money from the Court Registry.
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Tenant - Where do I pay my rent after I have been served with an eviction summons?
When you are served an eviction summons, you are instructed to pay the rent that is due into the Registry of the Court. You pay that at the Sumter County Clerk's Office, Summary Claims Division. You are also required to pay to the Clerk of Court a registry fee of 3% for the first $500.00, and 1.5% for any amount thereafter. If the tenant does not agree with the amount the landlord has stated in the complaint, the tenant can put in the amount they think they owe and request a hearing before the Judge on that issue.
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