Q: What is the difference between an eviction and an unlawful detainer case?
A: An eviction is for when there is a tenant, an unlawful detainer includes other circumstances.
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A: Both an Eviction (FL Stat. Chapter 83) and an Unlawful Detainer case (FL Stat Chapter 82) are entitled to a summary proceeding meaning you can serve the defendant with a five day notice by posting or having a sheriff or process server hand it to them or a member of their household of 15 or older. Both cases can be set for a final hearing fairly quickly if one is required. An Eviction is started by giving written notice of termination of tenancy. An unlawful detainer does not require the same strict notice requirements. Another major difference is that you have to show a landlord tenant relationship in an Eviction while in an unlawful detainer, you can remove someone from property when there is no landlord tenant relationship such as a guest who has overstayed their welcome. One example of a person to remove from a property by unlawful detainer is a live-in girlfriend or boyfriend or even an adult son or daughter. Another major difference is the costs. Some Clerk of Courts in Florida will charge a lower filing fee for an eviction and a higher one for a unlawful detainer even though they are similar. There are other important differences and similarities that can cause your case to go smoothly to Final Judgment or be dismissed. You should consult with an attorney familiar with both chapters of the Florida Law to see what case you should file or what potential defenses you have for either of the cases filed against you.
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