Q: The (Florida) Final Judgement of Eviction has been issued. The tenant is in jail and heading to prison.
His sister has retrieved his stuff. Does the Writ of Possession still need to be served?
A: While it is not strictly necessary, it would be prudent to have the Writ served by law enforcement to officially transfer possession from the tenant back to you. Then change the locks to ensure that neither the former tenant, nor his sister can return to the property.
I know it sounds dumb, but I would do it JUST to show that all the Ts are crossed. It's $40.00. Service of the Writ and the *filing of the affidavit of service of the Writ* "tells the world" that the Landlord has retaken lawful possession of the premises.
Suppose that you rented the apartment/house to someone who turned out to be a dirtbag tenant and you proceeded to evict her. She hires a lawyer who opposes the eviction (or even sues for wrongful eviction) on the theory that you never gained lawful possession of the premises because the writ was never served. Even if her argument goes nowhere in court, you've now had to endure her nonsense while she remains in the premises, not paying rent (and costing you, by extension, an arm and a leg).
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