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Can I Just Call the Police to Evict My Tenant?


Let’s assume that you have a non-paying, or non-compliant tenant. You know that there is a legal process to evict that tenant. But you also think that the legal process takes too much time and money, and you need the tenant out, yesterday.

Why not just call the police? After all, it’s your property, and certainly the police will see that this tenant is not complying, or shouldn’t be there, and take care of the eviction for you.

Well, not so fast. There is a limit to what police can and will do for you when it comes to a real estate dispute, as opposed to when you need to involve the court system and obtain a legal eviction or court order of eviction.

(Claimed) Owners and Tenants

Obviously, anybody who claims that they are the owner of property, will not simply be evicted by police in the absence of a court order. Usually, an “interest” will include those demonstrating they are on a deed, have a purchase option on a lease agreement, have some writing between you and them showing that they have an ownership interest, or that the person is or was legally living on the property with your knowledge, consent and permission.

Of course, the same applies to traditional tenancies—even with leases that are oral. Obviously, if you as the landlord have already obtained a writ of eviction, you can show that writ to the police and have the tenant removed. But beforehand, the police will refrain from removing anyone on the property, if there is any evidence that the tenant is on the property as a result of some lease or agreement.

Certain Establishments

The law excuses facilities that are considered medical, geriatric, religious, educational or similar services, from the requirements of Florida’s landlord tenant act. So long as the party (the occupant) has been informed that he or she must vacate the property, the police can eject the person, without a court order of eviction.

Hotels and Motels

Law enforcement can also remove someone who is in a public accommodation, including a hotel or motel. So long as the tenant’s lease (again, written or oral) is for less than 30 days (such as a traditional night-to-night hotel arrangement), the property may be considered a hotel/motel.

However, there is one caveat—someone who has remained in a hotel or motel for (1) more than 30 days (2) where the parties intend for an indefinite duration of time and (3) where the occupant has government issued ID with the property as the address, could all result in the hotel guest being considered a resident or tenant, and thus, the court system must get involved to evict the tenant.

Call Pike & Lustig, LLP, at 561-291-8298 to speak with one of our West Palm Beach commercial litigation attorneys today.




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