STEP-BY-STEP PROCESS OF UNCONTESTED MOBILE HOME PARK EVICTIONS FOR NON-PAYMENT OF LOT RENT UNDER CHAPTER 723, FLORIDA STATUTE (TENANT OWNED MOBILE HOMES)
STEP 1 – NON-PAYMENT OF LOT RENT Tenant fails to pay lot rent.
STEP 2 – INTAKE Community Owner, Landlord or Property Manager fills out a Mantoni Legal Intake Form. The Intake Form is specifically designed for mobile home park evictions - prepared for and provided by Mantoni Legal. *Email firstname.lastname@example.org to request an Intake Form
STEP 3 – RENT DEMAND Mantoni Legal reviews the Intake Form and supporting documentation and prepares the Rent Demand.
STEP 4 – RENT DEMAND TIME-FRAME Mantoni Legal emails the Rent Demand to the Community Manager, Landlord or Property Owner to post on the mobile / manufactured home. The same day as posting, Mantoni Legal mails the Rent Demand via regular and certified mail, return receipt requested, to the home. *Practice Pointer: The Rent Demand must be posted and mailed on the same day.
STEP 5 – NO PAYMENT WITHIN DEMAND TIME-FRAME After the time period allowed in the Rent Demand Letter expires, (meaning the statutory time period for payment has run), Mantoni Legal will follow up with the Property Manager or Park Owner to confirm whether or not payment was made and whether the Manufactured Housing Community wants to proceed.
STEP 6 – MOBILE HOME PARK APPROVES PREPARATION OF EVICTION LAWSUIT After receiving confirmation from the Community that no payment was made, and to proceed with the eviction, Mantoni Legal prepares the lawsuit for eviction. At this time, Mantoni Legal will also conduct a title search to determine actual/record ownership of the manufactured home and whether a lienholder exists. If a lienholder exists, Mantoni Legal will prepare and send a statutory notice of storage charges. *Practice Pointer: The lawsuit for eviction can be a one count complaint, for tenant eviction only, or a two count complaint for eviction and money damages for unpaid rent. There are benefits and detriments to both, as can be explained by Mantoni Legal.
STEP 7 – FILE EVICTION LAWSUIT Mantoni Legal prepares and electronically files with the court, in the county in which the property is located, the complaint / lawsuit for eviction and the summons(es). The clerk will issue the summons(es), and Mantoni Legal will send them to the process server for service on the defendant(s). Once the issued summons(es) are received, Mantoni Legal will prepare the complaint packet, along with an instructional letter to the process server for service. *Practice Pointer: Waiting on the Clerk to issue the summons(es) can cause delay (some jurisdictions are quicker than others).
STEP 8 – SERVICE OF PROCESS (SERVING THE DEFENDANT(S))
The process server attempts to personally serve the defendant(s). If the defendant(s) cannot be located after at least 2 attempts, made no less than 6 hours apart the process server can serve the defendants by posting the summons and complaint on the home.
Once served, the process server forwards a Return of Service to Mantoni Legal, which is then reviewed to ensure service was properly made and, if so, file the Return with the Court and document the defendant(s) response date.
STEP 10 – RESPONSE TIME-FRAMEIn a complaint for eviction only, the defendant(s) have 5 days to respond (not including the day of service, Saturdays, Sundays, or any legal holiday).
STEP 11 – NO RESPONSE After the defendant’s response date/deadline has passed, and no response was filed with the court (Mantoni Legal verifies this by accessing the online court docket), Mantoni Legal prepares a Motion for Clerk’s Default, a proposed Clerk’s Default, and electronically files all with the court.
STEP 12 – CLERK’S DEFAULT Upon receipt of the Default package prepared by Mantoni Legal, and upon verifying that the defendant failed to file a response with the court within the time allowed for by law, the Clerk will enter Default against the defendant(s). *Practice Note: The time it takes for the Clerk to enter the default will vary by case and by county. Waiting on the Clerk to enter the default is a potential cause for delay, due to heavy caseloads handled by the Courts. Some jurisdictions are slower than others.
STEP 13 – FINAL JUDGMENT Upon entry of the Clerk’s Default, Mantoni Legal prepares and electronically files a Motion for Default Final Judgment, a proposed Final Judgment for eviction, an Affidavit in Proof of Claim, and a detailed letter to the Judge requesting that the Final Judgment be granted without a hearing. *Practice Pointer: Every Judge has individualized requirements for preparation, receipt, and transmission of the Final Judgment. *Practice Note: Waiting on the Judge to read the Motion for Default Final Judgment and enter the Final Judgment is the most common cause of delay. The Court docket is constantly checked to ensure that Mantoni Legal is aware as soon as the Judgment is entered.
STEP 14 – CLERK ISSUES WRIT OF POSSESSION Under Chapter 723, Florida Statute, the Writ of Possession shall not issue earlier than 10 days from the date judgment is granted. Accordingly, 10 days after the Final Judgment is entered by the Judge, Mantoni Legal prepares and electronically files the Writ with the Court. The Writ will be issued by the Clerk and returned to Mantoni Legal.
STEP 15 – WRIT IS SENT TO THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE Once the Writ is returned, Mantoni Legal will forward the Writ of Possession to the appropriate Sheriff’s office, along with a check for execution, for service on the defendant(s). Once the Sheriff receives the Writ and check, the Sheriff will coordinate with the Community Manager for execution. *Practice Note: The Sheriff’s office must receive, process, and assign the Writ to a deputy for execution. It is important for the Community Representative to remain polite, stay accessible, and coordinate with the Sheriff’s office.
STEP 16 – WRIT EXECUTION When the Wit is executed, the Sheriff will remove all persons subject to the eviction from the home and lot. Advise Mantoni Legal of the date/time for execution. Mantoni Legal will remain available to the Community throughout this process.