Florida Business Lawyer: Florida Commercial Eviction – A Practical Guide for Landlords

Navigating the eviction process of a commercial tenant in Florida entails understanding various legal nuances, including the implications of the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC). This guide gives a an overview of these processes step-by-step for landlords.


Note: This doesn’t mean to pull from online or just guess what it says – it means read it carefully, understand it, and follow it closely.

1. Identify the Default

Determine the specific tenant default:

  • Non-payment of Rent: Ensure thorough payment record verification.
  • Other Lease Violations: Maintain documentation for any observed breaches.

Reference: Florida Statutes §83.05, §83.09.

2. Draft and Serve the Notice


  • Use formal company letterhead.
  • Clearly state the eviction reason and outline the required remedy.

Types of Notices:

  • Three-Day Notice for Non-Payment: Clearly list overdue amounts.
  • 15-Day Notice for Other Violations: Specify the exact nature of the breach and necessary corrective actions.

Serving the Notice:

  • Hand deliver or send via certified mail, retaining proof.

Reference: Florida Statutes §83.20.

3. File the Eviction Lawsuit

  • Approach the county court clerk’s office relevant to the property location.
  • Fill out the "unlawful detainer" action form and attach essential documents.

Post filing, the court will issue and dispatch a summons to the tenant.

Reference: Florida Statutes §83.20, §83.21.

4. Attend the Court Hearing

If challenged by the tenant:

  • Collate and organize all supporting documents.
  • Consider securing legal representation.
  • Clearly present your evidence during the hearing.

Reference: Florida Statutes §83.231.

5. Enforcing the Writ of Possession

  • Submit the acquired writ to the local county sheriff's office.

Following this, the sheriff will post a 24-hour eviction notice, proceeding with tenant removal if they don't comply.

6. Recovering Damages

  • Security Deposit: Lawfully deduct amounts due. Provide the tenant with an itemized deduction list.
  • Suing for Additional Damages: Depending on the amount, determine the right court to file your claim.

7. Landlord's Lien Law Rights in Florida

In situations of unpaid rent, Florida landlords may enforce a lien on the tenant's personal property within the premises.

Execution of the Lien:

  • Mention the lien right in the lease agreement.
  • Notify the tenant before any property sale for rent recovery.

Potential Issues:

  • Exemptions: Some tenant properties, like essential business items, may be exempt.
  • Legal Backlashes: If not executed correctly, tenants can legally challenge the lien, leading to potential liabilities for landlords.

Reference: Florida Statutes §83.08.

8. UCC Implications in Commercial Evictions

The Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) can come into play during commercial evictions, especially regarding the landlord's lien rights over a tenant's property.

  • Perfection of Security Interests: If a tenant has used their equipment or inventory as collateral for a loan, the lender likely has a perfected security interest in that property under the UCC. This means the lender's claim to the property takes precedence over the landlord's lien rights.
  • Sale of Tenant's Property: If you decide to sell a tenant's property to recover owed rent, UCC Article 9 outlines the process and notification requirements for selling personal property subject to a security interest.
  • Priority Issues: In scenarios where both the landlord and a third party claim an interest in the tenant's property, UCC guidelines will determine priority.

Landlords must be cautious and consult legal counsel when navigating UCC implications to avoid potential legal entanglements.

9. Practical Tips for Landlords

  • Consistent Documentation: Regularly update and maintain tenant records.
  • Legal Assistance: Engage with legal professionals, especially when dealing with evictions and UCC complexities.
  • Re-renting the Premises: Ensure the property is ready for new potential tenants.


Evicting a commercial tenant in Florida involves various steps and legal considerations. Beyond traditional eviction processes, understanding both the nuances of lien law rights and the implications of the UCC is essential for landlords. Seeking legal guidance throughout the process can ensure smooth proceedings and minimized potential legal challenges. If you have questions about the process, give us a call at 813-515-9392 for a free consultation!


  • Florida Statutes §83.05, §83.08, §83.09, §83.20, §83.21, §83.231.
  • Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) Articles.

About the Author:

A person in a suit and tie

Description automatically generated Chase Carpenter is a partner in the Business Division of Law Offices of Moffa, Sutton, & Donnini, P.A.. His practice revolves around business transactions and business litigation. Mr. Carpenter handles a wide range of cases including contract drafting, partnership disputes, commercial leases, and construction litigation. These cases encompass diverse industries, including healthcare, technology, real estate investment, and government contracting.

About the Firm:

The Law Offices of Moffa, Sutton, & Donnini, P.A., also known as MSD Business, is a local business law firm in Tampa, FL, serving clients throughout Fort Lauderdale and statewide. Our firm has a long history of helping clients navigate all types of complex legal matters, including local and state tax issues. In our business law practice, we assist clients with everything from mergers and acquisitions to contract disputes, business litigation, general counsel, and more.