Written by attorney David Michael Carrera

Removing an Unwanted Guest from Your Home

Chapter 82 of the Florida Statutes provides a helpful process for removing an unwanted guest from your home. Essentially, if you ask a house guest to leave and they do not comply, you may file an “unlawful detainer” action against them. The unlawful detainer process involves the following steps:

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Whether you are a homeowner or tenant, you may utilize this process to remove any unwelcome guests. Most unlawful detainers conclude within a few weeks, or even sooner if law enforcement removes the occupant in step (1). Unfortunately, not all law enforcement agencies have procedures to enforce this statute. So, officers will often consider it a “civil matter” and decline to help. If this happens, you simply need to file an unlawful detainer case with the court. An increasing number of property owners and tenants are inviting guests into their homes, and having difficulty getting them to leave. Chapter 82 is a useful tool in these situations, but not without its challenges. If you need help removing an unwanted guest, ex-boyfriend, ex-girlfriend, or even squatter, you should retain an attorney to handle the legal process.

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