Eviction delays during the holiday season can occur for a variety of reasons, but the most common reasons are because of court closures.
Florida law states that if a tenant fails to pay rent, the landlord must serve a Three Day Notice for Nonpayment of Rent. The Notice does not count Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays. A legal holiday is any holiday that results in the courts being closed. For example, courts are usually closed on Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, the Friday after Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. Landlords cannot include those days on their Three Day Notices. Additionally, if the eviction suit is filed, the case will be delayed if the courts are closed. This results in longer times for final judgments, hearing dates, mediations, and writs of possession being executed by the Sheriff.
It is also the time of year when many judges and their judicial staff take vacation. The same goes for Clerk’s office employees who process the writs of possession for the Sheriff to execute. Many judges will review paperwork and set hearings upon returning from vacation, and landlords will most likely see delays in final judgments being entered and the writ of processing time affected too.
Landlords should still move forward with filing evictions, but they should be aware of the potential delays during the Holidays.