If your rental property is owned in a corporate name, you may need an attorney to handle any contested eviction to evict a non-paying tenant. Even through Florida’s small claims rules permits representation of a corporate entity by an employee, if you are seeking possession of the rental property (eviction), that is not within the scope of the small claims rules.
Anecdotally, the County Court will not require the landlord to obtain representation when the eviction is uncontested (meaning the tenant does not come to the Court to contest the eviction.) However, when the eviction becomes contested, the Court will usually require an attorney to represent the corporate landlord.
The applicable rule limiting the rules of small claims, and therefore the rule permitting non attorney representation of a corporation, is Fla. R. Sm. Claims Rule 7.010.
RULE 7.010. TITLE AND SCOPE
(a) Title. These rules shall be cited as Florida Small Claims Rules and may be abbreviated “Fla. Sm. Cl. R.” These rules shall be construed to implement the simple, speedy, and inexpensive trial of actions at law in county courts.
(b) Scope. These rules are applicable to all actions of a civil nature in the county courts which contain a demand for money or property, the value of which does not exceed $5,000 exclusive of costs, interest, and attorneys’ fees. If there is a difference between the time period prescribed by these rules and by section 51.011, Florida Statutes, the statutory provision shall govern.
Likewise in foreclosure actions, mostly in Circuit Court, a winning bidder needing to evict a tenant/possessor of the foreclosed property, may have to retain counsel to obtain a Writ of Possession to remove the holdovers.
If you need to obtain a writ of possession in a foreclosure, or otherwise need representation in an eviction matter, please feel free to contact Andrew Douglas, P.A.