Can I change door locks with a Final Judgement of Unlawful Detainer

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Can I change door locks with a Final Judgement of Unlawful Detainer

There is no lease agreement. My girlfriend moved out over a month ago and has not been heard from since. However, she left all of her possessions in my home. She still has a key and can get them any time. I filed for an ejection eviction. She did not respond so she defaulted. I am waiting on a writ of possession from the clerk of courts. Can I change my door locks before I receive the writ? Is there a time period that I must wait to do this?

Asked on December 19, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

1) You can't evict on the judgment--only with the writ. It is a two-step process: get the judgment, then use it to apply for and get the writ.
2) YOU do not change the locks by yourself: the writ must be executed by a sheriff's deputy in conjunction with you. The writ goes to the sheriff's office, which coordinates with you and meets you for the lock-out. The law does this so the sheriff is on hand to both prevent breaches of the peace (violence between the homeowner/landlord and person being removed) and to make sure that the legal requirements are all complied with.


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