Your in a bind! Your tenant hasn’t paid rent in two months and is in no hurry to move out. You need immediate legal assistance and don’t know where to start. Without a friendly referral, you’ll most likely “Google It” . There it is! Attorneys listed in the order closest to you in proximity. Keep in mind, the lawyer closest to you in miles should not be the only filter when selecting legal counsel.
You quickly browse through your results and are ready to call those with the highest review rating. Don’t settle on the first choice. Call two or three attorneys to get an idea of how they compare. A lawyer must have excellent communication skills. They must be able to verbally articulate to you a plan of action, prepare written legal documents and be a good listener.
Ring…Ring… You explain that your tenant is not paying the rent and not moving out any time soon. Your mortgage payment is due. This is an urgent matter.
The first attorney responds, “We can help you with this matter. Our retainer fee is $1000 and we can start working on it tomorrow. Would you like to pay with a credit card?”
The second attorney responds, “We can help you with this matter. Do you have an executed lease that you can fax or email to me for review?”
Additionally, the attorney provides a clear written outline of the subsequent steps to evict the tenant and discloses that there may be additional sheriff and court fees. At this point, the attorney will most likely send you an email clearly outlining the process to evict the tenant and the requirements to retain their service.
Looks like you’ve done your research and found an attorney that can help you with this urgent matter. Great! But, before signing the retainer agreement, view your attorney’s profile on your State Bar Association site. The Bar Association maintains basic information about attorneys licensed to practice in the state, current status to practice and previous disciplinary actions against the attorney.
In Florida, the direct link to find a lawyer’s profile is http://www.floridabar.org/wps/portal/flbar/home/directories/MBR/