When it comes to evicting a tenant, there are a few things you need to know. Sometimes, it’s as simple as giving the tenant notice and following the correct legal steps. However, in other cases, there may be specific reasons you need to take extra care during the eviction process. Here we’ll go over everything you need to know about evicting a tenant, including what type of notice to give and when to start the legal proceedings. Keep in mind that laws vary by state, so make sure you check with your local government to get up-to-date information.
What Is an Eviction Process?
An eviction process begins when a landlord serves a tenant with an eviction notice. The most common type of eviction notice is a Notice to Quit, which orders the tenant to vacate the property within a certain number of days. If the tenant does not leave by the end of the notice period, then the landlord can file for an unlawful detainer lawsuit, which is basically a legal process to have the tenant removed from the property.
How Does Eviction Work? The eviction process varies depending on the laws of the state in which the property is located. However, there are some general steps that landlords must take in order to evict a tenant.
First, the landlord must provide notice to the tenant stating that they have violated their lease agreement. The specific violation will be stated in this notice. The tenant will then have a certain amount of time to remedy the situation, usually between 3-10 days.
If the tenant does not remedy the situation within this time period, the landlord can then file an eviction lawsuit with the court. Once the lawsuit is filed, the court will issue a summons for the tenant to appear in court and answer the charges against them.
Steps in the Legal Eviction Process
1. Pay or Quit Notice
When a tenant is given a pay or quits notice, they have a certain number of days to either pay the rent owed or leave the property. If the tenant does neither of these things, then they will be considered to have illegally trespassed on the property and will be subject to eviction.
2. Filing an Unlawful Detainer Lawsuit
There are specific eviction forms that must be filed in order to evict a tenant. The first step is to serve the tenant with a notice to vacate, which gives the tenant a specific amount of time to leave the property. If the tenant does not leave, then the landlord can file an unlawful detainer lawsuit. This lawsuit requests that the court order the tenant to leave and award damages to the landlord.
If a tenant does not move out after receiving a notice to vacate, the landlord can file a lawsuit called an Unlawful Detainer Action. The lawsuit is filed in civil court and is handled by a law enforcement officer called a process server. The server will serve the tenant with a copy of the lawsuit and will post a copy of the lawsuit on the door of the property. If the tenant does not respond to the lawsuit, the court will issue a Judgment stating that the tenant must move out. The Judgment will also order the tenant to pay any back rent and damages that may have been caused by the tenant.
4. Preparing For New Tenants
The Forcible Detainer gives law enforcement permission to remove the tenant from the property. In some cases, the court may also order the tenant to pay back rent or damages. Once law enforcement removes the tenant, the property is then cleared for new tenants. Landlords should be familiar with their state’s laws regarding Eviction Notices and the Eviction Process to ensure they are following proper procedures.
How Much Does an Eviction Cost?
The cost of eviction will vary depending on the state and county in which the eviction takes place. In some states, evictions are handled entirely by the court system, while in others, landlords must hire private attorneys. The average cost to shatter a lease is approx. $3,500.
Some landlords choose to Evict for Non-Payment of Rent charges without actually understanding how much eviction costs and what is included in those costs. Landlords who evict their tenants using the legal system in order to have them removed from the rental property may accrue significant fees and possible penalties during this time that they did not account for when originally pricing their rental units.
How Long Does an Eviction Take?
It depends on the court and the situation, but it can take weeks or even months.
If the tenant is being evicted for not paying rent, then the eviction process will usually move more quickly. The tenant will be served with a notice of eviction and then have a hearing before a judge. If the tenant does not leave after the hearing, then the sheriff will be sent to forcibly remove them from the property.
However, if there are other reasons for evicting a tenant (e.g., they are damaging or disturbing other tenants), then the process can move much more slowly. The tenant may not be given a notice of eviction and may not have a chance to plead their case before a judge.
What Should You Know?
Knowing That Eviction is Part of the Business
As a landlord, you should be aware that eviction is sometimes an unavoidable part of the business. While it is certainly not a pleasant experience, it is important to know the process in case you ever need to initiate one. While this may seem like a drastic measure, it is important to remember that eviction is a last resort and should only be used when absolutely necessary.
Never Take Matters into Your Own Hands
While it may be tempting to take matters into your own hands, there are a few reasons why you should never do this.
First, it is important to remember that evictions are a legal process. If you do not follow the proper procedures, you could be sued by the tenant or be required to pay damages. Second, even if you do follow the legal process, attempting to evict a tenant yourself can be dangerous. There is always the possibility that the tenant will become violent or that damage will be caused to the property. Finally, by taking matters into your own hands, you run the risk of losing rent money while the eviction is taking place. It is always best to hire a professional eviction service to handle this process for you.
Ensure You Have a Logical Reason for Eviction
If you do decide to proceed with an eviction, it is important to make sure that you have a valid reason for doing so. Depending on your state’s laws, there are a number of reasons that may be considered grounds for eviction, such as non-payment of rent, damage to the property, or disruptive behaviour. However, it is important to note that even if you have a valid reason for eviction, the process can be complicated and time-consuming. Before taking any action, be sure to consult with an experienced attorney who can help you navigate the legal landscape.
Prepare for the Hearing
It’s important to arrive at the hearing well-prepared, as the judge will make a decision based on the evidence that is presented. Be sure to bring any relevant documentation, such as the lease agreement or communications from the tenant. If you’re well-prepared, you’ll be in a good position to prevail in your case and evict the tenant.
What to do If A Tenant is Behind on Rent?
If you are a landlord with a tenant who is behind on rent, you may be considering eviction. However, evictions can be costly and time-consuming, so it is important to understand all of your options before taking this step. One option is to request payment from the tenant’s security deposit.
Another option is to offer the tenant a payment plan. If the tenant agrees to a payment plan, be sure to put it in writing and have both parties sign it. You can also consider appointing a collection agency. Once you have exhausted all other options, then you can proceed with eviction. Keep in mind that evictions can be complicated, so it is always best to consult with an attorney before taking this step. There are also organizations that can help with past-due rent, although they may have strict eligibility requirements.
Whatever route you take, it is important to act quickly. The longer you wait, the more likely it is that your landlord will proceed with the eviction process. By taking action early on, you can improve your chances of avoiding eviction and getting the rent you owe paid off.