Most laws and regulations governing the landlord-tenant relationship exist at the state and local levels. When it comes to evictions, the process can vary between court jurisdictions. If you need to remove a tenant, be sure to research your local procedures. It may benefit you to consult with a qualified attorney with expertise in evictions. Missing critical steps in the process can result in loss of rights, financial losses, and the inability to remove the tenant in a reasonable timeframe.
Step 1: Eviction Notice
The process of removing tenants from your property begins with an eviction notice. Known as a “Notice to Quit,” the notice must include the reasons for the eviction, outline how the eviction can be avoided, and the amount of time available for resolutions.
How the notice is provided and the terms provided are governed by a local court jurisdiction. In some jurisdictions, landlords can deliver eviction notices by posting them on tenants’ doors, while others may require a certified copy. There are also local laws outlining how long tenants have to resolve the eviction. Research your local requirements.
Step 2: Eviction Court Proceedings
After serving a notice of eviction, landlords must wait a period of time before taking additional action. If no resolution is reached within the legally prescribed timeframe, whether that is repayment of all rents and fees or voluntarily exiting the property, then the landlord may proceed with the eviction process.
It is important to know that landlords are legally restricted from physically removing tenants and their possessions. To continue with a legal eviction, the landlord must secure a court order. Most jurisdictions around the United States have expedited court services for eviction proceedings.
The court will require documentation that supports the reason for the eviction, and there will be court fees involved. If the court agrees that the eviction is merited, the landlord will receive an eviction court order to serve the tenant. In some states, the tenant is allowed to contest the eviction and appear before the judge for a hearing.