Best Steps to Evict a Tenant
Why Do You Need To Evict a Tenant?
The most common reason why an eviction is sought is because of a lack of rental payments being made. Almost any violation of the rental agreement, however, can eventually result in the eviction of a tenant in most jurisdictions. What a landlord needs to do first is send the tenant a notice to quit or a notice to pay or quit, depending on the situation.
For an added measure of security, consider having the letter notarized to show evidence of witnesses. You'll also want to send this through certified mail, even if you have live-in apartment managers, to show proof of sending and delivery. Include the violations in the letter, give specific steps that can be taken to rectify the situation, and set a specific deadline. If they don't meet the requirements, then you can continue with the eviction process.
Get the Court Involved
Once your deadline has passed, you are able to file for an eviction proceeding with the court. You'll need to present your case as you're filing it, which means you must show documentation of all the steps you took to help bring the tenant back into compliance. Just because you file this before the court doesn't mean you will automatically get an eviction. Never assume.
Your tenant has the right to file a response. If they do so within the allowed timeframe, then the court will notify all parties that a hearing will be scheduled on the matter. This is typically 2-3 weeks from the day the court receives the response from the tenant. If the tenant does not respond, however, you will be granted a default judgment from the court and this will create an eviction order.
Landlords Do Not Evict Tenants
Once the court orders an eviction, it becomes the duty of the Sheriff's office to enforce it. The deputies will typically post a notice on the door of a home that tells residents they have 72 hours to evacuate themselves and their possessions from the property. If they do not, then they are considered trespassers in most jurisdictions and the Sheriff's office will take whatever steps are appropriate for that situation.
Landlords at no time should involve themselves in the actual eviction of tenants or touch their possessions during the actual occurrence because this may setup future legal concerns. Once the tenants have been evicted, the landlord is able to begin the property restoration process.
By following these best steps to an eviction, this process can be as painless as possible. If you do not, you might just find that the court orders the eviction proceeding to be dismissed. That would mean having to start over and that can be a very expensive prospect indeed.
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