How to Get a Court Order to Evict Tenant

Having a problem tenant is a landlord's worst nightmare.

Despite extensive screening measures and other safety precautions, it is still possible for problematic tenants to slip through the cracks and violate the leasing agreement.

Sometimes it happens because of circumstances outside of the tenant's control.

Whatever the case may be, it may be necessary to get a court order so that a tenant can be evicted. Here's what you're going to need to do.

You Must Send a Written Notice of Violation

Any activity, behavior, or choice that violates that rental agreement you have with a tenant is potentially grounds for an eviction. In order to pursue the court order, you must first notify the tenant of what portion of the rental agreement with which they have fallen out of compliance.

You must stipulate the specific portion in its entirety in the notice, provide copies of any applicable laws, and discuss what a tenant needs to do in order to rectify the situation.

You must also give a tenant a deadline in order to accomplish these tasks.

If they are able to rectify the situation to your satisfaction, then no further action is necessary.

If they do not, then you must continue to act to get a court ordered eviction because most jurisdictions have an automatic expiration on any notice that makes it invalid for a court order after a specific period of time, which is usually 60 days.

You Must Petition the Court For the Eviction

If the violation of the rental agreement is not satisfactorily rectified, then the landlord has the right to petition the court for an eviction.

This is a formal filing that must occur and is similar to any other lawsuit that occurs.

Once the court accepts the filing, the tenant will be given a chance to respond to the filing.

They have a limited amount of time, typically between 7-21 days, to respond.

If they do not, then a default judgment will be ordered by the court and the eviction order will be issued.

If they do respond, then the court will recognize this defense and schedule a hearing.

If there is evidence supplied by the tenant in response to the filing, the court may also order a response by the landlord that again can take between 7-21 days before the hearing date will be scheduled.

Once fully accepted, however, a hearing date is typically scheduled within 14 days of both parties supplying information.

The court will then decide what should happen based on a preponderance of the evidence at hand.

If a landlord has not followed the proper notification steps, then it is very possible for a judge to throw out the eviction request, award the tenant legal costs or fees, and force the landlord to start all over again.

Before evicting a tenant or pursuing a court order, it is important to consider all aspects of the situation. Have they been good tenants until now?  Would a little help be able to bring them into compliance?

An eviction generally costs everyone something.

If it can be avoided, then it generally should be. If not, then this guide will help you pursue the court order that you need to finalize the eviction.

Posted on Aug 25, 2014


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