Eviction Due Process: What You Need Know About the Procedure

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Eviction is not a desirable result for either landlords or tenants. Surprisingly, eviction procedures happen much more frequently than you would assume. It isn’t always about not being able to pay rent or dues too. Other reasons go beyond that.

Although some evictions are inevitable, landlords should follow several guidelines to lease responsibly and avoid evictions. For example, carefully screening tenants and signing state-compliant contracts.

This short guide on the eviction procedure is helpful to landlords and tenants.

What Is an Eviction?

Evictions are a long and expensive process. They begin with an eviction notice, often in the form of a Pay or Quit Notice, and end with unlawful detention taken out by local law authorities. Knowing your rights may help ensure that you’re abiding by all laws placed on landlords and property managers throughout this lengthy procedure.

However, if you feel that you are being taken advantage of or are unsure how to proceed with an eviction procedure, it will be best to consult a professional. Contact a residential real estate attorney to help shed light on the issue. As professionals, they can give expert opinions on the best course of action so that the eviction procedure doesn’t take too much time.

Learn more about the steps in the legal eviction process.

Pay or Quit Notice

A Pay or Quit notice intends to serve as a formal warning to renters who violate their lease. It will issue the renter specific advice on how to abide by the lease and notify them of the number of days before the landlord files an eviction in court.

A landlord should send a Pay or Quit Notice via certified mail. It ensures that a legal record of the date notice provided exists. It is standard practice to post the eviction notice on the property’s front door. However, this should only be done in addition to delivering the notice through certified mail.

Eviction Forms and Filing

After receiving a Pay or Quit Notice, the tenant has a certain number of days to comply with the lease or leave the property. If the renter fails to comply within the specified notice time, the landlord can file an eviction complaint against the tenant in court.

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Filing a Forcible Detainer to evict a renter requires the use of the following forms:

  • Eviction Complaint — This form initiates the eviction procedure.
  • Summons — It notifies the renter of the impending eviction.

When an eviction petition is filed in court, a judge will evaluate the case documentation and judgment. It is advantageous to have a copy of the signed lease, a record of all payments, and any relevant conversation between the landlord and the renter.

Prepare for the eviction case by collecting all necessary documents for the jury or judge. The decision is released once all parties involved have presented their cases. It specifies the criteria for any money due and the directions for the renters’ eviction.

Judgment

The last stage in the eviction process is the judgment. After a decision has been passed, a landlord can evict and expel the tenants and their belongings. Harassment or intimidation is both undesirable and unlawful, even after the landlord has been granted an eviction. If the renter refuses to leave the property willingly, the court will issue an eviction or expulsion order to local law authorities.

Individual states have various rules regarding the removal of a renters’ personal belongings. Some states require things to be removed via the judicial process, while others allow landlords free rein once the property has been vacated.

Additional Information for Tenants

Possible Tenant Eviction Defenses

If the court summons you, you could be able to reduce the landlord’s prospects of success. Perhaps you can refer to poor documentation in the eviction lawsuit preparation. The unlawful conduct, such as failing to keep the rental property in livable shape, would serve as a strong defense, as could a claim that the eviction case is being filed in retribution for your insistence on necessary, significant repairs.

Sheriff Escort During an Eviction

Even if the landlord wins the eviction case, the landlord cannot just take you and your belongings out onto the pavement. Landlords must deliver the court decision to a local law authorities office, along with a charge. A marshal or sheriff notifies you that the officer will return within a few days to take you off the property.

Even with the best renters, there is still the possibility of eviction. If you consider evicting someone, you should know how to proceed and anticipate throughout the process. It is essential to remember that particular regulations may differ based on your local laws or state, so make sure to verify them to ensure you are operating legally.

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