Eviction Process

A Landlord’s Perspective On Eviction Process: What They Must Do To Get Rid Of Unlawful Detainer

When you own property and decide to rent it out, you become landlord to a tenant. For some landlords, tenants can be a dream come true. For others, however, it’s a landlord’s worst nightmare, which causes them to seek an eviction of the tenant. Now, landlords may not use any self-help measures to get rid of a tenant such as changing the locks, cutting off the utilities or using a bat to get rid of them. Rather, the landlord must seek a legal recourse to remove the tenant. They must file an eviction lawsuit.

A Look At The Unlawful Detainer/Eviction Process

This kind of lawsuit will move quickly in the court system. It starts the moment the landlord files his/her complaint. In the majority of case, the tenant will have just five days to answer it. Once a tenant files his/her answer (or ignores it, which allows the landlord to win on default), the court will render a judgment in at least 20 days. Other litigations can take years before they are finished.

Should a tenant file his/her answer to defend the case, the court will hold a hearing where both parties will present their case. If the tenant wins his/her case, they may stay on site and, perhaps, have a monetary recourse for their attorney fees from the landlord.

Should the landlord win his/her case, the court issues a writ of possession. This writ permits the sheriff to get rid of the tenant. The tenant will have just five days from the date the sheriff gives him/her the writ to vacate the premises.

If a tenant fails to vacate at the end of the fifth day, the sheriff has the right to lock him/her out and seize the property left on the premises. Once the sheriff has vacated the tenant, the landlord has the rights back to the property. The court may also award the landlord unpaid rent, attorney fees, court costs.

Costs – The minimum costs for a landlord to do the eviction process is about $1,500 in attorney fees then another $800 for filing fees and service of process. The $1,500 applies should the tenant not respond to lawsuit. Should the tenant file an answer to defend the case or goes into bankruptcy, the fees for the attorney will go up.

Timing – An eviction process can take up to nearly two months to complete. The minimum time will apply if the tenant fails to answers the complaint and the landlord gets a simple default. However, if the tenant decides to defend themselves or files for bankruptcy, the eviction could take many months.

Why Landlords Need To Be Careful

Believe it or not, it’s fairly easy to mess up an eviction case. This can include the complaint, notice period, service of process, etc. For instance, it might be hard to keep track of the notice and response periods that apply to the case. Pre-compliant notice periods can range from three days to 30, 60 or 90 days. After a landlord files the complaint, the tenant may have several deadlines to file their response… all dependent on how the landlord made the service. One also has to factor in the response time for a Prejudgment Claim of Right to Possession.

In eviction cases, the courts will not cut landlords slack. They will make landlords begin the process over for every mistake and this means losing months of possible income. The first eviction process needs to be the only eviction process for the tenant.

For other legal issues and updates, go to Legal Document Online site, and you will find many free legal forms that can be downloaded for free of charge, including Rental Agreements, Property Landlords that can be used for real estate realted matters.