The Eviction Process | How to Go About Evicting a Tenant

evicting a residential property and cleaning the interior in order to drive up value

Although it may seem like going out of your way for a noncompliant tenant is difficult, you’re now able to enter the eviction process confidently. Once you’ve done everything you can for the renter, the case you have against them is validated. Not only will contract violations be evident, but your willingness to resolve the dispute is apparent and well documented. Whether you’re dealing with a vacation rental, residential property or commercial building, staying on top of the tenant is a must. When they fail to meet obligations, necessary action is required. So, let’s take a look at the first step you need to take to get the eviction process rolling.

Five Day Notice

The first step in the eviction process is to get a Five Day Notice served to the tenant. When obtaining this, make sure you’re able to communicate why you want to end the lease agreement. You can’t simply say you dislike the tenant. We wanted to mention this because it allows you to review your reasoning. If your decision is an emotional one, like mentioned in part 1, then you may not be quite ready to file the eviction.

The Five Day Notice is served in paper form and notifies the tenants that they have five days to pay the rent that is owed (or whatever the eviction cause is) or choose to move out of the property and give possession back to the landlord, homeowner or management company. After the eviction notice is served, the tenants have five days to respond. Even though the tenant is being asked to leave by a certain date, the tenant has the right to stay on the premises until the judge has heard both the tenant and the landlord’s cases in court.

You serve a 5-day if they are late paying rent and other items such as HOA violations, unauthorized occupant/animal you serve the tenant a 10-day notice (they have 10 days to rectify the problem).  Best bet is to consult an attorney or a property manager if you want to run it past someone, since the court system is not involved at this point.

Forcible Detainer

If the tenants do not pay in full within the five days, or correct the problem within the allotted time frame, you have the right to go to court and file a forcible detainer. This is the step where you actually file a complaint or petition with the local court and begin pursuing the tenant with an eviction lawsuit. At this point in the process, you will be required to pay a small fee. This cost will end up being included in the final judgement if the court rules in your favor.

In order to proceed, the tenant must be served with the court documents that include the hearing date. From here, both the tenant and the landlord will be summoned to the court. On the court date, the judge will ask questions of both parties and gather all of the details leading up to this point. Once again, this is where your documentation comes in handy. The landlord can expect questions about whether there is a lease in place and if the Five Day Notice was sent. The tenant will be asked about the lease and why they’ve failed to honor the terms of the agreement or why rent hasn’t been paid.

The result is either a dismissed case or the landlord receiving a judgment against the tenant. Once the ruling has been made, the tenant will be legally obligated to leave the property. Like we mentioned in part one of this blog series, an unlawful detainer action is typically a proceeding that can move quickly through the court system. At the same time, in some jurisdictions, tenants can request to a jury trial where the jury determines whether the tenant should be evicted or not.

Involving the Constable

If the tenant does not leave after another five days have passed, the landlord has the right to go back to court and file a Writ of Restitution to remove the renter from the premises. In this situation, the landlord or management company will need to recap all events and inform the court that the tenant is refusing to vacate the property. Once this grievance is accepted, the judge will order the Constable (typically a Sheriff or law enforcement officer) to go to your property and physically remove the tenant from your home.  The tenant is normally given a few minutes to gather necessities with law enforcement present.

You will want to meet the Constable at the property in order to change the locks.  If the tenant leaves possessions inside the house, they will need to arrange with you a future day that they can get back into the home to gather their belongings.  If they do not arrange to come and remove their possessions from the house, you need to inventory and store them for 21 days; however, you can charge storage and removal fees back to the tenant.  At this point you can evaluate any damage to your house, charge it back to the tenant, and can look into further collection possibilities.

Unfortunately, not every rental property is returned in the same condition you left in it. The result may be a number of up front costs you’re forced to take care of. It can be a difficult situation to face, but keeping track of everything that’s transpired will pay off in the long run. Taking pictures before tenant moves in and after tenant moves out is recommended for documentation.  If you’re in need of assistance when it comes to deep cleaning the home, don’t hesitate to reach out. If you plan on putting the property back on the market, it’s important that you don’t open yourself up to further liabilities by not properly cleaning or repairing damage. We take pride in thoroughly inspecting every property and making sure all of our rental clients are free and clear of experiencing additional losses.

Thanks for stopping by, we hope all of this was helpful! Follow our blog or check us out on social media for additional tips on property management and our cleaning services.


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