Eviction: How Long it Takes and What to Expect
In an ideal world, tenant-landlord relationships would always be clean, positive, and beneficial to both parties. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Tenants may fail to pay rent, break core rules on their lease, or prove to be incompatible with the community. When all else fails, this can lead to eviction. But what should you expect as a landlord facing this process for the first time?
1. Review Your State Laws
First and foremost, it is important to do detailed research on your state’s specific laws. Details that impact timelines on things like deposits, contracts, and even evictions will vary depending on where you are located.
That said, there are some general points that are fairly universal across state lines. This is where we can help you regardless of your location.
2. Eviction Process
The foundation of the eviction process can essentially be summed up by four main steps. While the details and technicalities may vary between states, it will almost always look something like this:
The written notice: the landlord (you) provides a written notice of eviction to the tenant. This officially sets things in motion. This notice should explain clearly to the tenant why they are facing eviction and what they can expect to happen next. If there is room to repair the relationship, this can include a deadline to fix the concerns before the case is formally filed.
The tenant receives summons and complaints: assuming the tenant neither fixes the issues nor complies on their own, it is time to take formal legal action. This is a quick process that informs the court of what is happening.
Tenant Response: this is the tenant’s opportunity to defend themselves and present evidence proving they shouldn’t be convicted. Once both parties have established their sides, the court process can begin.
Court Hearing: this is typically scheduled within three weeks of the tenant’s response.
Judgment and Eviction: if the judge rules in your favor, you can take the case to local law enforcement for assistance in forcing the tenant(s) off the property if they still are not complying.
While the process is straightforward, it is important to note that a number of things can impact the actual timeline of the proceedings. There is no guaranteed timeframe to complete the eviction process!
3. What Can Slow Eviction Down
In the most ideal scenario for the landlord, it can take as little as a couple of weeks to complete the eviction. If the tenant decides to leave immediately, it can take even less than that. In more complex scenarios where judges request additional evidence and things get more complicated, it could take a few months.
Three main reasons for slow-downs include a potential requirement for multiple offenses by the tenant, proper evidence ruling in favor of the tenant’s case, and adamant refusal by the tenant to vacate the property.
The legal side of property ownership is tricky. Learn your rights and protect your assets by contacting Onyx Group Legal today for a free consultation. Our team is ready to help with knowledge and advice that will help you ensure that you’re successfully exercising your rights as a landlord or property owner.