A Step-by-Step Guide to the Eviction Process

Whether you are a landlord or a tenant, it is important to understand the eviction process. As a tenant, it will ensure you understand your rights. As a landlord, it is critical to follow the legal guidelines or you could end up with far more issues than just a non-paying tenant. The following steps are necessary for any eviction. It is absolutely never allowed to simply change the locks, cut off the gas or electric, or threaten a tenant to force them to leave. While this process can seem a bit complex, when done correctly it will move along fairly quickly and you’ll get the results you need.

Serve the Eviction Notice

If a tenant is violating their rental or lease agreement, the first step should be to serve them with a written notification. This notice will let the tenant know that they are in violation of their agreement, and if the issue(s) outlined in the notice aren’t fixed within a specified amount of time (typically 5-30 days depending on what the violation is), they will be evicted. The most common reason for an eviction is non-payment, but other issues such as keeping a pet, having noise complaints, or any number of other things will also require the same type of notice.

File for an Eviction in Court

If the tenant does not properly solve the issue identified in the eviction notice within the specified amount of time, it is time to file a complaint with the courts. When you file with the courts, you will need to provide them with the reasons for the eviction, and in most cases, pay the necessary fees. The courts will serve the tenant and schedule a hearing date where you can present your case, and the tenant can present their defense.

Attend the Court Hearing

Both the landlord and the tenant will be given a date and time on which they need to appear in court to present their cases. When appearing in court, all evidence will be presented to the judge to let them know why the tenant is being evicted. The judge in these cases will have full discretion on whether or not to evict the tenant so it is important for both sides to be ready to present their evidence properly.

Have the Writ of Possession Served

If the judge rules on the side of the landlord, they will issue a writ of possession. This is a legal document that demands the possession of the rental property be returned to the landlord by a set date. In most cases, the writ of possession will be issued to the tenant by a sheriff or other legal authority.

Eviction of Tenant

If the tenant does not leave on their own by the date specified by the courts, the sheriff or other authorized party will arrive to supervise the forced entry into the property by the landlord or their representative. If the tenant is physically present at this time, the sheriff will remove them. At this time, all the contents of the property will be removed, the locks will be changed, and the landlord can begin the process of renting the property out to another party.

If you are a landlord seeking to evict a tenant, or you have been served an eviction notice by your landlord, contact The Law Office of Ray Garcia, P.A, today to see how we can help you.