The Complete Legal Guide on How to Get an Eviction Notice
If you’re a property owner faced with the unpleasantness of evicting a tenant, you’re not alone. In fact, there are over 900,000 evictions in the United States every year. This means that knowing how to get an eviction notice the right way is critical for your long-term success.
Failing to follow the proper procedures when a tenant doesn’t pay can land you in hot water. This quick primer will teach you the basics of the legal eviction process.
What is Eviction?
An eviction, also known as an unlawful detainer lawsuit, is a formal legal proceeding filed by a property owner. Failure to pay rent is the most common reason for initiating an eviction procedure.
If the judge rules in your favor, you can enlist the help of local law enforcement to remove the tenant and take back control of your property.
The Legal Eviction Process
Every state has specific legal eviction procedures for eviction. If you don’t follow the process correctly, your mistakes could cost you. You could end up with a delayed eviction date, the judge could rule in favor of the tenant, or you could even end up owing your tenant money.
Here are the steps required for a legal eviction:
1. Show That You Have a Legal Reason for Eviction
The first step in pursuing an eviction is showing that you have a legal basis for doing so. Note that you cannot pursue an eviction due to a personality conflict, minor disagreement, or other illegal reason.
Some of the legally valid reasons for eviction include:
- Failure to pay rent
- Violation of the terms of the lease
- Causing property damage
- Making threats to the safety of other interested parties
- Breaking local housing laws
If you’re not sure whether your have a case, consult with a real estate litigation attorney before taking any action.
2. Notify Your Tenant
In most cases, the property owner must notify the tenant of the violation. You must also inform them they need to either remedy the situation or move out.
This requirement is sometimes waived if the situation presents an immediate danger to the property or persons involved.
3. File Your Case
If the tenant fails to fix the situation, the next step is to file a case in the court system. You’ll receive a court date and the tenant is served with a summons.
It could take a few weeks or months for the court date to arrive. You must let your tenant stay in the property until the case is heard. In most cases, the tenant won’t pay rent during this time.
4. Attend Your Court Date
During the court procedure, you’ll present your case and all evidence you have to support your claims. If the judge rules in your favor, you’ll receive a date for your eviction. You can then contact the police to start the process of removing the tenant.
5. Taking Back Possession of Your Property
On the eviction date, the property becomes yours once again. At that point, you can change the locks and deal with any possessions your tenant may have left behind.
Do You Have More Questions About How to Get an Eviction Notice?
In some circumstances, it makes sense to consult with a legal professional before starting the eviction process. At Matfred Law, we have plenty of experience and can tell you exactly how to get an eviction notice for your specific property. Contact us today to schedule your no-cost initial consultation.