In the world of property management, there are many things that nobody looks forward to.
One of the most expensive and stressful of these events is an eviction process.
Evictions can cost thousands of dollars and take an incredible amount of time.
So, for this reason, landlords and property managers try their hardest to get the eviction over with as fast as possible or avoid it in general.
In this guide, we will be giving a complete overview of how long does an eviction take, as well as the steps that are required to make sure it is completed safely and legally.
To begin, let's give a broad overview of what an eviction process is and what it consists of.
What Is An Eviction Process?
When a tenant is not following the rules and regulations outlined in the lease agreement, the landlord may want them out of the rental property. And, if the tenant refuses any other agreement or refuses to follow the lease, an eviction becomes necessary.
An eviction is when a tenant is legally removed from a rental property. There are many reasons that this may happen, but it is typically due to a breach in the lease agreement.
Evictions are governed by a large collection of local and state laws. This makes it very important be as knowledgeable of the legal process as possible.
If you are not familiar with the process, you have come to the right place. Below, we have outlined the complete process, including an estimate of how long each step typically takes.
How To Conduct An Eviction
Conducting an eviction is no easy task.
It takes a lot of patience, and it must be done correctly in order for the eviction lawsuit to succeed. So, be sure to note down every step outlined below for your own personal use.
Serve An Eviction Notice
The first step in any eviction process is to serve the tenant notice of their eviction. This is the step that will initiate the entire eviction process and is legally required.
Within the proper notice, the landlord should include information about the reason for eviction, as well as some ways to fix it. However, there aren't always ways to fix the problems, so the notice is then considered an unlawful detainer.
The notice should also include a specific notice period. This is essentially telling the tenant how much time they have to do what the notice says. The most common notices are either a 3-day pay or quit notice, and unconditional quit notice, or a 30/60 day notice to vacate the property.
After the tenant has received notice of the eviction, the landlord files a formal complaint with the courts.
This complaint is just a formal way of notifying the courts that you want the tenant to vacate the property. The complaint can be filed in less than an hour and, from there, the court will begin to play a part in the eviction.
Court Serves Eviction Notice
After the court receives the formal complaint, they send out a tenant eviction notice. This notice contains similar information as the landlord notice, but it carries a lot more authority.
Once the tenant receives the written notice, they have a specific period of time before they must vacate the property. However, if the tenant is able to collect enough evidence to fight the eviction, they can do that as well.
If this happens, then the landlord and tenant are given a court date where they must appear in court.
If the tenant decides to fight the eviction case, they must present themselves at the court hearing with all of the evidence they have. This can include evidence like:
- Receipts or bank statements showing that they do pay rent
- Pictures or videos of the property without damage
- Proof that there was no illegal activity in the property
…or anything else that can be used to prove their innocence.
This court hearing date is usually scheduled within 20-30 days of when the tenant decided to pursue it. This number does vary, however, from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.
After the hearing, the judge's ruling is announced. If the tenant wins the case, then they are typically allowed to stay on the property.
However, if the landlord wins the case, the tenant must is forced to vacate the property. If the tenant is resisting the eviction, then the landlord files for a Writ Of Possession, which is a notice that is posted on the property that notifies the tenant of how much time they have before they are forced to leave.
If, at this point, the tenant is still resisting the eviction, it's time to contact the authorities. In most states, the landlord cannot intervene and forcefully evict a tenant, so they must contact the sheriff's office to do so.
As you have probably noticed, an eviction is not always a straightforward process. It completely depends on the tenant as well as the local courts.
If the tenant is cooperative, it can take just a couple of weeks. However, if they are not cooperative, it can taken a month or two to fully evict them.
Luckily for you, there are some ways to speed up evictions, which we will discuss in the next section.
Speeding Up The Eviction Process
In this section, we will outline some of the best ways to speed up the eviction process.
Remember that these may not work 100% of the time, but they are definitely worth a try.
Follow All Of The Rules
The most important step in speeding up an eviction process, and keeping yourself out of legal trouble, is to follow all of the rules.
Getting into legal hiccups while doing the eviction process will significantly delay the eviction process and make it take much longer. This means that you will continue to have a loss in rental income as well as spend more money correcting any mistakes.
Form A Different Agreement
Another method that can be used to speed up an eviction, or completely avoid one, is to come to a different agreement.
If the tenant violates the lease agreement, they will sometimes agree to peacefully leave without an eviction process. This is definitely something that landlord's favor, especially if the tenant pays rent and has been a good tenant.
The landlord can also offer a cash for keys agreement. In this agreement, the landlord offers the tenant a sum of money for them to move out of the property. This can be cheaper and faster than an eviction, and is also favored by landlords.
If you happen to stumble across a troublesome tenant and want to evict them as quickly as possible, it is essential to act as quickly as possible. Now, this does not mean that you should go straight to the court and file a complaint.
Acting quickly means notifying the tenant of their wrongdoings as early as possible. By doing this, you are already alerting the tenant that they may be in trouble if they keep up the behavior. If they do not fix their violation, you can let them know that a complaint has been filed with the court and to be prepared for a hearing.
Remember to note, however, that you cannot act too quickly, as you may violate the law. Just be sure to submit everything quickly when the tenant violates the agreement to minimize lost rent.
So, remember to visit DoorLoop's Laws Page and always have an attorney when dealing with an eviction.