The eviction process in Kansas can differ from county to county, but they more or less are the same:
This article details a summary for Kansas landlords to refer to when evicting a tenant. Alternatively, a landlord can ask an attorney for legal advice or help if they have any questions on landlord-tenant rights.
A state of Kansas eviction notice states a tenant's violation and whether or not a tenant can fix the issue. The notice period depends on the reason they are being evicted. It can be a 3-Day Notice or last as long as a 30-Day Notice.
This form is important because, without it, the tenants may easily win the case.
1. Failure to pay rent or nonpayment of rent
The most common reason for starting an eviction process is failure to make a timely rent payment. A landlord can evict a tenant for failing to pay the rent due.
Rent is considered late in Kansas a day past its due. However, a grace period that gives more time to pay rent due may be available if indicated in the lease/rental agreement.
Before a landlord can start with the eviction process for not paying rent, the landlord must provide the tenant a written notice called a 3-Day Notice to Quit. This notice informs the renters that they must move out of the property or pay the rent in 3 days.
A notice for nonpayment of rent indicates the rent amount owed by the tenant.
If tenants who are being evicted for failing to pay rent on time manage to pay all rental payments in full to the landlord before the 3 days are up, the entire eviction process stops, and they can continue staying within the rental premises.
2. Violation of the lease/rental agreement
Lease terms can vary between tenants. Landlords and tenants are required to uphold the terms of the lease agreement at all times.
The landlord can evict the tenant for a lease violation in Kansas. Even if the tenant has just violated one term, they can still be evicted.
The landlord must give the tenant a Kansas eviction notice called a 30-Day Notice to Comply, which provides the tenant with 14 days to fix the issue.
Lease violations include:
- Illegal activity
- Damage to the rental unit
- Material health/safety violations
- Too many people are living inside the rental unit
- Housing a pet in a pet-free rental unit or rental premises, etc.
The landlord may continue filing for an eviction suit if the tenant fails to resolve the lease term violation or issues within 14 days and remains inside the rental unit after what's left of the 30 days.
3. Non-renewal of lease after the end of the rental period
A Kansas eviction process does not allow a landlord to evict a tenant without good cause. As long as the tenant does not violate any rules, they can stay until their rental period ends.
However, tenants can be evicted if they stay in the property even a day after their written lease ends (and have not arranged for a renewal).
This type of eviction notice usually only applies if the landlord wants to end tenancies. The required notice time given to a tenant depends on their tenancy type. The different forms include a 7-Day Notice to Quit or a 30-Day Notice to Quit.
Should the tenant remain in the rental premises even after their notice period ends, the landlord may continue to file for eviction lawsuit in order to evict the tenant from the property.
Filing a Complaint
In a Kansas eviction, after the notice period has passed, the landlord may file a complaint. Successful evictions rely on correct filings, so the landlord must file all the forms correctly. While filling out all the forms, the landlord has the option to indicate the amount in damages owed by the tenant.
1. Steps in filing
- Proceed to the justice court the rental property belongs to
- Fill out the forms
- Pay the filing fees
It takes between 3 days to 30 days before a landlord can file a complaint. This depends on the notice given to the tenant.
Serving the Tenant
Next up in the Kansas eviction process is serving the Summons and Complaint to the tenant. The landlord must not serve this document themselves. The document should contain information such as the date and time of the court trial.
The state of Kansas allows the sheriff to serve the document. It has to be delivered at least 3 days before the eviction hearing is scheduled.
1. How to serve the document to a tenant
The Summons and its corresponding documents have to be served through one of the following methods:
- Personal Service: The Summons and Complaint is served to the tenant in person.
- Substituted Service: If the tenant is unavailable and personal service cannot be conducted, a copy of the Summons and Complaint may be left at the tenant's place of residence or rental unit with someone who lives with them.
- Posting & Mailing Service: A copy of the Summons is placed in a secure and visible position by the entrance of the tenant's rented property. When using this method, a notice must be mailed via first class mail that informs the tenant the Summons was posted on their property.
- Mailing Service: The server mails the documents via certified mail or any other mailing service and requests a return receipt.
2. After serving the Summons and Complaint
The tenant has the option to file for their written answer if they object to the reason for eviction. Or, they can just decide to attend the initial hearing.
The Summons and Complaint must be served at least 3 days before eviction proceedings begin.
Asking for Possession
1. Filing a Motion to Obtain Judgment and get a Judgment for Possession
A landlord has to provide a strong argument backed up by solid evidence against their tenant in order to win. Should the tenant fail to show up to the hearing, the landlord may win by default.
2. Next procedure if the tenant disagreed and filed an answer
The initial hearing is scheduled 3-14 days after the Summons was issued. During the court hearing, the landlord has to support their claim with evidence and show it to the judicial officer. This includes, but is not limited by the following:
- Copy of the deed and the lease/rental agreement
- Rent receipts
- Rent ledgers
- Bank statements
- Witness statements
- Photo and video documentation of the violations committed by the tenant
An eviction hearing is scheduled within 14 days after the initial hearing if the judicial officer cannot make a ruling (such as actual damages owed). The tenant has to pay a bond should they want to file for continuance.
An initial hearing is scheduled within 3-14 days after the Summons was issued. An eviction hearing is scheduled within 14 days after the initial hearing.
1. After the landlord wins the case and gets a Writ of Restitution.
Once the landlord wins the case and provided the tenant does not file for an appeal or reconsideration, the court will issue a Writ of Restitution upon the landlord's request.
The Writ of Restitution is a court order which informs the tenant that they must move out of their housing on the property within 14 days. If the tenant fails to do so, the laws followed by an eviction action require them to be forcibly evicted.
It also permits law enforcement officials to evict the tenant from the property forcibly.
2. Move out process
This final step in the eviction process is to move the tenant out of their housing on the property. The state of Kansas gives a tenant a maximum of 14 days to move out of the rental unit.
Only law enforcement officers can remove the tenant from the property by force. Landlords who attempt to remove the tenant themselves may be charged with a self-help eviction.
The tenant has a maximum of 14 days to vacate the property, or else they will be forcibly removed.
Kansas Eviction Timeline
It takes an average of 3 weeks to 3 months for a complete eviction process in Kansas.
1. How to keep good records
If the tenant disagrees with the eviction request and they reply to the court, it’s important that you keep extremely good records of everything so you can provide proof to the judge and win your case. This part can make or break your entire eviction request in the event of a dispute.
You can stay organized by:
- Keeping a physical paper trail - This gets VERY hard to search through, takes up a lot of storage space, and could get lost, damaged, stolen, or burnt in a fire.
- Scanning documents - Scan every document into your computer. Some great scanners are the Brother ADS-1700W for under $200 or the Fujitsu ScanSnap iX1500 for $400.
- Backups - Store and backup every file using Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, or any other option that is easily searchable.
- PMS - Use a property management software to save everything from lease agreements, signed documents, violations, emails, notes, invoices, payments, reminders, maintenance requests, pictures, videos, and anything you can imagine. This is used best when you also scan every document into your software.
2. Evidence to show for not paying rent
If the tenant doesn’t pay rent, and they dispute that claim, it’s important that you show the judge the following:
- Your lease agreement - Showing the terms of the agreement, when rent is due, and any penalties for late payment.
- All payments - Showing all previous payments, how they were normally made (check, credit card, ACH, etc…), and what date they were normally paid on.
- Any payment returns - If their check bounced, their bank account had insufficient funds, or they did a chargeback dispute on their credit card, show this to the Judge. Also show any fees your bank may have charged you, and any penalties you are owed according to your lease agreement.
- All messages - If you sent your tenant automated or manual payment reminders by text, email, a letter, or mail, it’s important to show this. While it’s usually not needed, it’s still good to show that they were aware of the situation and were given time to cure and make payment. This is why it’s always best to have everything in writing instead of any phone calls or face-to-face meetings.
3. Evidence to show for lease violations
If you are evicting the tenant for lease violations, for example, noise complaints, unauthorized pets, or property damages, it’s important to show proof from any of the following methods:
- Security Cameras - If you have a surveillance system that can show them committing the crime or lease violation,you have a very good chance of winning the case.
- Video - If you didn’t catch them in the act, the next best thing is to record a video with your phone of any damages or the lease violation.
- Pictures - They say a picture is worth a thousand words. In this case, a picture could be worth thousands of dollars! Even if you take a video, it’s important to show the Judge any pictures too as it’s usually easier to see by email or printed.
- Lease Terms - Once again, show the court which term they violated in their lease agreement. Don’t worry if you don’t have every single term spelled out in your rental agreement. If the violation is bad enough, it might not be needed to have it written. As a good practice though, start adding all of the potential reasons to evict a tenant into your agreement.
Can you kick someone out without an eviction notice in Kansas?
No. A landlord can be sued for forceful eviction of a tenant. This is an illegal method of eviction that is also known as self-help eviction.
Consequences can include being sued by the tenants for one and one-half month's rent or actual damages, whichever is greater.
What is a self-help eviction in Kansas?
Examples of illegal “self-help” evictions include changing the locks, taking the tenant’s belongings, removing the front door, or turning off the heat or electricity. Many states specify how much money a tenant can sue for if the landlord has tried to illegally evict the tenant through some sort of self-help measure. Some state laws also provide for tenant's court costs and attorneys' fees (if the tenant successfully sues the landlord) and/or give the tenant the right to stay in the rental unit.
What are the penalties for a self-help eviction in Kansas?
According to Kansas Civil Code, you may be liable for Tenant’s Court Costs & Attorneys’ Fees. The statute also gives the tenant the right to stay.
In this case, the tenant has the right to sue the landlord for any damages plus any other violations. Tenants may ask for an injunction prohibiting any further violation during the court action.
What laws should I know of in Kansas?
Given the COVID-19 situation, Kansas landlords must be aware of any updates on information regarding COVID-19 Eviction Policies. Most landlords are advised to be compassionate about the situation some tenants are experiencing and be as lenient as possible.
Landlords must also check out information about laws on Security Deposits so that they understand how it can help them in case tenants are unable to pay for repairs or damages.
Legal advice may also be sought from a licensed attorney should a landlord want more information about evictions and the best course of action.