Welcome to the second half of ‘An 8-Step Guide for Evicting a Tenant’, part of our blog series, The Landlord Chronicles.
In the first half we tackled:
- Understanding Eviction Laws
- Having a Valid Reason for Eviction
- Reasoning with the Tenant
- Giving a Formal Notice of Eviction
If for any reason you haven’t read PART 1, you can check it out here.
The rest of this post will cover the remaining steps you need to take to properly evict your tenant.
So, without further ado, it’s time for some Real Talk!
#5. File the Eviction with the Courts
Now that the official notice has been given, it’s time to take things up a notch. That’s right! It’s time for you to hit the road and visit your local courthouse.
Once there, you’ll be asked to pay a fee and provide proof (confirmation that the eviction notice was sent to the tenant within a reasonable timeframe).
Thereafter, you’ll be given a scheduled hearing date. Additionally, the court will take the liberty of notifying the tenant via a summons. As a result, you don’t have to bother with notifying the tenant yourself.
#6. Prepare for the Court Hearing
In life, preparation is key. So, it’s not enough to just show up for the court hearing, you must be fully equipped to prove your claim.
Even more, this is your chance to convince the judge that said tenant needs to be evicted from your property.
That said, you’re going to need the following items to prove your point:
- All payment records
- A copy of the written eviction notice provided to your tenant
- Any bounced checks or payments
- The original, signed lease agreement
- Any phone, email, or WhatsApp record between your tenant which prove you communicated with them
With all these items readily available, you’ll put yourself in a favorable position where your documentation and evidence will be doing most of the heavy lifting.
#7. The Moment of Truth: Evicting the Tenant
Given that the odds were in your favor in court, the judge shall allocate how much time the tenant has before they need to leave the property. The amount time varies; it can be anywhere from 48-hours to one week.
If by chance the tenant decides not to vacate the property in the timeframe allocated, then you’re left with no choice – call the police.
Have the authorities escort the tenant from the property and remove all their belongings and place them onto the curb.
While evictions don’t always pan out this way, as a landlord, you have to be ready.
#8. Post Evicting the Tenant: Collect Any Past-Due Rent
Now that your rental has been cleared of your tenant and their belongings, it’s time to collect some cash. In order to collect the funds you’re owed, you’ll need to file what’s known as a small claims lawsuit.
In the likely event the judge rules in your favor, you may give the tenant’s employer (assuming they have one), the formal court order.
From here the phrase “garnish wages” comes into play, thus requiring the employer to garnish the tenant’s wages.
In other words, you the landlord, will be paid before the tenant is paid for their work in order to pay off the tenant’s rental debts.
Now, doesn’t that sound nice? Payback’s a b-
The Final Say
As frustrating as the eviction process can be, it’s important for you to keep your cool as you go through these steps. Evidently, being a landlord sometimes require you to get legal. And that’s okay.
Above all, you’ve provided someone a place to stay in exchange for payment. So don’t be discouraged when pursuing the righteous hand of justice; it’s your absolute right.
This concludes today’s Real Talk session. If you enjoyed it, feel free to share and connect with us on social media using the links down below.
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Thank you all for reading and we’ll see you soon for more Real Talk!