There is a very clear process for lawful eviction of tenants. No landlord has the right to simply clear their rental unit with their tenant’s stuff, put them on the streets and change the locks. There is a process landlords have to go through, eviction notices to issue and court hearing if necessary. If a lease is still in effect by the time of eviction, the landlord must inform the tenant why he/she’s being asked to vacate the unit. If the lease is expiring, landlords need no explanation to their tenant.
Types of Evictions
- Landlords can start an eviction process depending on the status of the lease and his or her reason for kicking the tenants out.
- If the tenant failed to pay the rent, and is the reason for eviction, the landlord can issue a notice and order the tenant to pay their dues within 3 working days.
- If the tenant violates the leasing condition, such as keeping pets inside the rental unit, and is the reason for eviction, the landlord can issue a notice and have the tenant 3 working days to fix the problem or move out.
- If the tenant is causing “legal nuisance” in the rental unit, such as endangering neighbors or engaging in criminal activities, he/she will not get a chance to fix the problem, as landlord can issue a notice to vacate the unit within 3 working days.
- If lease is expiring or if it is a per month type of lease, and the landlord wants tenants to leave, then tenants must have 30 days notice.
- If the tenant has been in the rental unit for more than a year under a month-to-month agreement, he/she must get 60 days notice. If tenant is under government’s subsidized housing, he/she must have 90 days notice.
If the tenant chooses not to comply with the landlord’s notice, then the landlord can ask for court’s help. Eviction notice is also known as “unlawful detainer,” and once this order has been served, the tenant will have 5 working days to respond. If tenant chooses not to respond, then the court will rule for the landlord. Otherwise, the case can go to trial for an Eviction case.
This trial will be fast, and will take place within 21 days the complaint filed. If the court sees eviction is improper, the tenant gets to stay in the rental place, and the landlord has to pay for his/her legal fees. However, if the landlord wins, the tenant has no other options but to leave.
Should the landlord prevails in court, the county sheriff’s department will give the tenant a notice to leave the property within 5 working days. If the tenant insists on staying, then a sheriff’s department will have no choice but to come back and remove the tenant by force. Under no circumstance should the landlord remove the tenant by his or herself.
It is only after this when the landlord is allowed to bar the evicted tenant from the property and change the locks. As soon as the property is locked, the tenant will have 15 working days to come back and retrieve his stuff. If the tenant leaves his belongings behind, the landlord can auction it away.
Please check your local and state rulings on eviction laws. Rulings may differ from state to state. Information provided here is not the same as legal advice. For legal advice specific to your needs and region, we recommend you consult with a lawyer.