Evicting a Tenant for Non-Payment of Rent
Once you have tried everything you can to encourage your tenant to maintain your property, then it is time to get tough. You will need to serve them with an eviction notice.
It is important that you do this in a timely manner because if you do not, they may try to evict you instead!
If they fail to pay rent and you fail to evict them for non-payment of rent, then they will have the right to sue you for money damages.
How to Make Sure You Evict Tenant Properly
Here are some steps that I recommend taking:
1. Determine the Rent Due
Determine how much rent is due on the date when rent is due. It is possible that your tenant may be paying less than the amount that was agreed upon in their lease agreement.
In this case, just go with what was agreed upon. If they haven’t paid any rent yet, then go with the original amount of rent that was agreed upon in their lease agreement.
2. Serve an Eviction Notice
Give them a written notice telling them how much rent is due and that if they don’t pay it by a certain date (usually 5 days after they receive the notice), then you will start eviction proceedings against them.
Make sure that you give them this notice at least 5 days before the date when rent is due so that they have enough time to comply with your request or at least move out before an eviction notice can be filed against them.
3. File an Eviction Complaint
You can either file this complaint yourself or hire an attorney who will help with filing the complaint on your behalf and taking care of all of the paperwork for you as well as attend court hearings on your behalf (and most likely win).
You should consult with an attorney about whether or not he/she thinks it would be worth it for him/her to represent you before proceeding further into this process because once eviction proceedings are started.
There are many rules about what happens next and how long things take which might make it more difficult for you as a landlord if he/she isn’t familiar with all of these rules and procedures!
But if he/she agrees to represent you, then be sure to get his/her contact information because most likely he/she will want it from day one!
Make sure also that he/she informs his clients about all of these rules and procedures so that both parties know what to expect.
4. Give the Tenant a Notice to Vacate
Once you have filed an eviction complaint, you will need to give your tenant a notice to vacate.
The time period of this notice is determined by how much rent is due and whether or not they have any money damages owed to you (in the case of non-payment of rent).
If they have no money damages owed, then it will be 30 days from the date that you served them with an eviction notice and if they do owe money damages, then it will be 14 days from the date that you served them with an eviction notice.
5. File for Money Damages
You can file for money damages if your tenant owes you money and has not paid rent on time or violated their lease agreement.
The process for filing for money damages is very similar to the process for filing an eviction complaint (steps 2-4 above).
6. Collect Money Damages
This step will be up to your attorney and I cannot give legal advice on how to collect money damages!
However, I would recommend consulting with an attorney on this matter as well because he/she may have some valuable advice about collecting these payments!
How Long Does it Take To Evict a Tenant?
It can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months depending on how fast your lawyer works, whether or not the tenant decides to fight back, and how many hearings there are in which both parties are present.
The length of time depends largely on these factors and unfortunately there is no way around it other than taking more time in order to make sure that everything goes smoothly!
It is always important that your lawyer work quickly because if he/she doesn’t, then things could get pretty ugly!
I once had a lawyer who was working very slowly and at one point we had two different hearings scheduled for one day at different times which was pretty frustrating!
In my experience, it takes about 4-6 weeks when everything goes smoothly!