What is the Legal Eviction Process?
The legal eviction process for non-payment of rent begins with a letter that gives the tenant three days to pay the rent or move out. This notices is sometimes called a “Three Day Notice," “Quit Notice," or “Three Day Pay." The notice should include the date, and the time tenancy will terminate. It must also describe the property, it must include the reason for the eviction, and it must include the property owner’s signature.
The landlord can serve this notice anytime the tenant is behind in rent. If the rent is due on the first, the landlord has every right to serve an eviction notice on the second. Although in many cases, landlords will give a three to five day grace period to pay rent. In these cases, if rent is due on the first, it will be considered late on the fourth or the sixth of the month.
If the tenant does not pay rent within three days of receiving the notice or move out, the landlord can file eviction papers. Once the landlord goes to court and files a lawsuit, he must mail a copy of the summons and complaint and serve a copy of the documents in person. It is perfectly legal for the landlord to post the documents on your door or other obvious place on the premises.
The documents will include a court date, usually within five days of the notice date. If the tenant fails to appear in court, the landlord can take possession of the apartment on the same day that the tenant failed to appear. If the tenant appears to file an answer in court, the tenant must appear in court for a trial. The trial is usually set for five days following the initial appearance. After the trial, it is likely that the landlord will obtain a judgment if you have not paid rent.
Once the judgment has been obtained, the tenant has roughly two to four days to vacate the premises. The landlord will obtain a writ of restitution within 48 hours after obtaining a judgment. The writ of restitution allows the sheriff to put the tenant out. Once the writ or restitution has been obtained, the sheriff will usually wait 24-48 hours before visiting the home to have the tenant removed by force.
Please click on Page 2 to learn more about the legal eviction process.