In Kentucky, landlords can only forcibly remove tenants from a property through legal eviction methods. Tenants who break the lease by not paying their rent on time, for example, can be evicted under state law but the landlord must follow the specific process. Even after the eviction process, the tenant may be responsible for costs, including back rent, property damage and legal fees.
Before a Kentucky eviction can begin, the landlord must give the tenant notice. In the state, this notice must be in writing. The notice must either be hand delivered to the renter or sent to the tenant's address by certified mail. In the notice, the landlord must stipulate a time frame for the tenant to become compliant with the lease. For example, the notice may give the tenant seven days to pay the past due rent.
Small Claims Court
After the deadline has passed and if the tenant is still not complying with the lease agreement, the landlord must file an eviction case against the tenant in small claims court. A fee is required for filing. Once the case is filed, a court date is set and the eviction notification will be delivered to the tenant. Again, the notification is delivered either in person or by mail. In cases where the tenant abandoned the property or cannot be located, posting the notice on the door of the residence is acceptable.
Going to Court
On the date of the court case, both the landlord and tenant appear before a judge. The landlord presents the evidence showing the tenant has violated the lease agreement. The tenant has the right to show contrary evidence and to argue against the eviction. In some cases, the judge will agree to a settlement between the two parties in lieu of an eviction. For example, the tenant may be required to pay a portion of the back rent by a specific date while being allowed to continue living in the residence.
Appealing the Decision
If the landlord wins the eviction case, the tenant still maintains the right to appeal the judge's ruling. However, the appeal must be made within seven days. At the time of the appeal, the tenant can choose to have the case handled in a hearing or in a trial. No further action can be taken against the tenant until the appeal has been heard and decided on.
Even if the landlord successfully wins the case and the appeal, the tenant may still choose not to vacate the property. In this case, the landlord goes back to court to obtain a Warrant of Possession, then he returns to the property with law enforcement. The tenant's property is removed from the residence and placed outside for at least 48 hours. If the tenant does not claim the property within that time, the landlord can get rid of it.