How to Evict Someone

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Whether you're a new landlord or an experienced one, there is going to come a time when you have to evict someone from your property. Although this is never a pleasant experience, it is something that can be tolerated if you follow certain protocol. Not only will this keep you in compliance, but it will ensure that the process goes as smoothly as humanly possible.

Gather documents. Get a copy of any rental agreements that you have with the tenant, canceled checks, as well as any other pertinent legal documents like an addendum to the agreement. Carefully review each document.

Write a formal eviction notice. You must first end the tenancy agreement. This is done by putting your tenant on written notice that you would like them to vacate the property within a set period of time or else you will pursue legal action. This can be done by administering several types of notices.

Notice to Vacate for a Nuisance: This notice is used when the tenants are a nuisance. For instance, this is applicable if they destroy your property or have loud and annoying parties.

Notice to Vacate: This type of notice is used when your tenant is in violation of one or more of your lease agreement's terms. For instance, if your lease agreement calls for no pets and the tenant has a pet dog then they are in noncompliance with the lease agreement.

Notice to Pay Rent: This type of notice is used when your tenant refuses to pay their rent or move as promised. Advice for no written agreement. If you have no written agreement with your tenant, you can send out a notice to terminate tenancy even without a lease. This type of agreement is given for week-to-week tenants or those who are residing in your property with your consent but no formal paperwork was ever created.

Get copies of your notice. Make five copies of your notice (two for you, two for Court clerk and one for tenant) and take it to the Clerk of the Court's office in your specific state. Once you get there, you will give the clerk your filing fee (which will vary depending on your specific state) any supporting documents (leases) and two copies of your notice. In return, you will be given a court date and two signed summons (one for you and one for tenant).

Serve the tenant. You must serve the tenant with the summons/stamped notice that you have filed with the Court's clerk. This is done by taking the filed notice, court documents to a private processor server, County Sheriff's Office, or an 18 year old person who is not involved in the lawsuit. They will then need to "serve" the documents by giving them to the tenant or someone at the residence who is 15 or over, placing the information on the resident's door or mailing it to the tenant.

Complete return of service. Afterward, the person that "serves" the documents must complete the Return of Service document that is located on the back of the signed summons.

Return signed summons. Lastly, you will return the signed summons to the Clerk of the Court’s Office for filing. Note- you must complete ALL steps for it to be valid. To find the location of your Clerk of the Court, please look in your yellow pages.

Tenant can file an answer and counterclaim before court date if they prefer. If not, they can state their case at trial. If the court decides in your favor, the tenant is evicted and must move within 3 to 7 days. On the other hand, if they are allowed to stay after meeting whatever conditions the judge stipulates. At this point, the judge my issue a Writ of Restitution and then the Sheriff can evict the person after the 3 to 7 days has expired.


About the Author

With more than 15 years of professional writing experience, MiShaun Taylor specializes in legal- and wedding-related articles. Her work has appeared in "Pediatrics for Parents," "ISBA News" and Taylor holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Illinois and a Juris Doctorate from the Chicago-Kent College of Law.