Table of Contents:
- How to Evict a Tenant in Maine
- How to Evict Someone Who Lives With You in Florida
- How to Evict Someone in South Carolina
- How to Evict Someone Living With You in Texas
- How to Evict Someone in Virginia
- How to Evict a Tenant in Oklahoma
- How to Evict a Tenant in Maryland
- How to Evict a Tenant in New Mexico
- How to Evict a Tenant in Georgia
- How to Evict Someone in Missouri
- How to Evict Someone in Tennessee
- How to Evict Tenants in Ohio
Obtain a standard form seven day notice to quit. Maine law requires you to prepare a seven-day Notice To Quit before you initiate an eviction lawsuit. On the notice you insert the reason the tenant violated the lease. For example, if the tenant failed to pay rent, include that in the notice. Under Maine law the tenant must be at least seven days behind on rent to start the process with the notice. If the notice is for nonpayment of rent, it must contain this clause pursuant to Maine law:
"If you pay the amount of rent due as of the date of this notice before this notice expires, then this notice as it applies to rent arrearage is void."
If you prepare a notice for another lease violation, the tenant must vacate the premises within seven days or you file an eviction lawsuit.
Deliver the seven day notice to the tenant. Maine law requires that you make at least three good faith attempts to deliver the notice to the tenant in person. After these attempts, you can leave the notice in a conspicuous place at the tenant's home.
Obtain a form Petition for Forcible Entry and Detainer if the tenant fails to vacate the premises (or pay the past due rent) within the time period of the notice. The petition is the document used to initiate an eviction case in Maine.
Complete the petition form, including listing the reason why you seek to evict the tenant (non-payment of rent, for example). Attach the notice to the petition.
File the petition with the clerk of the court in the county where the rental property is located.
Obtain an initial hearing date from the clerk of the court. If the tenant fails to show up for the initial hearing, you will be granted judgment. If the tenant appears and requests a trial, one is scheduled.
Appear at the trial and present evidence in support of the eviction. This includes any documents and witnesses that support the reason you initiated the eviction case. If you prevail in your eviction case, the judge grants an eviction order. The order includes a direction to the sheriff to remove the tenant from the premises if she does not voluntarily depart following the eviction trial.
Evicting someone who lives with you in Florida, whether a roommate or a houseguest, requires you to obtain a court order of eviction. You must prove to the court that the person living with you violated a tenant responsibility. Before obtaining a court order of eviction to remove the tenant and their possessions from the property, you must give the tenant notice of the violation and time to remedy the problem.
Who You Can Evict
If you're a property owner with a guest, such as a friend or a relative, who you've allowed to stay in your home for a certain amount of time or even an undefined amount of time, they are likely protected by Florida landlord-tenant laws much the same as tenants with leases. Making a written or oral agreement with someone to pay rent, share household bills or contribute household goods in exchange for housing can create a tenancy that is subject to Florida landlord-tenant laws.
If you're not the property owner, but you have a co-tenant, you may be able to evict that person regardless of whether you have a lease or a sublease agreement. In such a case, your ability to evict the person living with you may be prevented by the landlord's right to evict both of you because one of you violated your tenant responsibilities.
Note the Notice Requirements
The amount of notice to vacate you need to give to a person who lives with you ranges from three to 60 days. Unless you have an agreement that allows for more time, follow these guidelines when telling someone to vacate:
- three days' notice if eviction due to unpaid rent
- seven days' notice for a week-to-week rental
- 15 days' notice for a month-to-month agreement when there is no lease or the termination date is undefined
- 60 days if the lease requires the tenant to give the landlord 60 days' notice before leaving
If your lease requires a tenant to notify you 60 days before the lease expires that they will move at the end of the lease period, you also owe 60 days' notice if you don't plan to renew the lease. The notice must be in writing. You should deliver it personally, but may post it at the door if they are not present. Notice time limits exclude Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays. Download a Notice for Failure to Pay Rent or a Notice of Noncompliance for matters other than not paying rent from the Florida Bar's website.
Filing a Complaint for Eviction
Once the notice time limits have elapsed, and the tenant has ignored or otherwise failed to comply with paying rent or vacating, you must file a complaint for eviction with the court clerk. There are three different types of complaints you can file depending on the reasons for eviction, all of which you can find on the Florida Bar's website. Submit the complaint to the court clerk along with a copy of the notice that you gave to the tenant. Sign the complaint in front of the court clerk or have your signature notarized. The tenant has five days to answer the complaint. Filing fees for an eviction complaint vary – the fee for filing in a county court could be $180, and the fee for filing in a civil court could be $400.
Serving the Summons
You must serve the person who lives with you a summons to appear in court. Obtain the summons from the court clerk after you file the complaint and pay the required fee. Either the sheriff or a private process server can issue the summons package to the tenant. The package includes copies of the complaint, the notice and a lease, if one exists. The fee to serve a summons ranges from $10 to $40, depending on the entity that serves it. Once served, the tenant has five days to answer the summons.
Get the Writ of Possession
If the tenant answers your complaint within the five-day time limit, schedule a hearing and appear in court before a judge to plead your case for the eviction. If the tenant doesn't respond, you can file a Motion for Default and obtain a final judgment to evict. The Writ of Possession is the official form that gives you possession of the dwelling. It must be enforced by the sheriff. The fee varies, but is usually about $100. Your name and telephone number must be on the writ, and you can obtain possession 24 hours after the sheriff posts the writ at the dwelling.
Mail written notice to the tenant explaining what he needs to do to avoid eviction and when he will be evicted if he fails to do it. This is called a notice to terminate tenancy. Get a receipt from the post office as proof of notification.
Go to the courthouse in the same jurisdiction as the property. Ask the clerk where to file an ejectment action.
Receive an affidavit and an application of ejectment from the court, fill them out and pay the filing fee. An officer of the court will deliver the documents to the tenant, who then has 10 days to come to an arrangement with you or to make his case in court.
Attend the hearing if the tenant requests a court date. Bring all the relevant evidence, such as the lease, the eviction notice and any other communication you have had with the tenant regarding the eviction. Make your case in court.
Request a writ of ejectment from the court if you win the case or if the tenant never sets a court date. Fill out the writ, and file it at court. An officer of the court will deliver it to the tenant, who then has one day to leave.
Wait for the tenant to leave during the grace day. If he does not, your local constable will arrange a time with you to forcibly remove the tenant's belongings and place them on the curb, in a process called a Set Out.
Hire movers for the Set Out. The constable or your local sheriff will observe the proceedings ensure the tenant's compliance. After the Set Out, the property is legally vacant and the eviction proceedings are closed.
Write a notice to vacate. Texas requires you must first give him a notice to vacate. This can be typed or written by you with a date that you expect him to move. It is not necessary to be formal. You must give the other tenant at least 3 days to move out. In the notice to vacate you may request that he pay any unpaid rent or move out but this is not required. You can have him sign the notice. If he refuses, e-mail is a good way to be sure you have an accurate time stamp.
Fill out a formal eviction suit if he does not move by the deadline in your notice to vacate. You can get the necessary form from the clerk's office in your county court. The forms may be available online at the county court's website. Attach a copy of your notice to vacate to the eviction form and file the papers with the clerk's office.
Go to court on the day of the scheduled hearing. Bring with you evidence of unpaid rent and bills; pictures of destroyed property; witnesses to testify about the living conditions or illegal activity. If the judge grants your eviction, the other tenant will have 5 days to move out.
Send written notice to the tenant regarding the issue. If the proposed eviction results from failure to pay rent, the landlord must provide five days' notice to rectify the issue before resorting to legal action. If the proposed eviction stems from any other violation of the lease, the landlord must give the tenant 30 days' notice of intent to evict. If the problem can be rectified, the tenant has 21 days from the receipt of the notice to do so. The notice must come by certificate of mailing or posted at the residence by the county sheriff’s office. A certificate of mailing is a document showing proof the mail was presented to the post office for mailing. The landlord would purchase this at the post office before sending the document.
Go to the General District Court in the county where the property is located and fill out an Application for a Summons in Unlawful Detainer. You must provide information such as the tenant’s name, address of the property, reason for eviction and confirmation that appropriate notice has been given. In this instance, a copy of the eviction notice, and documentation that you either mailed it or had the sheriff deliver it would be appropriate. The clerk will set a hearing date and have the sheriff’s office deliver the summons to the tenant.
Send a copy of the summons to the tenant, and and go to the courthouse to file confirmation with the court that you did this.
Attend the hearing and file a writ of possession once the court has ruled in favor of eviction. A writ of possession is a legal order to have law enforcement evacuate someone from a residence.The county clerk will help the landlord file this paperwork, and the clerk will also send it to the sheriff. In most instances, the sheriff’s office must give at least 72 hours' notice before eviction but the court can order eviction sooner in certain instances, including illegal activity or threatening actions on the part of the tenant.
Arrange to have a sufficient amount of movers on hand, to vacate the property as quickly as possible. The sheriff reserves the right to postpone the eviction if he deems the amount of movers insufficient.
Wait for the sheriff at the residence at the time set on the writ and do not enter the property until he arrives. Doing so can void the writ. The sheriff can leave the property if the landlord does not show up on time and fails to notify him of a late arrival.
Allow the sheriff and the movers access to the property to remove the tenant's belongings. You are once again in legal possession of your property.
Give your tenant a five-day notice if rent is not paid, 15 days in a breach of contract, or 30 days to terminate a month-to-month tenancy. You don't have to notarize the notice, or write it in a special form. A simple notice is sufficient. Explain in the notice the reason for termination and offer recourse if it is regarding non-rental payment. For a breach of rental agreement in which there is no cure to the problem, wait for the prescribed time to expire before filing an eviction complaint with the civil court.
Hand the notice directly to the tenant. Give the written document to any family member older than 15 years living at the property if the tenant can't be found. Post the notice on the door if no one is at home, before sending a copy by certified mail. Wait for five days before you can institute eviction proceedings through the courts. Allow a grace period of 14 days in public housing. Note that a tenant can't be evicted where rent has been paid during the grace period, or after if you agree not to seek an eviction.
File a lawsuit in a small claims court if there is no cure to the problem to force the tenant out of the property. Indicate the reason why you want the tenant to move out in the eviction complaint. Furnish copies of the written notice you served on the tenant with the court clerk and then wait for the court hearing. The tenant will be served with the summons once you have successfully filed with the court. The summons basically contains the time and date of the court hearing.
Attend an eviction hearing in person or through an attorney. See if you can resolve the issue with the tenant before the hearing, if the judge asks you to do so. If not, a hearing before the judge will proceed. Ask for judgment for the payment of rent owed, the cost of the rental repairs to the property, court costs, attorney fees and other expenses arising from failure by the tenant to pay rent. You can garnish the tenant's wages or bank account to pay what is owed once you get the judgment.
Give the tenant a two-day notice to vacate the property after the judgment. You can do it directly or use the sheriff to serve the notice. Take back the property when the 48 hours expires. You have the right to confiscate what is left inside and auction it if the tenant has not moved out.
There’s a right way and a wrong way for Maryland property owners to evict tenants. As the Maryland Attorney General notes, eviction is a legal proceeding that requires a court order. Getting a valid legal order requires that you follow procedures established in the Code of Maryland.
Legal Reasons to Evict a Tenant
You can begin the eviction process on the first day that a tenant’s rent becomes past due. However, this right is subject to the tenant’s right of redemption, which means the tenant may stop eviction proceedings by paying all past-due rent and associated costs, such as late payment fees, any time before the eviction order becomes effective.
According to the Code of Maryland, Real Property Article, Section 8-401, a tenant can only exercise this right three times within a 12-month period. If the judge issues an eviction order without the right of redemption, you can evict the tenant even if he pays in full.
Holding over occurs when a tenant refuses to move at the end of the lease period after being provided with at least a 30-day notification that you’re not planning to renew the lease.
Breaching the Lease Agreement
With the proper written notification, you have the legal right to evict a tenant for breaching the terms and conditions of the lease.
You must have a court order to remove a tenant’s belongings from the residence, change the locks or cut off utilities.
In addition, you may not initiate eviction proceedings against a tenant for exercising his legal rights. This is known as retaliatory eviction, and often involves eviction proceedings against a tenant for things such as complaining to you or a government agency about health and safety issues or for organizing or joining a tenant association.
Eviction Notification Requirements
The required notice to vacate period is generally one month, but varies from no requirement to three months depending on the reason you’re planning to evict the tenant. The notification period in a holdover situation also depends on whether the tenant has a lease or a month-to-month agreement.
There is no required notification period for a past-due rent situation.
In a holdover situation, you must give the tenant at least a one-month notice before starting eviction proceedings. The one-month notification applies to a month-to-month tenant and one that has a lease with a definite duration. However, if the tenant has a year-to-year lease that renews automatically, the notification period extends to three months.
The notification period for a tenant who breaches the lease agreement is 30 days under normal circumstances. However, the period decreases to 14 days if the breach results in a clear and imminent danger of serious harm to your property or other tenants.
The Eviction Process
After providing the required notification, the next step involves filing a complaint and summons and serving notice to the tenant. The clerk’s office at your local courthouse or the clerk’s website will have the necessary forms. The types of service are personal delivery or posting the notice on the property and mailing a copy to the tenant.
Once served, the tenant has a short period in which to file an appeal before the scheduled eviction hearing date. A tenant who loses is responsible for removing all personal items from the property within five days. If the tenant fails to comply with the eviction order, you have up to 60 days to file a warrant of restitution and arrange for a county sheriff to be present when you remove the tenant’s belongings.
As a landlord, you have the right to evict tenants who commit criminal offenses, don't follow the terms of your lease, or fail to pay rent on time. Section 47-8-33 of New Mexico's Uniform Owner Resident Relations Act spells out the timelines and procedures that a landlord must follow. If the judge rules in your favor, you can evict the tenant in seven days.
Prepare an Appropriate Notice
File a three-day notice for tenants who don't pay rent when it's due, per Section 47-8-33. Follow the same timeline if tenants commit crimes or disturb neighbors, such as by playing loud music. The resulting notice of substantial violation must outline the behavior that prompts a tenant's eviction, says New Mexico Legal Aid's Renter's Guide. For lease violations -- like failure to take garbage off the premises -- you must give seven days' notice, and allow the tenant to fix the problem. However, if it happens again within six months, she loses that right. At that time, you can file a seven-day eviction notice.
Follow the right timelines for week-to-week and month-to-month tenants, which require seven and 30 days' notice, respectively. You don't need to give a reason. No notification period is mandated for tenants on fixed term leases, unless the agreement mentions such a requirement.
Serve Notice on the Tenant
Hand deliver or mail your notice to the tenant. According to Section 47-8-33, you may post notice on the property, which requires mailing the tenant a copy, as well. If you choose this option, the eviction timeline starts when you post a notice, not when the tenant receives it in her mailbox.
File Your Eviction Lawsuit
If a tenant doesn't leave within the notice period, you can file a petition for restitution at a local clerk or magistrates' court. Per Section 47-8-42, the petition must contain a reasonably accurate description of the property. You must also explain why you want the tenant evicted. The court will then serve a copy of your suit on the tenant, and a summons indicating when he must appear in court. The hearing usually follows within seven to 10 days of legal papers being served.
Unless a tenant abandons the property, you cannot force her to move without getting an eviction order first. State law also prohibits using tactics like lockouts or utility cutoffs to force a tenant's departure. Any evidence of such "self-help" practices may invalidate an eviction.
Present Your Case
Bring a copy of the lease and supporting evidence that shows why you're evicting the tenant. Examples might include photos of property damage, as well as written or personal testimony from neighbors with firsthand knowledge of alleged rules violations. Be ready to explain your reasoning in simple, concise terms. A ruling in your favor means the tenant has three days to get her belongings before vacating the premises.
Dispose of any Unclaimed Property
Under New Mexico law, you have the right to sell any property the tenant leaves behind. If it's under $100, you can keep the proceeds. If it's more than $100, however, you must give the excess portion to the tenant once you recover your moving and storage costs.
Review the lease agreement you and the tenant signed to determine whether you have grounds to evict the tenant and how much time you must give the tenant to either comply or be evicted. The lease terms may, for example, require you to give the tenant 60 days to pay you the rent owed (plus any rent that becomes due during this period of time) before you formally initiate the eviction proceedings.
Notify the tenant in writing that he or she has violated the lease agreement and that you will initiate eviction proceedings unless the tenant cures this breach. In the notice, inform the tenant that he has until the 10th of the month to remedy the breach or you will file an eviction action with the Magistrate Court.
Wait until the 10th of the month to see if the tenant cures her breach. If not, file an affidavit stating the rent owed and the grounds for eviction in the Georgia Magistrate Court located in the county where the tenant is residing. You will have to pay a filing fee of as much as $120.
Wait for the court to serve the tenant with a summons to appear and answer your eviction claims. Typically, the court will set a hearing date within 14 days after you file your notice.
Accept the rent or the cure from the tenant. Landlords are required to accept a tenant's rental payment or a cure of the breach in the agreement once during a 12-month period; if this is the second time the tenant has committed this breach or if the tenant failed to answer and appear, skip this step and continue to Step 6.
File a Writ of Possession with the Magistrate Court. This document is the tenant's last warning that he is going to be evicted. This document will inform the tenant that within the next two to seven days the sheriff will evict the tenant unless the tenant answers. If the tenant answers this writ, a trial will be scheduled.
Argue your case to the Magistrate Judge if the tenant answers the Writ of Possession and a trial is scheduled. If you prevail at trial, judgment will be entered in your favor and the tenant will be evicted 10 days after the judgment.
Serve the tenant with an eviction notice by certified mail and save the receipt. If your lawsuit is for nonpayment of rent, there's no waiting period after you give your tenant the notice. However, if you are breaking the lease for any other reason, you must wait 30 days after the day his next rent payment is due to do anything more.
Go to the circuit court that serves your city or town after your waiting period has expired. Tell the clerk of court that you want to file either a rent and possession suit if your tenant owes you rent, or an unlawful detainer suit if he has remained in the property without a lease against your wishes. Inquire about what fees are associated with filing a lawsuit. The clerk will prepare a summons, advising your tenant that you have filed the lawsuit and when he should appear in court to defend against it. The county sheriff will deliver the summons to your tenant.
Appear in court on the scheduled day and time. If your tenant does not appear, you win the lawsuit by default and the judge will award you your rent and issue an order allowing you to evict him from the property. If your tenant does appear, be prepared to prove your case to the judge. If the tenant has done something unlawful on your property, take witnesses to court to testify to that. If you have repeatedly sent him letters asking for rent, take copies with you. If you file an unlawful detainer lawsuit, take a copy of the lease to show that it has expired. Take your copy of the eviction notice and the mail receipt.
Wait 10 days after your court appearance. The tenant has the right to appeal the judge's decision if you win your case. He is allowed to stay in your property until this 10-day period expires. If he does file an appeal and wants to stay until it is heard by a court, the judge will require him to post a bond equal to the amount of the judgment.
Contact the sheriff in your county after the 10-day waiting period expires and if the tenant has not filed an appeal. Supply the sheriff with a copy of your eviction order. He will post a notice on your property, telling your tenant when he will return to take possession of the property. This action may require an additional fee; check with the local sheriff's office or court. You are responsible for removing any of the tenant's property that may be left behind.
Tennessee law includes directions on the type of notice you must use to commence the eviction process as well as procedures for pursuing an actual eviction lawsuit. The failure to follow the letter of the law prevents you from successfully evicting a tenant. Self-eviction is evicting someone without a court order.
Several types of eviction notices exist with varying time frames contingent on the urgency and reason for eviction. An Immediate Notice to Quit is immediate for drug or prostitution violations. A 3-Day Notice to Quit give a tenant three days to remedy illegal behavior with imminent threat or vacate. Failure to pay rent gives landlords a 14-Day Notice to Quit. The last is a 30-Day Notice to Quit for non-compliance or tenants on a month-to-month lease.
Notify tenant of breach in writing, naming the tenants specifically on the notice. Provide a copy of the lease, citing the violation. Depending on the type of eviction noted above, identify the intent. No standard form is provided online by Tennessee courts, but there are several resources to assist writing the notice.
Deliver the notice to the tenant. Personal delivery is preferred. If you fail to connect with the tenant personally, post the notice on the main entrance to the rental property and send it via certified mail to confirm receipt.
Complete the Action to Recover Personal Property form. Include your name, the name and address of the tenant and the reason for the desired eviction. Include the date the original notice to correct a lease violation was delivered to the tenant. Note that the tenant did not comply and correct the lease violation or vacate the premises.
Obtain a General Sessions court date. Give notice to the tenant regarding impending court date. Other than notice, leave the tenant alone and let the court process work itself out.
Attend the eviction trial. The eviction trial cannot be held any earlier than six days after the service of the petition on the tenant, according to Tennessee law. The court can allow one 15-day continuance (postponement) of the case.
Present your evidence at the trial supporting your contention the tenant violated the lease terms. Evidence includes documents and witnesses. If you prevail at the trial, the court orders the eviction of the tenant.
Obtain a Detainer Warrant from the county general sessions court where evictions are heard. Some counties like Knox County, have forms online while others require going to the clerk to obtain them. Serve the tenant with the warrant from the Sheriff's Department.
Give the tenant a written 3-day notice of the eviction. It simply has to note your intentions to evict them from the premises and the reason why you are initiating the eviction (non-payment of rent, damage of property, etc.)
File a claim for forcible entry with your nearest court if after 3 days the tenant does not vacate the home or apartment. The 3 days starts on the day after the notice is delivered. Pay the filing fee for the forcible entry permit.
Attend a hearing with the tenant. Bring all signed copies of your contract with the tenants and any other supporting evidence that they are in breach of contract and you are within your rights to evict them.
Receive a Writ of Resolution in your favor after presenting the evidence that the tenant is in breach of contract and you are able to evict them. Gain authorization through the claim to your court to remove the tenants and their belongings from the home or apartment.
Have the locks on the home changed in the presence of a bailiff once all of the tenants' belongings are removed from the home or apartment.