When a tenant is served an eviction notice, they have a certain amount of time to vacate the premises. The amount of time will vary depending on the reason for eviction and the state in which the property is located. Section 21 eviction process usually takes two months to end a tenancy.
Once that time has expired, if the tenant has not vacated the property, the landlord can begin the formal eviction process. The process will vary slightly depending on the state, but the general steps are as follows:
- Landlord files complaint with the court
The first step in the eviction process is for the landlord to file a complaint with the court. The complaint will state the reason for eviction and list any unpaid rent or damages. The landlord will then serve the tenant with a summons, which will give them a date to appear in court.
- Tenant appears in court
On the date of the hearing, both the landlord and tenant will appear before a judge. The landlord will present their case for eviction and the tenant will have the opportunity to respond. The judge will then decide on whether or not to evict the tenant.
During the hearing, the judge may also order the tenant to pay any outstanding rent or damages. However, if the tenant cannot pay, the eviction may still proceed.
- Sheriff serves an eviction notice
If the judge orders the eviction, the landlord will obtain an eviction notice from the court. The notice will be served by the sheriff to the tenant. The tenant will then have a certain amount of time to vacate the property. During this time, both the tenant and landlord are bound by the terms of the lease.
There are several things that the tenant can do at this point, such as:
- File an appeal to the eviction notice
- Negotiate with the landlord to try and stay on the property
- Vacate the property within the given timeframe
- Request a stay of execution to delay the eviction
- Pay the rent owed and any other fees associated with the eviction
- Move out voluntarily
If the tenant does not comply with the notice, the sheriff will come to the property and physically remove the tenant from the premises.
- Tenant is removed from the property
Once the tenant has been served with an eviction notice and they have failed to comply, the sheriff will come to the property and remove the tenant. The sheriff will also remove any personal belongings that are left behind.
The tenant will then be responsible for any fees associated with the eviction, such as court costs and the sheriff’s fees.
- Property is returned to the landlord
Once the tenant has been removed from the property, the landlord will be able to take possession of the property. The landlord can then change the locks and make any necessary repairs.
The eviction process can be a stressful and emotional time for both the landlord and the tenant. It is important to make sure that you are familiar with the process and know your rights.