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The Eviction Process

Eviction is the removal of a tenant from leased property by the landlord, the requirements of which are governed by law. Eviction may also be referred to as unlawful detainer, summary possession, summary dispossess, forcible detainer, ejectment, and repossession, among other terms.

To begin the eviction process on a leased property, a landlord must provide (serve) the tenant a written notice, referred to as a lease eviction notice or pay rent or quit notice (for nonpayment of rent).

When the reason for eviction is nonpayment of rent, the tenant is allowed a time period in which he/she can "cure" the default by paying the arrearages and the lease then resumes.

If the tenant does not cure the default in the required time, the landlord can proceed to court. The court will then serve the tenant with a notice of the proceeding allowing him/her an opportunity to dispute the landlord's claim(s). If the tenant does not respond to this notice, the court will issue a default judgment and proceed with the eviction process. However, if the tenant responds, the court will make a determination of the validity of the tenants arguments. Some defenses include withholding rent needed to make repairs, improper rent increase, no eviction notice served and/or health and safety code violations at the location. In the event the court concludes the tenant has a valid defense, a hearing or trial will be scheduled at which the tenant can produce evidence to support his/her claim.

If the court decides in favor of the landlord, the eviction proceeds by a court order (eviction order). The order for eviction is served by the sheriff. The eviction is not complete until the time contained in the order expires. If the tenant has not moved out by that time the sheriff will remove his/her belongings. Only then can the landlord change the locks on the premises.

A properly constructed lease agreement is a key element in protecting leased property in the event of tenant default. A quality lease agreement can be the difference between getting stuck with a problem tenant or having a path of legal recourse.

The eviction process can take as little as 20 days if executed properly, to a few months if the eviction proceeding results in a trial.

NUPP Legal lease agreements contain up-to-date language allowing the shortest time to evict.