Personal, Real Estate & Property Law

Are You Owed Back Rent?

Are You Owed Back Rent?
If you own rental property, you may come across a tenant, for whatever reason that has stopped paying rent. You may give them the benefit of the doubt, but there may come a time that you need to evict them. The process for an eviction for non-payment of rent isn’t difficult, but it does take time. Most people think that you give the tenant notice and the next day the Sheriff shows up and puts them out. Not quite. Here is the step by step process:

A three day notice is served upon the tenant. This notice tells the tenant that they have three days (excluding weekends or holidays) to pay up or vacate the property. If the tenant pays, they can stay. If the tenant still doesn’t pay or move out, you may then start the eviction process. If the tenant does not put the money they owe as per your 3-Day notice filed with the courts, you can bring to the clerks office a form that asks the Judge to Order them to Place the Money into the Court Registry.

The eviction process is started by filing a Complaint. The Complaint outlines the facts to the Court. The Complaint must be served on the tenant by a Process Server ( you can find one online or in the phonebook). The process server will make several attempts to serve the tenant. If they cannot make personal service, they will post the Complaint in a conspicuous place. Once served, the tenant has five business days (excluding weekends or holidays) to file an answer. The time does not begin until the tenant is served and you most show the court proof of service. The Process Server will provide that to you. If the tenant files an answer, a Court date for a hearing can be requested. If they do not place the money in the Clerks Registry, at the hearing you can ask the judge that they have not complied by law and you are asking for an immediate Default. If the tenant doesn’t file an answer, a default can be entered and the Judge can order a default. Once a judgment is obtained the Court will issue a Writ of possession ordering the tenant to be removed by the Sheriff. There is an additional fee for the Sheriff to remove the tenant. The Sheriff will serve the Writ of Possession giving the tenant 24 hours to leave. If the tenant doesn’t leave, the Sheriff will come back and remove the tenant. Sometimes it can take up to a week for the Sheriff to serve the Writ of Possession. The total time to have the tenant removed can take anywhere from 1 1/2 to 2 months.

If you are in this situation, please do not hesitate to give us a call we can help you with the process. Call us at 954-429-1200.