I had suffered long enough with late rent payments from a tenant. He assured me that rent would be on time moving forward due to a new job and a raise in pay. But the following month, when the rent did not show up in my mailbox I picked up the phone and gave my tenant a call.
With excuse after excuse for not paying the rent on time, including some recent health issues and the fact that he had been mugged in a parking lot the month before, and the promise to drop a check in the mailbox that day, I let it slide a few more days. Well, the few more days turned into a week, and now with rent almost 2 weeks late, and a tenant that stopped returning my messages, it was time to take the next step.
I’ve never had to evict anyone in the past. I own several rental properties and have been largely successful in finding the right tenants not only pay their rent on time, but take care of the property as if it were theirs. This particular tenant and his girlfriend checked out fine on a credit report, but signs of a relationship gone bad soon surfaced and the girlfriend moved out…at least that’s the story I was told by the tenant that remained.
I searched the internet for an eviction attorney and phoned the person at the top of the search results list. The attorney explained to me that
The attorney forwarded to me a retainer agreement and a form that would act as a
After the 3 days had expired, my attorney filed an ‘unlawful detainer lawsuit’, which is a “summary” court procedure. This means that the court action moves forward faster than usual, and that the time given the tenant to respond during the lawsuit is short. For example, in most cases, the tenant has only five days to file a written response to the lawsuit after being served with a copy of the landlord’s complaint. Normally, a judge will hear and decide the case within 20 days after the tenant files an answer.
The court-administered eviction process assures the tenant the right to a court hearing if the tenant believes that the landlord has no right to evict. The landlord must use this court process to evict the tenant as the landlord cannot force the tenant to move. For example, the landlord cannot physically remove or lock out the tenant, cut off utilities such as water or electricity, remove outside windows or doors, or seize the tenant’s belongings in order to carry out the eviction.