When you need to evict a tenant from your Daphne rental property, it’s important to follow all of the state laws that pertain to eviction. You also need to understand the timelines and what you can and cannot do. You can’t change the locks or cut off the utilities when a tenant stops paying rent. There’s a legal process that needs to be followed and if you’re not sure of the steps, seek legal help or assistance from a professional Daphne property manager.
Before you begin the eviction process, make sure your tenant isn’t protected by the eviction moratorium that covers residents who have been impacted financially by COVID.
You can evict a tenant for criminal activity at your property or lease violations that have not been cured. The most common reason for an eviction, however, is nonpayment of rent. That’s our focus in today’s blog.
Serve a Seven Day Notice
When a tenant is late with rent, make sure you do your due diligence in reaching out to that tenant. Remind them that the rent hasn’t been paid and find out when you can expect it. If you can’t get in touch with your tenant or the rent still doesn’t show up, you’ll need to take your first formal step towards evicting that resident.
Give your tenant a Seven Day Notice to Pay Rent. The notice must be served in person or through a process server. It informs the tenant that rent must be paid within seven days, or the lease will terminate and you will file an eviction lawsuit.
Usually, the tenant will come up with the rent after receiving this notice. If you don’t receive the payment, however, you will have to proceed with the court filing.
File and Serve a Summons and Complaint
If the seven days come and go and the tenant has not paid rent or called to talk about a payment arrangement, you’ll want to file and serve a Summons and Complaint for Unlawful Detainer. This is completed at your local courthouse, where a clerk can walk you through the required paperwork and filing fee.
After a tenant has been served this notice, they have 14 days to respond. A failure to respond will result in a judgment for you. If the tenant does respond, there may be a hearing. You’ll need to go to court with all of your documentation that proves rent has not been paid and an eviction is justified.
Obtaining a Writ of Possession
The judge will decide and rule on the case. If you win, the tenant will have seven days to appeal. After those seven days pass, you’ll receive a Writ of Possession. At this point, if the tenant has not moved out of the property, you can call the sheriff to physically remove them.
If your tenant does appeal the ruling, they have the option to remain in the property until the appeal is over, but they’ll have to pay rent.
The eviction process is often time-consuming and frustrating for landlords. If you can avoid evicting your tenant, we recommend that you do so. Sometimes, you can agree that the tenant will leave the property and then you can set about renting it out again. If a tenant is difficult and refuses to cooperate, however, eviction is often your only remedy.
Save yourself some stress and eliminate the potential for costly mistakes by working with a Daphne property management company. We can help you avoid eviction, and if it becomes necessary, we can help you navigate the process. Contact us at IRBY Property Management.