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How long does the eviction process take?

Sometimes it's hard making ends meet. And if the rent is not paid, you get evicted.

Eviction

An eviction occurs when a landlord removes a tenant from the property because they did not abide by the tenancy contract.

The Removal

The tenant can be removed from the property only through a court order. Once the landlord files a suit, the court can schedule a trial as soon as 2 weeks after. If the tenant is a no-show at court, a favourable judgment is automatically issued to the landlord. If the tenant refuses to leave the property, the landlord can then employ the sheriff or marshal to enact a forcible entry.

Length

Once the landlord has been granted a default judgment, the eviction papers are served to the tenant. Generally, the tenant has 1 to 4 weeks to vacate the premises. The process can take longer if the tenant objects to the eviction and files a motion himself. Therefore, an eviction process can take anywhere between 5 weeks to 3 months.

Delays

The landlord must hire a sheriff or an attorney to serve the tenant. If the sheriff or the attorney is unable to serve the tenant for any reason, the landlord must schedule another trial date. In some states, it is legal for the landlord to leave the papers on the tenant's front door, then mail a copy to the tenant's address. If the tenant has viable claims against the landlord, this can delay the proceedings.

The Aftermath

Usually, once the eviction process is over, the tenant and the landlord simply part ways. If the tenant was evicted for non-payment of rent, the landlord generally doesn't sue them again. However, since the eviction process is strictly for the removal of the tenant, if a landlord wishes to recover funds for non-payment or damages to the property, they can utilise debt collection procedures.

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About the Author

Grace Ferguson has been writing professionally since 2009. With 10 years of experience in employee benefits and payroll administration, Ferguson has written extensively on topics relating to employment and finance. A research writer as well, she has been published in The Sage Encyclopedia and Mission Bell Media.