When a landlord wants to remove a tenant from their rental home, they move forward with an eviction process. Once the notice is in place, the tenant can agree to the final move-out date. Or based on the circumstances, a legal dispute may take place. This is why the answer to this question really depends on whether or not the eviction is with or without cause.

Eviction Without Cause

If you’re on a month-to-month lease and the landlord wishes to evict, they must give notice, usually a 30-day period. A fixed-term lease, like a typical one-year lease, cannot be broken without a cause. However renters should take a look at their individual rental contracts to confirm.

Eviction With Cause

It doesn’t matter what kind of contract you have, there are many reasons an eviction can happen with cause:

  • Nonpayment of rent. Late balances must be paid or the tenant has a short period of time to move out, usually 3 – 5 days.
  • A broken contract. Violating any pre-agreed upon rule (like unapproved subletting). The tenant and landlord will discuss a time period to correct the behavior.
  • Property damage or illegal activity. This is one of the more extreme cases in an eviction case. Again, the behavior must be corrected with short timeline.


When the notice expires and the tenant has not left the property, a lawsuit can be filed by the landlord. In a period of a few weeks the case is brought before a judge, and if the tenant is a no-show to the hearing, the judge must order an eviction. In some states eviction is immediate, and in others they give the tenant 1 – 4 weeks for a move-out date.

If the tenant continues to remain at the property, a forcible eviction will occur, which may take an additional few weeks. Further delays are a possibility if the tenant files a motion or objects to the court ruling. For more information on the tenant-landlord relationship and your personal rights, contact a local trusted lawyer with experience in this area.