Real Estate Glossary

What's an Eviction?

Eviction is the legal process by which a landlord or property owner forces a tenant to vacate a rental property. Eviction can occur when a tenant violates the terms of their lease agreement, such as by failing to pay rent or causing damage to the property. The process of eviction usually begins with the landlord giving notice to the tenant, stating the specific reason why they want the tenant to vacate the property, it could be non-payment of rent, lease violation, or the end of the lease agreement. Depending on the laws of the state or municipality the notice period could be different, it could be as short as 3 days or up to a month. If the tenant does not vacate the property after receiving the notice, the landlord can then file an eviction lawsuit with the court. The court will then set a date for a hearing where the landlord and tenant can present their case. If the judge finds in favor of the landlord, the court will issue an order for the tenant to vacate the property within a certain period of time, usually a few days. If the tenant still does not vacate the property, the landlord can then request the sheriff to remove the tenant and their belongings from the property. This is the last stage of the eviction process. It is important to note that evictions have legal procedures and specific timelines, it should be done in a legal and formal way and must not be done by self-help, such as changing locks or shutting off utilities. Landlords must follow the local laws and court processes to carry out an eviction.