What can a landlord do when the tenant won’t vacate?
Holdover Tenants: What Can a Landlord Do?
One option is to file a forcible detainer action (eviction). However, prior to filing suit, a landlord must provide the tenant with a three (3) day notice to vacate. The three-day notice to vacate can require the tenant to either leave immediately or by a certain specified date. Assuming the tenant does not vacate within the three-day period, the landlord may move forward with filing suit. The suit would seek to remove the tenant and their belongings from the property and seek damages, if any, as well as attorneys’ fees and costs.
Eviction proceedings do not mean that the tenant will immediately be removed from the property. There are many steps in the eviction process that each take a certain amount of time. Until a writ of possession is issued, the tenant can remain in the property. While the timing of an eviction varies based on the circumstances, generally, the steps in the eviction process include:
(1) Three Day Written Notice to Vacate.
(2) Filing of the Eviction Suit (An eviction hearing cannot take place for at least 10 days after the petition is filed).
(3) Judgment. Once a judgment has been issued, no further action can take place for 5 days. This time gives the parties the opportunity to appeal.
(4) Appeal. If the tenant files an appeal, the hearing cannot take place for at least 8 days.
(5) Writ of Possession. Once there is a final judgment, the landlord can ask the judge for a writ of possession. The constable must post a 24-hour notice before “executing the writ” and removing the tenant’s property from the property.