The Eviction Notice Process: What Landlords Need to Know

While you may hope to never go through the eviction notice process as a landlord, there may come a time when you have a less-than-ideal tenant that needs to leave your property. It may also not be as simple as not renewing a lease - sometimes you need to go through a lengthy legal process, which can cost you an average of $3,500 in fees, and takes an average of 4 weeks for the eviction notice process to run its course. We’ve compiled a list of the steps involved in a standard legal eviction process, but always be sure to check with your state’s tenant’s rights and make sure you’re not breaking your own rental contract.



1. Pay or Quit Notice

A pay or quit notice, also called a pay or vacate notice, is the formal warning from you to your tenants that they are violating the lease agreement. This notice should provide your tenant with the specific instructions and days allowed to comply with the lease, before bringing it to court.



2. Eviction Forms and Filing

A pay or quit notice should be sent via certified mail, ensuring a legal record that the notice was provided.

After you’ve sent the pay or vacate notice, the tenant will have several days to comply or vacate the property. If the tenant fails to do either, an eviction notice through the courts may be filed against the tenant. The forms that need to be filed for a Forcible Detainer are:

  • Eviction Complaint - this will start the eviction case

  • Summons - this informs your tenant about the case

The court will file these forms, and the sheriff’s department will generally deliver the summons to the tenant. When the eviction notice process is filed through the court, the judge reviews the documentation and issues a ruling. You should prepare for this step by bringing a copy of the signed lease agreement, a record of all rent payments, and any documented communication between you and the tenant.



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3. Judgement

After the judge has awarded you the eviction, the tenant is required to leave by law. If the tenant refuses to leave, local law enforcement may be able to remove the tenant via a court order. If the tenant left their property, check with your state’s guidelines to see if you can remove it, or if it requires another court process.



4. Preparing for a New Tenant

While not all evictions must go through the court, some tenants will leave once you’ve issued the pay or quit notice if they choose not to comply with their lease agreement. Regardless, once the tenant moves out, you will need to prepare the rental property for turnover to the next tenant. Depending on the reason for eviction, it can become costly in repairs or additional lawsuits.



Preventing Eviction

The eviction notice process is a headache for all parties involved, so it’s important to do what you can to prevent an eviction. Spending time before the move-in to find qualified tenants and doing screenings, background checks, checking their credit scores, and history of eviction before signing the lease is always recommended. Keeping a positive relationship with your tenants is also recommended.


If you’re looking to update your rental property after the eviction notice process, contact Renovo and talk to one of our team members to discuss how you can continue to grow your rental investment portfolio in a changing market.