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March 18, 2024

How Long Does The Eviction Process Take?

Evicting a tenant is a complex process that depends on the lease terms and local rules. To regain property, landlords need meticulous records and must follow legal steps. This article guides landlords through eviction, stressing the need for accuracy. Confirming procedures with local authorities is crucial due to regional variations.

The eviction process involves specific steps and timelines. Landlords, dealing with non-payment or violations, must understand these stages. Tenants also have rights during this process. The article explores these stages, answers the question “How long does the eviction process take?”, and gives insights into each step’s typical duration. It serves as a practical resource for all involved parties.

Notice Period

The eviction process usually begins with the landlord serving a notice to the tenant. The type of notice and its duration depend on the reason for eviction and local laws. Common notices include the Pay Rent or Quit notice, Cure or Quit notice, and Unconditional Quit notice.

Pay Rent or Quit Notice:
Why: Used when tenants haven’t paid rent on time.
How Long: Gives tenants a short time, usually 3 to 5 days, to either pay the overdue rent or leave.

Cure or Quit Notice:
Why: Applied for lease violations other than not paying rent (like breaking pet rules or causing disturbances).
How Long: Provides tenants a set period, often 10 to 14 days, to fix the issue or move out.

Unconditional Quit Notice:
Why: Reserved for severe cases where tenants repeatedly break the lease, and the landlord wants them to leave without a chance to fix things.
How Long: Gives tenants a relatively short notice, usually 3 to 5 days, to vacate without any chance to make things right.

Common notices

Common notices

Filing the Eviction Lawsuit

When the tenant doesn’t follow the initial notice, the landlord can start an eviction lawsuit, also called an unlawful detainer lawsuit, by submitting it to the right court. The time it takes for the court to process this filing can differ but usually falls between a few days in a couple of weeks.

Serving Summons and Complaints

After filing the lawsuit, the tenant needs to receive a summons and complaint. These papers let them know about the legal action and offer a chance to respond. How quickly these documents are delivered depends on how efficient the legal process is in that area.

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Tenant’s Response

The tenant’s response affects how long the eviction process takes, once the tenant gets the papers, they usually have a limited time to reply to the eviction lawsuit. This timeframe varies, usually around 5 to 15 days, depending on local rules. The court then schedules a hearing based on the tenant’s response.

Tenant’s response

Court Hearing

Court Hearing

The court hearing is a crucial step where both the landlord and tenant present their sides, and the judge makes a decision. The time between filing the lawsuit and the hearing can vary widely, from a few days to several weeks.

Issuance of Writ of Possession

If the court sides with the landlord, they get a writ of possession. This paper allows law enforcement to remove the tenant if they don’t leave willingly physically. Getting the writ and carrying out the eviction can take some time, usually days to weeks.

Tenant Removal

Once the landlord has the writ of possession, law enforcement steps in to carry out the eviction. This involves physically removing the tenant and their belongings from the property. Typically, this process happens within a few days of getting the writ.

Case Study: Dany’s Eviction Process in Texas

Dany, a landlord in Texas, found herself navigating the eviction process with a tenant who consistently failed to pay rent. Here’s a detailed case study illustrating the specific timeline and challenges encountered:

Case study

1. Notice Period (Day 1-30):
Dany initiated the eviction by serving a Pay Rent or Quit notice to her tenant. In Texas, the notice period typically ranges from 3 to 30 days. In this case, Dany opted for a 10-day notice to allow the tenant to catch up on overdue rent.

2. Filing the Eviction Lawsuit (Day 31-60):
As the tenant failed to comply within the notice period, Dany proceeded to file an eviction lawsuit. The average timeline for the entire process in Texas ranged from 21 to 60 days.

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3. Serving Summons and Complaint (Day 32-61):

Following the lawsuit filing, Dany ensured prompt serving of the summons and complaint to the tenant. The efficiency of the legal process in Texas played a role in determining how swiftly these documents were delivered.

4. Tenant’s Response (Day 36-76):
The tenant, upon receiving the summons and complaint, had 10 days to respond. Dany meticulously tracked this period, aware that the tenant’s response would influence the subsequent phases.

5. Court Hearing (Day 40-90):
The case proceeded to a court hearing where Dany and the tenant presented their cases. In Texas, the duration between filing and the hearing could vary, and in this case, it took 50 days for the hearing to be scheduled.

6. Issuance of Writ of Possession (Day 50-100):
With the court ruling in Dany’s favor, she obtained a writ of possession. Securing the writ and executing the eviction process took an additional 20 days in this case.

7. Tenant Removal (Day 70-120):
Once armed with the writ, Dany collaborated with law enforcement to physically remove the tenant. This process concluded within 10 days of obtaining the writ.

Special Cases (Varies):
Throughout the eviction process, Dany considered the possibility of special circumstances. While an Immediate Possession Bond wasn’t applicable in this case, she was mindful that either party applying for a re-judgment could add 5 extra days to the overall timeline.

This case study provides a specific example of a landlord, Dany, navigating the eviction process in Texas. It underlines the importance of a strategic approach, adherence to legal timelines, and awareness of potential variations based on unique circumstances.

In conclusion, to answer “How long does the eviction process take?”, the eviction process is a multifaceted journey that demands careful consideration and adherence to legal procedures. This article has provided a detailed overview, emphasizing the importance of accuracy and the need for landlords to confirm local procedures.

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Tom Tran

Tom Tran

Tom Tran is a seasoned entrepreneur and expert in real estate property management with a diverse background in business ventures. He is the Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer of Hexa Property Management, LLC, based in Houston, Texas.

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