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Apartment Law
Apartment Evictions

An apartment eviction can take place for a number of reasons, including extensive and documented unpaid rent, staying beyond the lease term, repeated lease violations or breaking the law. It’s not a simple process and should only be untaken after other means of negotiation or mediation have not worked. It’s very important to follow the local apartment eviction laws. The laws and amount of time it takes to have someone evicted from an apartment varies from state to state, but the general steps are the same.

Step One

As a landlord, it is important to document all violations leading up to an eviction. Keeping records of rent payments, noise complaints, police reports and other lease violations can help strengthen your case if an eviction goes to court. Non-payment of rent must be for at least 60 days before eviction proceedings can begin.

Step Two

Once the documented violations reach a certain level, an official apartment eviction notice can be served to the tenant. In some cases, this is delivered directly to the tenant or posted on the door of the apartment. However, in some states the eviction notice must be filed with the courts first. The length of time given before eviction varies from state to state, being as short as seven days in some places. In some cases, particularly when a tenant is close to the end of the lease term, they may be issued a non-renewal of lease rather than an eviction.

Step Three

At this point the tenant needs to contact the management or landlord. Hopefully, the tenant will comply with the eviction notice and move out promptly, bring their rent up-to-date or desist from behavior in violation of the lease. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Sometime it is necessary to file forms with the court and set a date for a hearing before a judge between landlord and tenant.

Step Four
Next comes the court hearing, where both the landlord and the tenant can present their case to the judge. If the judge rules in favor of the landlord, the date for eviction will be set.

Step Five

If the tenant does not leave voluntarily by the court specified date, the landlord can proceed with removal of the tenant by the sheriff. As a tenant, you should know that in most states it is illegal for a landlord to change your locks or cutoff the utilities to your apartment during the eviction process. If you feel that eviction procedures are being wrongly brought against you, contact a real estate lawyer.

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