How a Legally Binding Eviction Notice Needs to be Served

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How a Legally Binding Eviction Notice Needs to be Served

Staff Writer · Dec 11, 2009

Receiving an eviction notice is a difficult and often an unknown event. Should you be in a position where eviction is threatened or notification has been given, you do have certain rights that must be adhered to by your landlord.

Eviction serves as a last resort for landlords to remove residents who have in some form defaulted on their lease agreement. An eviction must be announced, filed and ultimately authorized by a local eviction court to be enforced. Management companies must follow a litany of rules to properly conduct an eviction, and residents should pay close attention that all obligations are met by the manager.

What to Expect

Consult your lease agreement to determine when your rental payment is due. Once this period has expired your landlord is required to provide you a 3 day notice to pay your balance. This 3 day period consists of 3 business days only, so it does not include weekends or holidays. 3 day notices must be dated and signed by management, and are often posted on your door, mailed and/or hand delivered to a lease holder. If you can only pay a portion of the total amount, and this is accepted by your landlord, you have fulfilled your 3-day notice and are no longer considered late. Your landlord must present you with another pay or quit notice to restart the process.

Following the 3 day notice, your manager may approach the court to issue a writ of possession, which will ultimately allow your landlord to regain control of your unit. This process must be delivered to your apartment by a recognized officer of the court or contracted court server. Depending upon your local or state laws, server notices will again allow for additional time to make your payment.

Should you fail to make your payment by the appointed time as set forth in your eviction notice, your management company will again contact the court and will be rewarded a writ of possession. Once this is accomplished, local sheriff’s department will be requested to respond to your unit along with the landlord and will ask you to vacate immediately. Typically, Sheriff’s will be required to post a 72-hour period of last resort for you to remove yourself and belongings before their return, however, this does not apply to all regions, so contact your local courthouse for information.

Avoid an Eviction if at all Possible

Once the sheriff’s are at your door it is too late. You will be forcibly removed if you are unwilling to vacate, and you will be allowed to remove only that which you can carry. Landlords are obligated to keep any belongings you leave behind in a storage facility. Although, you will be responsible for all fees associated with this storage.

The eviction process will be held on your personal credit and rental history records for up to 10 years. This may cause great damage to your credit score and ability to lease in the future. In addition, any unpaid balance will also be charged with court and eviction fees and typically will be turned over to a collection agency. Evictions are costly to all involved, and should be only an option of last resort.

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