Evicting a tenant can be difficult and confusing if you haven’t been through the process before. Even if you have previously evicted someone, there are plenty of headaches that come along with the eviction process. From start to finish the process typically takes about 30 days. An eviction may, however, take up to several months.
In order to institute a proceeding for summary ejectment, a tenant must have either:
1. Failed to surrender possession of the leased premises after the lease has expired, or
2. Failed to comply with the requirements of the lease and the lease allows for termination in such an event (ex. failure to pay rent or using drugs on premises).
Once a landlord determines that the tenant has done one of these things, the landlord must give written notice to the tenant that his or her right of possession has been terminated. Written notice is typically done by way of a letter sent by certified mail.
After notice has been given, the landlord may file the complaint for summary ejectment with the clerk. This consists of filling out a packet of paperwork that you can retrieve from the clerk. In Mecklenburg County, the current cost for filing the complaint is $96.00. There is also an additional $30.00 fee for each defendant the sheriff has to serve.
After the complaint has been filed, a court date will be set. The court date is typically between one to four weeks after the filing of the complaint. At the hearing, you must present your case to a magistrate. Depending on what you requested in your complaint, a ruling will be made on possession and rent that is past due.
If judgment is entered in favor of the landlord, the tenant has a 10-day period to appeal. If the tenant appeals, a new court date for the matter will be set in District Court. This can take as long as a few months. During this appeal period, the tenant is allowed to remain on the premises, but must continue to pay rent.
If the tenant does not appeal the judgment, or in the case of an unsuccessful appeal, the landlord may have the eviction enforced by filing a Writ of Possession with the court and having it served on the tenant. The sheriff will notify the tenant of the eviction date and ensure that the tenant is physically removed from the premises on that date.
If the tenant leaves personal property in the premises, the landlord must provide the tenant with written notice before the property can be removed or sold. The tenant is allowed a 10-day period to return and retrieve the property if he or she makes a request with the landlord. After this period has lapsed and the landlord has notified the tenant of his or her intentions to remove or sell the property, the tenant has 10-days to respond. If the tenant does not respond, the landlord may remove or sell the property. The proceeds of the sale may be used to reimburse the landlord for any expenses regarding the eviction proceeding and / or any unpaid rent.
If you need assistance in evicting a tenant or would like to schedule a consultation with an eviction attorney in Mecklenburg County, please contact Adkins Law. Adkins Law is located in Huntersville and primarily serves Huntersville, Cornelius, Davidson, Charlotte, and Mecklenburg County. Call (704) 274-5677 to arrange a free consultation.