If a tenant fails to pay rent, a landlord may want to evict right away to keep his income stream coming. But, the landlord must follow legal eviction procedures. Rent is often due on the first day of each month, even if the beginning of the month is a weekend or vacation. The landlord need not allow the tenant a grace period before charging a late fee or taking steps to evict. As soon as the tenant fails to pay the rent when due, the landlord may begin taking steps toward eviction.
However, remember that the landlord and also the tenant must comply with different terms of the lease. For instance, the landlord might comply with waiting three days when rent is due before charging a late fee, or the landlord might agree that rent is due the following business day if the first of the month is a vacation. Regardless of the agreement, it should be in writing and included in the lease. Then both landlord and tenant must follow the terms of the contract.
Evicting the Tenant
If the tenant does not vacate the premises after receiving a notice to leave, the landlord may go to court to initiate an eviction proceeding. To start the eviction, referred to as unlawful detainer proceedings, the landlord should file a summons and complaint with the court of the county or district in which the rental unit is found. The court can set a date for a hearing before a judge, and also the tenant is notified of the court date.
If the landlord wins at the hearing, the judge provides the landlord with a judicial writ of possession. This judicial writ of possession gives the sheriff the authority to evict the tenant. The landlord should use the sheriff’s department only to evict the tenant. The landlord should not act on his own.
It is unlawful for a landlord to evict a tenant without having a judicial writ of possession and having sheriff’s deputies present. The landlord cannot force a tenant out of a rental unit through such means as changing the locks on the doors or shutting off utilities. If a landlord attempts to do this, the tenant may sue for damages.
Three-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit
As soon as a tenant fails to pay rent, a landlord can serve them with a 3 Day Notice to Quit. This notice should inform the tenant that if they don’t pay rent in three days, then the landlord can begin eviction proceedings. It should state how much rent is due, too.
What Is A Three-Day Eviction Notice
A three-day notice to pay rent or quit gives warning that the landlord will evict if the tenant does not pay rent in three days. It is triggered once a tenant misses the rent payment within the required date. If there is a grace period explicit within the lease agreement, landlords may hold off on serving an announcement until after that grace period runs out.
Tenant Responses to a Three-Day Notice
A tenant might answer the three-day notice in an exceedingly kind of different ways.
- The tenant could pay the rent within three days of receiving the notice. If the tenant chooses this route, the landlord would not proceed with the eviction.
- The tenant might move out of the rental unit in three days of receiving the notice. If the tenant does not pay rent, the landlord will use the security deposit to cover the rent charges and sue the tenant for any unpaid rent.
- The tenant might neither pay the rent nor move out of the rental unit. In this case, the landlord will proceed with the unlawful detainer hearing at the end of the required three-day period.
The notice demands precisely what it sounds like, “Pay rent or move out within three days,” If a tenant, in three days, pays the total rent due or moves out, the notice is satisfied. A landlord cannot wrongfully file a case if a tenant has complied with the notice either way.