How do I evict a tenant? 8 Answers as of October 08, 2013

I have a tenant who refuses to pay his rent. I believe we have a valid agreement and I would like to pursue an eviction. Is there a time period in which I have to wait before starting the procedure and also, do I have to give him a certain amount of time to leave. Can I just change the locks to the apartment with his stuff inside?

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Law Office of Raymond I. Moniak | Raymond Moniak
You must first prepare and serve a 3 Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit, making sure that the exact amount of the rent owed is listed, any more and the Notice is invalid. Serve by attempting personal service and if no one is there, post a copy of the Notice on the door and mail a copy. Other service requirements or details as well as the content of the Notice may require you to seek legal advice on the specifics. However, there are forms available for this Notice. If the tenant pays the full amount of the rent owed within 3 days you must accept and the matter is over. Do not, however, accept less than full amount within the 3 days and you don't have to accept even the full amount after the 3 days (unless you just want the money in which case acceptance of any money waives the Notice. After the 3 days and no payment, you can file an Unlawful Detainer action against the tenant for recovery of the premises and rent owed. It is best you obtain legal representation to file such an action since there are many pitfalls in attempting to navigate the legal system without an attorney. DO NOT CHANGE LOCKS. Any attempt to lockout the tenant from the premises or recover and/or reenter the premises without court order entitles the tenant to take legal action against you.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/8/2013
Law Office of Jack Longert, LLC | Jack Longert
Under Wisconsin law, you need to give a 5 day notice to leave or pay rent. Forms are available from various sources. After that, you have to bring an eviction action in the Small Claims Court in your Wisconsin county. You may not simply change the locks-if the Court orders and eviction the Sheriff's office will take care of the actual process.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 10/8/2013
Universal Law Group, Inc. | Francis John Cowhig
You must first serve the tenant with a 3 Day Notice to Pay or Quit. After the 3 days you must file an unlawful detainer (eviction) action with the court, have your tenant personally served by someone over the age of 18 and not a party to the lawsuit. If the tenant does not file a response with the court within 5 days of being served, you must then file for a default judgment and a writ of possession. Under no circumstances should you change the locks I strongly suggest that you contact an experienced landlord/tenant attorney for a face-to-face consultation and give him/her all of the facts surrounding your situation. He/she would then be in a better position to analyze your case, advise you of your options and, if possible, make sure that the necessary paperwork and documentation is presented so as not to delay the process.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/8/2013
Stuart P Gelberg
Stuart P Gelberg | Stuart P Gelberg
You can not change the locks!!! You need to give a notice to cure and when not cured serve with a petition and notice of petition to evict.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 10/8/2013
Dessy & Dessy, a Professional Corporation | Ronald D. Dessy
You need to give the tenant a three-day notice pay or quit. If the tenant does not leave during that period, You need to commence an eviction action. You cannot change the locks until the sheriff returns possession to you.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/7/2013
    Law Offices of Frances Headley | Frances Headley
    As soon as his rent is overdue you can begin the process by serving a three day notice that lists in detail the money owed. You can not change the locks until the eviction process is complete. You should consult a real estate attorney for assistance with the process.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/7/2013
    Gottlieb & Goren, P.C.
    Gottlieb & Goren, P.C. | Aaron W. Goren
    No, do not change the locks. You need to give the tenant notice on a court form to pay up within 7 days. After 7 days, you can start eviction proceedings as a landlord tenant case.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/7/2013
    MatthewR. Schutz, Esq | Matthew R. Schutz
    Under no circumstances lock out a tenant on your own. It is both a criminal and civil violation in NJ and you can be jailed and/or sued. You can file an eviction action immediately for failure to pay rent.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 10/7/2013
Click to View More Answers: