Eviction Process By State: A 50-Stater Nationwide Overview

Every state's eviction laws differ, and some municipalities within states may have local laws that add to or differ from the state law. As a basic rule, always make sure you, the landlord, have a legal reason to evict. The timeline and process may depend on the reason for evicting. VerticalRent has compiled this basic process for every state based on our research in alphabetical order, so just scroll down to your state for a summary of eviction procedures.

  • Wednesday, October 31, 2018

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Every state's eviction laws differ, and some municipalities within states may have local laws that add to or differ from the state law. As a basic rule, always make sure you, the landlord, have a legal reason to evict. The timeline and process may depend on the reason for evicting. VerticalRent has compiled this basic process for every state based on our research in alphabetial order, so just scroll down to your state for a summary of eviction procedures.

State laws usually require a reason to evict such as:

  • Non-payment of rent.
  • Threats to or actually causing damage to the property.
  • Threatening or disturbing others.
  • Violating the lease such as keeping pets or exceeding the occupancy numbers.

In all states, landlords must give written notice, and in the event of eviction it must be done by court order and by a law-enforcement officer. Landlords may not carry out personal evictions or force an eviction by shutting off utlities, changing locks, etc.

The written notices differ slightly in detail, but they all require appropriate dates, full details of landlord, tenant, property, and the violation being the reason for the notice. In most cases, the tenant may correct the violation and stay, or object to the notice and go to court, or accept the notice and leave.

Alabama

Notices must be served in person or by a processed server. Failure to pay rent leads to a 7-day notice. Other violations carry a 14-day notice, and a month-to-month tenant must get 30 days to quit.

The eviction process begins with filing for an Unlawful Detainer Hearing which needs 14 days for non-payment or 7 days' notice for other violations. The judge decides the case, the tenant then has 7 days to appeal. After the 7 days the landlord requests a Writ of Possession and a law officer proceeds to evict.

Alaska

Alasaka's laws are simple. Landlords send a notice giving 7 days to pay, to comply with the lease, or to move out. A month-to-month tenant has 10 days to pay or comply. A simple notice to quit gives them 30 days. Landlords may need to add a Record of Service  to prove the notice was delivered. After the grace period a law officer will enforce the eviction.

Arizona

Non-payment notices demand payment in 5 days or the tenant must leave. The notice must be handed over in person or sent by certified mail. To complete the eviction, a judge hears the case and issues an order to evict. One critical element of Arizona's law is that if any detail of the notice is found to be inaccurate or missing, the tenant can sue for up to two month's rent or twice the amount of any damages won by the landlord.

Arkansas

The written notice gives the tenant 14 days to leave the property or to correct the violation. The notice may be hand-deivered or sent certified mail to an approved address. If the tenant does not comply, the landlord files an eviiction notice, and a law officer handles the eviciton.

California

Tenants get 3 days to correct any violation. The notice may be hand-deivered to a resident over 18 years or sent by certified mail. Non-compliance results in an Unlawful Detainer Complaint. The tenant has 5 days to respond with a rebuttal or to leave. The notice to leave must be delivered by a sheriff's officer. After those 5 days, the sheriff may change the locks. The landlord is responsible for all private property left in the home.

Colorado

Tenants have 3 days to comply with a notice of violation or to leave. The notice may be hand-delivered to a resident over 16 years of age. It may even be left pinned to the door if the tenant is unavailable. If the tenant does not leave, then the landlord may apply for a law officer to carry out an eviction.

Colorado gives landlords a right to a "no cause eviction" for temporary tenants. Month-to-month tenants get 7 days to quit in these circumstances. The tenant may take legal action to oppose the eviction notice, but if unsuccessful, the landlord may dispose of any personal property left behind.

Connecticut

Connecticut's laws are complex. Landlords begin a Summary Process and begins with the landlord issuing a Notice to Quit Possession. For non-payment a state marshall or process server must deliver the 3-day notice to quit. Tenants get 15 days to correct a lease violation. A simple failure to vacate at the end of the lease carries a 3-day notice. If the tenant does not leave, the landlord files a Court Summons and Complaint. The court hearing takes place after 10 days, then an Order of Execution is issued after 5 days giving the tenant time to appeal, then the tenant has 24 hours to leave.

Delaware

Tenants have 5 days to pay late rent or 7 days to correct any other violation. If the tenant has threatened irreperable harm or damage, the eviction may be without any notice. Landlords file an eviction lawsuit along with the notice. After the hearing, a law enforcement officer handles everything to ensure the tenant leaves.

DC

All notices to quit carry a 30 day grace period. Notices may be pinned on the door or given to a person over 16 years of age, and must be followed up by certified mail delivery. The court hears both sides, and a U.S. Marshall is given authority to remove the tenant.

Florida

Florida has a 3-day notice to quit or comply standard for nonpayment of rent. Florida law says such notices are not binding unless they carry state-approved wording. The required statements are available from courts or legal websites. Other violations carry  a 7-day correction or quit period. If the tenant does not comply, landlords file a Summons and Complaint in district court. The tenant has 5 days to respond. The judge hears both sides, then issues a final judgment, and the tenant has 24 hours to quit or be removed by a sheriff's officer.

Georgia

Landlords issue a written demand to comply with the lease agreement. If the tenant does not comply, they get 30 days to quit prior to an eviction ruling by a magistrate's or state court. Different counties use different courts. After eviction papers are filed, the tenant is served, and both sides are heard. After the eviction is determined, a sheriff's officer must observe both parties complete the eviction process.

Hawaii

Non-payment carries a 5 day notice to pay rent and non-compliance notices carry a 7-day grace period. No grace period is given for threatening behavior. After the notice period, the landlord files for an eviction notice, and the tenant must quit the premises.

Idaho

Tenants recieve a 3-day notice to comply with any lease violation. After that the landlord files a Forcible Entry and Unlawful Detainer Suit in district court. The judge may order a hearing, after which the sheriff manages the evicton process.

Illinois

Landlords send a 5-day notice to pay rent or a 10-day notice for any other violaiton. After that they file a Summons and Complaint for a Forcible Entry and Detainer with the district court. Unless the tenant files an objection, a law enforcement officer handles the eviction.

Indiana

Most eviction notices carry a 10-day correction period. The Cure or Quit notice may be hand-delivered, mailed or pinned to the property door. Proof of delivery is required. If the tenant does not comply, the landlord files a notice of eviction in district court, and a law officer handles the eviction. Personal property cannot be seized, but following another court order, must be stored for up to 90 days before being disposed of.

Iowa

Non-payment results in a 3-day notice to comply. It may be hand delivered to the tenant or sent by certified mail. This is followed by filing an eviction lawsuit in the district court. The judge sets a date and may hear both sides. If eviction is decided, the law officer takes over and manages the eviction process.

Kansas

Notices to pay or to correct any lease violation carry a 14-day grace period and may be hand-delivered or sent by certified mail. If the tenant does not comply, then the landlord files an eviction notice with the district court. The judge issues an instruciton, and a law enforcement officer manages the move-out process.

Kentucky

Notices carry a 14-day correction period. They may be hand-delivered or mailed to the property address or to another mailing address. After the grace period, a court order is sort and the tenant is evicted by a law officer.

Louisiana

Landlords must prove legal cause, such as non-payment of rent or other violation. Once cause is etablished, the tenant receives a notice to quit. They must vacate within 5 days. Tenants have a legal right to rebut the notice by going to court. The judge issues a court order to remove the tenant, and a law officer manages the process.

Maine

Most notices to quit carry a 30-day grace period. For non-payment of rent more than 7 days, destruction of property, etc. the notice is reduced to 7 days. The landlord must seek a court-ordered eviction notice which is delivered by a sheriff's officer. The officer manages the eviction process.

Maryland

Non-payment of rent simply requires the landlord to seek a court-ordered eviction, without any grace period. If the tenant pays their rent, court costs, and late fees before the judge's final ruling, then the eviction is voided. If a tenant harms others, a 14-day notice must be issued, if the violation is for another reason (other than non-payment of rent) then 30 days notice must be given before seeking a court-ordered eviction. The tenant may object, and the judge then hears both sides before making a final ruling.

Massachusetts

Tenants get 14 days to comply with a violation or to quit the property. The landlord must have proof of delivery of the notice. After that, the landlord files a Summons and Complaint with the county housing court or the district court. The court sets a hearing date, the judge then makes a final ruling. After the ruling, the landlord files an execution order with the court, and a law enforcement officer manages the process from then onwards.

Michigan

The notice perod is determined by the specific lease agreement. The landlord must serve the notice of non-compliance, and the tenant must either comply or quit within that period. The landlord must then seek a court hearing to pursue eviction if the tenant has not complied. A law enforcement officer manages the process from then onwards.

Minnesota

Leases must have a Right of Re-entry clause. Landlords must deliver a 14-day notice of intent to evict. The court sets a hearing date and issues a Notice of Eviction. After the hearing, the court issues an eviction notice, and a law officer manages the process.

Mississippi

Landlords can issue a notice to evict as soon as rent is unpaid. For other violations the tenant has 30 days to correct the violation if it is the first instance, or 14 days for a second violation. The landlord files a notice with the circuit court, the tenant may object, so a judge holds a hearing. If the judge finds in favor of the landlord, a law officer manages the eviction process from then onwards.

Missouri

The landlord must have just cause to evict, and then issue an eviction notice, then file with the court. The tenant has 10 days to comply with any lease violation other than not paying rent. If the tenant objects, a judge makes the final determination and a law officer handles the eviction process. If the tenant leaves personal property, the landlord must send a notice to the tenant's last-known address giving them 10 days to reclaim their property before disposal.

Montana

Landlords may request late rent to be paid within 3 days or a court order will be sought to evict. Other lease violations carry anything from a 3-day notice to 14 days. All notices must be delivered using government Notice to Vacate forms. If the violation is not corrected, the landlord files with the court, and if successful, a law officer manages the eviction process.

Nebraska

Non-payment carries a 3-day notice to pay, and other lease violations give tenants 14 days to comply. Notices must have proof of delivery. After the notice period, the landlord seeks a court order to evict, and a law officer carries out the eviction.

Nevada

Any lease violation carries a 5-day notice to comply. The notice must be clear and delivered personally or by certified mail. If the tenant does not respond, a second 5-day notice is delivered threatening court action. The landlord must use official Unlawful Detainer notices with no alterations to the wording. The second notice results in a court hearing. Court decisions make take 6 months to be settled.

New Hampshire

Landlords may issue a 7-day notice for late rent payments or an unconditional notice to quit for other violations such as property damage. If the tenant does not pay or correct the violation, the landlord seeks a court order. After a hearing and decision in favor of the landlord, a law officer handles the eviction process.

New Jersey

Non-payment of rent can result in an immediate notice to pay or quit. If the landlord has previously accepted a late payment, then the notice must allow 30 days to pay. Other violations require a grace period of 14 days to correct the violation and must state that non-compliance will result in an eviction. The landlord must seek a court order, attend a hearing, then allow the law enforcement officer to proceed with eviction.   

 New Mexico

Landlords may evict a tenant for non-payment of rent or for violating the lease agreement. Criminal activity is also cause to evict. Landlords must issue a Petition for Writ of Restitution and hand-deliver it, post it conspicuously to the property, or mail it. The writ gives the tenant 3 days to comply or to quit. The landlord must then seek a court order, which the tenant may oppose and attend a hearing. If the magistrate finds in the landlord's favor, the tenant has 3 days to leave. Any personal items over $100 must be returned to the tenant after any landlord moving costs are covered.

New York

Any lease violation may result in a landlord sending a notice to correct the violation, including paying late rent. This gives the tenant 3 days to comply. If that fails, the landlord should send a Notice to Cure or Terminate. This gives the tenant 10 days to comply or leave. If that fails, the landlord should file a holdover suit with the housing or district court. The landlord may also file a Notice to Quit within 30 days or to have a court hearing. New York also offers an alternative by holding a mediation session. If a court agrees to termination, then the law enforcement officers concerned will handle all proceedings.

North Carolina

Non-payment of rent can result in the landlord issuing a "10-Day Demand for Rent." If the rent is not paid the landlord files a Summary Ejectment in Small Claims Court. If the tenant violates the lease in another way, the landlord issues a "10-Day Demand for Compliance or Possession." The court issues a summons for a hearing by the magistrate. If the landlord is successful, the court issues a Judgment of Possession, and the tenant must vacate or file an appeal within 10 days. If they lose the appeal, the sheriff manages the eviction. Any personal property left becomes the landlord's.

North Dakota

If a tenant fails to pay their rent, the landlord issues a 3-day notice to pay or quit. For other lease violations, no grace period is given. Landlords are not required to accept payment or correction of a violation once the notice has been delivered. The landlord has the court issue a summons, served by a sheriff or process server. If the court finds in favor of the landlord, the tenant vacates or the issue is given to the sheriff to handle.

Ohio

Landlords deliver a notice of intent to evict when overdue rent is not paid, giving the tenant 3 days to pay. Other violations have a 30 day grace period to correct the problem. The notice must include state-approved wording. After the grace period a court issues a summons, both parties have a right to a jury trial. If the court finds in favor of the landlord, the tenant has 10 days to vacate or a sheriff manages the eviction. Sheriff costs are met by the landlord.

Oklahoma

A landlord may issue a notice to quit if a tenant violates the lease. The notice to quit or comply must contain 5 state-required elements for it to be valid. The notice may be delivered in any way, and if the tenant does not leave, the landlord files a complaint in district court. The court sets a date for the hearing, if the landlord wins, the court issues a Writ of Execution and the sheriff manages the process.

Oregon

Landlords may evict a tenant for lease violation. Most violations are for non-payment, damage, threat or illegal actions. If rent is late, the landlord may issue a notice to pay or quit after 8 days, giving the tenant a further 3 days to pay, or may issue a 6 days notice after 5 days of delinquency. If the tenant has violated the agreement in other ways, the landlord may issue a 30-day notice to quit or to correct the violation within 14 days. Threatening or illegal actions can result in the landlord issuing an Unconditional Quit Notice giving the tenant 24 hours to quit.

If the tenant fails to comply with any notice, the landlord files a case with the district court, a summons is issued, and a date for the hearing is set. If the landlord succeeds, the sheriff manages the eviction process, and the landlord must keep any personal property left behind for 30 days before disposing of it.

Pennsylvania

All notices to quit must include state-approved details. A landlord may give tenants 10 days to pay late rent or leave the property. Other violations give the tenant 15 days to comply or leave if it is a 12 month lease, or 30 days if it is a longer lease. If the tenant does not comply, then the landlord files a lawsuit with the magistrate's court, and if the landlord succeeds after the hearing, the court issues an Order of Possession for the sheriff to evict the tenant.

Rhode Island

After 3 days of non-payment of rent a landlord may delver a notice giving the tenant 3 days to pay or to quit. The notice must include all state-approved wording. Landlords should make two attempts to deliver the notice at least six hours apart, affix the notice to a visible part of the property or send it certified mail. The landlord must have proof of receipt before proceeding to court action.

If the tenant does not comply, a complaint is filed in local court and the judge sets a hearing date. If successful, the court issues a Execution of Possession and the sheriff handles the eviction.

Tennessee

Tenants may be evicted for non-payment of rent, violating the lease terms, abandoning the property, illegal behavior or for safety reasons. Landlords send a written notice giving the tenant 14 days to correct the issue or to vacate within 30 days. After that, the landlord files a notice to evict with the general sessions court. A hearing date is set, the tenant has 10 days to appeal a decision, then a Writ of Possession is issued, and the landlord arranges the eviction with the sheriff's help if requested.

Texas

A landlord may seek to evict a tenant for any breach of the Texas Property Code. The landlord hand-delivers or mails a 3-Day Notice to Vacate. The notice must meet state-approved wording. The landlord may continue with the eviction process even if the tenant corrects the violation. A summons is raised in the district court, a hearing date is set for a Forcible Detainer Case. If successful a law enforcement officer manages the eviction. If the landlord violates any eviction law, by changing locks for example, they may be fined $1000 plus one month's rent.

Utah

A minor lease violation my result in the landlord sending a 3-Day Notice With Cause to the tenant giving them 3 days to correct the violation. If they do so, they may stay. If the violation is major (property damage, illegal actions, etc.) then the landlord does not give the tenant an opportunity to fix the problem, and the 3 days notice is to vacate. If the tenant does not leave, the landlord files a lawsuit in district court and, after a successful hearing, a court order is issued for the law enforcement agency to manage the eviction.

Vermont

A landlord must deliver a 14-day notice to a tenant to correct a violation or to quit the property. They may deliver the notice by hand or certified mail. If the tenant does not comply, the landlord files a complaint with a superior court. The landlord is responsible for making sure the tenant receives a copy of the summons. After a successful hearing, the judge issues a Writ of Possession and the sheriff is responsible for evicting the tenant.

Virginia

The Virginia eviction process basically has 4 steps. For non-payment of rent a landlord sends a Pay or Quit notice giving the tenant 5 days to correct the violation. For other violations, landlords send Notice to Quit giving tenants 21 days to correct a violation or vacate. If the tenant remains incompliant, Step 2 is to seek a Summons for Unlawful Detainer which triggers a court hearing. Step 3 is the court's decision, after which a tenant has 10 days to appeal, after that the court issues a Possession of Unlawful Detainer. The final step is for full eviction or the sheriff changing the locks which would result in the tenant becoming a trespasser.

Washington

Unless the lease agreement specifies a grace period, the landlord does not have to allow one for any breach. The landlord delivers a "Pay or Go" notice. For other violations the tenant has 3 days to correct the problem or to quit. If eviction is sought, the landlord files a complaint in a superior court and a summons is issued. The judge hears both sides and, if the landlord wins, the judge issues a Writ of Restitution and delivers it to the sheriff to perform the eviction 

West Virginia

West Virginia's laws are simple. Any violation such as non-payment of rent, damage to the property or other lease violation can result in the landlord filing an eviction suit in local court. The landlord does not need to give notice or time for the tenant to correct the problem.

Wisconsin

Landlords issue a 5-day notice to pay late rent, correct any other violation, or to quit the property. The next step is to file a claim with the small claims court which issues a summons for a hearing. If the landlord is successful, a court order is given to the police or sheriff to perform the eviction.

Wyoming

Lease violations result in the landlord delivering a 3-Day Notice to the tenant to correct the problem. The notice may be hand-delivered, emailed, pinned to the door, or mailed. The notice must follow state-approved terms, content, and wording. If the tenant remains in violation, the landlord files a complaint in district court and a summons is issued. If the hearing goes with the landlord, the court issues a Writ of Restitution to the sheriff, and the eviction process begins.

Final Point

Eviction laws vary state-to-state. Many landlords own properties in more than one, so it pays them to know local state and municipal laws. Auto-paying rent is a good way to avoid late payment, and we can help with that system. If you have any specific questions you would like to discuss, please click this link to contact us.

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