While very rare (only about 1% of our tenants must be evicted), evictions do unfortunately happen. It is usually the result of someone losing their job, getting a divorce, or suffering some other major life event that renders them unable to meet the financial commitments that they made. While responsible tenants will vacate voluntarily under these circumstances, some tenants aren’t so honorable and have to be forced out. When that happens, we file the eviction on your behalf.
The eviction process goes through the following stages after the case is filed, and we will update you via email at each stage of the process:
- First, the court will have the county sheriff or constable go out to the property and attempt to serve the tenant personally. If the tenant cannot be found or refuses to answer the door, the notice will be posted on the door after several tries.
- After the notice is served, the tenant has seven (7) days to file a response with the court if they want to fight the eviction. Sometimes judges are a little lenient on this deadline, though. We’ve seen tenants turn in answers after the deadline and the judge still accepts it, so keep in mind that this isn’t a hard and fast deadline, more of a guideline.
- If the tenant doesn’t file a response, then the judge will issue a default judgment against the tenant and in your favor. The judgment will require the tenant to vacate the property within seven (7) days.
- If the tenant does file a response, then the judge will set a court date to hear the case. Depending upon the county, this date could be anywhere from a couple of weeks in the future all the way up to several months. In general, Fulton, Clayton, and DeKalb counties are the slowest with the longest delays.
- At the court hearing, our attorneys will represent you, so you don’t need to be present. They will present the facts and the judge will issue a decision. We have never lost an eviction case, so this is basically a formality, but it is required as part of the process.
- The judge’s ruling will give the tenant seven (7) days to vacate the property voluntarily. Unfortunately, if it’s gotten to this point, the tenant almost never vacates on their own.
- After the deadline passes and the tenant has not vacated, our attorneys will file what is called a “writ of possession,” which is basically a legal order that the judge signs and sends to the county sheriff telling them to forcibly remove the tenant from the property.
- This is where another waiting game comes in. Depending upon the county, waiting for the sheriff to schedule the forcible eviction (or “lockout”) can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to many months. As usual, Fulton, Clayton, and DeKalb counties are the slowest in this regard.
- Once the lockout date arrives, we will have an eviction crew meet the sheriff at the property. The sheriff will forcibly remove the tenant, and then our crew will go in and remove all of the tenant’s belongings from the house. We are required to set those belongings out on the curb in front of the house for at least 24 hours so that the tenant has time to collect them. Our crew will also change the locks while the sheriff is there, and the sheriff will tell the tenant that they will be trespassing if they go on the property again.
- After 24 hours, if the tenant has not picked up their belongings from the curb, our crew will go back out and haul everything to the dump.
We know this seems like a complicated process, but keep in mind that we take care of all of this for you, with the help of our attorneys! You don’t have to worry about any of it. All in all, from eviction filing to lockout, the process can take anywhere from a few weeks to many months, depending upon the county. We know it is frustrating when someone is living in your house without paying rent, but we have no choice but to go through this process, so please try to be patient. We and our attorneys will do everything legally allowable to remove the tenant as fast as possible.
Do you have any questions? Send an email to Info@TheRevolutionFirm.com