What you have to do to evict a tenant

Most landlords do not want to need to evict a tenant. Unfortunately, they will probably need to go through the process at least once.  Maybe the tenant has a bad relationship with other tenants, or has caused damage to the property. The following are some basic steps to take to evict a tenant.

Check out the Law

You will first need to confirm that you can evict the tenant. You cannot evict them just because you don´t like them or have a bad relationship with them.  Legal reasons of filing an eviction include late rent or no rent. This is actually the most common cause of eviction.   The other issues that can cause eviction are:

  • Breaking rules agreed upon agreement, such as being noisy, bringing pets, etc.
  • Doing damage to your property. Take pictures to bring them as proof to court.
  • The tenant being a holdover, meaning staying after lease expires.

Consider timing

Some states require you to give notice to the tenant before proceeding with the eviction.  Some states even require you to give some time to the tenant to fix any problem they might have caused.  The notice should be very specific about the causes of eviction and placed on the front door of the property or handed over to the tenant personally. 

File eviction

Take the eviction petition to court and request a hearing. Be law-knowledgeable about the matter and be ready to defend your case. Include dates in which the tenant was notified and, if applicable, the amount of time given for them the fix any damage or to comply with requirements of your agreement. You will need to pay a small fee for this hearing.  The court will give you a date for the hearing and will notify the tenant.


The court will give the tenant a certain amount of time to leave the property. If time given by the court expires and tenant still remains, take the sheriff to take the tenant’s possessions out of the house.