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The Eviction Process: How Does it Work?

Eviction process NoticeThe 5 Steps in Defining Eviction

This is 1 of 3 series on the eviction process

Whether a renter has defaulted on rent, are in breach of contract, or otherwise; Eviction procedures can be a daunting and confusing subject.

Eviction is defined as “the action of expelling someone, especially a tenant, from a property.” But what does that mean and how does the process actually play out?

If the required notice has been delivered to a resident and they do not voluntarily vacate, the landlord can move to evict them.

There are several steps to expect when going forward with an eviction.

Unlawful Detainer. The landlord would first need to file an unlawful detainer lawsuit in superior court. An unlawful detainer is a summary court procedure and in most cases, court action moves along quickly. The landlord would be listed as the “plaintiff” whereas the resident would be listed as the “defendant”.

Resident Response. Residents are given the opportunity to respond to the unlawful detainer notification. Essentially this is their initial opportunity to share their side of the story. They can note the condition of the housing and any points they deem valid to add to the case.

Hearing. The court will hold a hearing where both parties can present their evidence and explain their case. The judge will then decide the verdict and rule in favor of either the landlord or resident.

Writ of Possession. If the court rules that the landlord is victorious and the resident needs to vacate, a writ of possession will be issued to the local sheriff’s office and a lock out date will be scheduled. If the resident does not vacate, they will still be locked out of the home.


Resident Wins. If the court rules in favor of the resident, they will not be evicted and depending on the lease agreement, the landlord may have to pay the resident’s attorney fees.

Eviction process

There are many important factors to consider before filing an unlawful detainer with the court. Depending on the facts of your case, it may be advised that the resident file a Motion to Quash Service of Summons or a Demurrer instead of a simple response.

Eviction can be a difficult process and in the end, nobody really wins. Legal fees, loss of rent, and moving expenses are just a few of the consequences suffered on both sides of an eviction. At Real Property Management, our goal is to provide you, the property owner, with a quality tenant to hopefully avoid such issues in the future. If eviction is unavoidable, whether you are a landlord or a resident, it is best to contact an attorney for guidance and assistance through the eviction process.

Do you have questions about the eviction process?

Eviction process

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We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.

  1. Pauletta says:

    Is it possible to evict someone for no legit reason?

    1. Michael Stone says:

      In some states there are no cause evictions. Please check with your state.

  2. Jasmine says:

    I was on a housing program through hud that lost funding and the program did not give us notice so they were unable to pay the portion they usually pay i let my property manager know this and assured her i could pay the rent that was owed and next month’s rent on the 3rd of June I’m not a problem tenant no complaints never had an issue being late before but my property manager is still proceeding with eviction is there a possible way for me to be able to win in court and avoid eviction if I can show that I can pay ?

    1. Michael Stone says:

      Due to the fact that our office is not licensed to practice law in any state or province we are unable to answer questions with regard to Landlord/Tenant or other laws or contracts including individual lease agreement questions. For assistance with these items, please contact your local attorney, fair housing authority or other tenant advocacy programs available.