All about Unlawful Detainer Lawsuits

All about Unlawful Detainer Lawsuits

A landlord and tenant can have arguments and even face other, worse difficult circumstances. If a contract or agreement is followed, these differences can be avoided, and the relationship can be respectful and peaceful. However, when these differences and disagreements affect the way the rental contract is being followed, there will be some more trouble.

If differences are not solved, this process can go to court, and the landlord can ask the tenant to vacate the property. In some cases, an Unlawful Detainer Lawsuit is different from eviction because some elements are missing in the agreement. Sometimes, there isn’t a written contract, and this is why it is essential to ask for professional help if you are not sure what legal procedure to follow. But our advice is to always have your lease or rental agreement in writing.

What is eviction?

A legal eviction process is the one followed by a landlord to terminate the legal right of somebody to live on or otherwise use their property. Landlords initiate evictions after having some disagreement about the tenant trashing the property, after the tenant fails to pay rent, or after unacceptable or criminal behavior from the tenant. 

What are the steps for eviction?

The first step is to inform the tenant that a breach of the contract has occurred and either has to be cured or the tenant has to leave the property. If the tenant fixes the problem according to the landlord’s wishes, the eviction process is abandoned. If the tenant fails to fix the problem, the eviction proceeds. 

The landlord has to file a complaint with the local court so that the tenant is given the proper instructions and documents. An Unlawful Detainer Action is usually easier to take into court and should be over quickly. However, every jurisdiction has its own series of steps and forms to be filled and used. Be sure to know what is the correct order and guidelines according to the state or country the property is in.

What happens during judgment?

How the judgment proceeds varies according to the local laws, but most of the time there is a hearing to determine if the tenant should be evicted. Some evidence has to be presented to support the landlord’s case and prove that the tenant is not following the agreement once established. If the tenant does not go to the hearing, the landlord will prevail. 

After judgment

If the landlord wins, a few days after the court case is over, a writ will be issued. This will allow some time for the tenant to move out voluntarily. If he doesn’t, then a local law enforcer should remove the person from the property. It is very important that the landlord never remove the tenant directly. A self-help eviction, as they are known, can cause legal trouble for the landlord. Follow the eviction laws, and the landlord is safe from legal repercussions.

What is the main purpose of an Unlawful Detainer Lawsuit?

The main goal here is for the landlord to recover control over his or her property. It is commonly brought to court by the landlord because the tenant has failed to pay rent or has violated some of the agreement terms and conditions. The landlord can later occupy the property or rent it again to another tenant who again signs a written agreement. 

When to file an Unlawful Detainer Lawsuit?

Landlords usually file unlawful detainer lawsuits after the relationship between the landlord and the tenant has already ended. In other words, if the rental agreement period has ended and the tenant continues to use the property, the landlord can start the lawsuit. Also, if the tenant does not pay rent and continues to use the property after being given the notice to leave in three days. Basically, this type of lawsuit can be filed after the tenant refuses to leave the property and an eviction notice has already been carried out.

What is not solved by this type of lawsuit?

Money fights related to security deposits or damages are not included in this type of legal action. Complaints cannot be filed under this type of legal action either. And finally, if the tenant takes a whole week to move out after the court process is over, this money cannot be included in the same legal action. A different case has to begin in order to obtain the money due for that week.

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