How to Kick Out a Tenant

As a landlord, you may choose tenants that you think would be a good fit for your particular property. However, it doesn't always work out with the people living in your rental home and you may have to take steps to remove them from the property. While you may be tempted to take immediate measures, there is a legal process that you have to follow to kick a tenant out of your rental home.

Step 1

Provide the tenant with a three or five-day notice, depending on the state in which you live. This is the first step in the eviction process and must be done in order to properly execute an eviction. This notice states that the tenant has that specific amount of time to pay or work something out with the landlord or you will take further action.

Step 2

Contact the tenant as one last effort to get him to leave willingly. At this point, if you threaten the tenant with an eviction, he may be more willing to leave on his own. However, keep in mind that by doing it this way, he may leave on his own without being legally liable for the remainder of the rent.

Step 3

Take a copy of the three-day notice, a filing fee and a copy of the lease to your local clerk of court office to file an official eviction complaint. The fees for this process vary from state to state; as does the amount of paperwork involved. This gets the ball rolling to legally kick the tenant out of your home. The entire process may span three weeks to 45 days, depending on the backlog of cases in your region.

Step 4

Follow through on every step of the process. You will likely be required to show up in court, whether your tenant does or not, to state your side of the case. If your tenant decides to fight it, the process will take longer. If she doesn't bother to show up, then it's an automatic win for you and you just wait for a final judgment.

Step 5

Bring a final copy of the eviction judgment to the local Sheriff's Office. An officer will accompany you to the property to take back ownership of it. You may remove any of the tenant's belongings at this point and if necessary, the deputy will threaten the tenant with arrest if he does not leave willingly.