Evicting a tenant

What happens after you win the eviction order?

Ever wonder what happens after a landlord wins an eviction order? The answer is: A lot.

It might seem like an eviction case being won by the landlord means the tenant has a few hours to pack up and get out, but that is far from the case. Immediately after an eviction case is won by the landlord, the landlord has to … wait. While eviction laws vary, many times the tenant automatically has a few days to appeal the eviction order.

Once all grace periods have passed, the landlord must coordinate with the sheriff to serve the tenant with the eviction order, often called a Writ of Possession, and set a date to physically remove a stubborn tenant. While the sheriff will force the tenant out of the property and stand guard over unruly tenants — he or she will not assist in removing any of the tenant’s belongings. That responsibility rests solely on the landlord.

If anything is left behind, local laws often require a landlord to store any abandoned possessions for a certain amount of time. Then, and only then, can the landlord get to work assessing any damage that was done to the property and making the necessary repairs, cleaning, and maintenance to get it ready for a new tenant. In the meantime, though, the landlord might need to go back to court to obtain a judgment before they can collect back rent that is owed to them.

Finally, the landlord should take some time to think about what led to this outcome and whether any checks and balances put in place could have prevented all this hassle. Landlords should review their tenant background check policy and make sure they’re using the best background check possible.

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