Understanding Evictions: Part 2 – Going to Court

This blog is the second half in our two-part series, “Understanding Evictions.” In our previous post, we discussed steps Raleigh property managers should take early on in the eviction process. We observed that most tenants opt to change their ways (or more commonly, pay owed rent) before the matter goes to court, since a bad court record can hurt them in the future. However, some cases do make it to court, and these are the ones we will discuss today.

After Delivering the Eviction Notice 

Once you have delivered an Eviction Notice, you will have a waiting period, which should be stipulated in your lease agreement. It is usually between 10-30 days, depending on your location. The waiting period is just that–waiting for the tenant to respond or take action. If your waiting period passes without any sign of change, it will be time to file the eviction with your local court.

Formally Filing an Eviction

To file an eviction, you will have to go to your local courthouse in person and pay a fee. You will also likely have to present a receipt from the post office to prove that you have allowed the requisite amount of time to pass after sending the eviction notice. If all is as it should be, the clerk of court will schedule a time for a hearing. A summons will be sent to your tenant on your behalf; there is no need for you to do anything.

Preparing for the Hearing

As the date of your hearing approaches, gather all related documentation and proof of your claim, including:

  • Lease agreements
  • Bounced checks
  • Records of payment of any kind
  • Records of the communication between you and your tenant (phone and email)
  • A copy of the written notice that you provided your tenant
  • Dated proof that the tenant received the notice (this can be a receipt from the Post Office)

Remember to get some sleep the night before your scheduled court date so that you are attentive during the hearing. Always be honest, and let your documentation/evidence speak for itself.

Evicting the Tenant

If all goes well in court, the eviction will be granted and the tenant will be assigned a set amount of time to leave. This can range from 48 hours to a week. If your tenant does not leave by the deadline, you will have the right to have them and their possessions escorted out by law enforcement.

Collecting Back Rent

If the eviction was financially motivated, your next priority will be collecting past-due rent. Some courts will allow you to combine the eviction with a small claims lawsuit, as long as the two cases are related. If this is the case, you can sue for back-rent at the same time as the eviction case. If your local court does not allow this, you’ll have to file a separate small claims lawsuit to pursue the owed rent money.

Protecting Yourself in the Future: Hire a Raleigh Property Management Company

Evictions can be time-consuming and costly—up to $5,000 per tenant! The best way to avoid them is to gathering as much information as you can about potential tenants before they move in. Our experienced Raleigh property management company can thoroughly screen rental applicants so you can rest assured you are receiving high-quality, trustworthy tenants. To learn more about Barker Realty and what we do, click here!

"Let each of you look not only to his own interests,

but also to the interests of others..."

Phil. 2:4