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You now have your judgment in hand after a “successful” summary proceeding action or landlord tenant trial. The judgment clearly states that the tenant has to do certain things including a timeframe for them to vacate the property. Can you simply count on the tenant moving? NO! Unfortunately, the process of getting the tenant(s) and all of their stuff completely out of the property is not quite done. In this post, we will share the outline of steps to be taken so you can move forward with the final stages of the eviction with confidence.
Once the timeframe for the tenant to vacate the property ends – customarily the statutory 10 days – a landlord must file an additional document and pay an additional fee to the district court. The document is titled the Application and Order of Eviction (form DC 107) which is frequently referred to as a writ of eviction (“writ”).
This form is filled out in full and filed with the district court along with the required $15 filing fee. We also recommend including a letter to the court clerk asking them to provide the signed writ to a court officer of their choosing for service upon the defendant(s) and a request that the final copy also be mailed back in a self-addressed stamped envelope that you provide for them. Please note that most clerks will require that any amount received be filled out in section 2 – even when this amount is $0.
The writ will go before the judge to be signed and this process can take a few days depending on the pile on the judge’s desk. We suggest filing writs as early in the week as possible in the hopes that the writ will then be posted yet that same week. Later week submissions are almost certainly going to get pushed to the next week.
Once the court officer receives the signed writ, they will post it on the door of the property telling the tenant(s) that they have 24 hours to vacate before they will be removed along with their belongings. In reality, this timeframe will vary because they will need to contact you to coordinate the physical removal of the tenant’s stuff.
To the surprise of many landlords, the court officer does not do the moving of any stuff. They are simply there to keep the peace and to facilitate you removing the stuff. You will want to factor the potential need for a crew into the removal of the tenant’s belongings when you commit to a date and time with the court officer. We have a number of strategic partners that we can refer to our clients for such removal needs.
Another surprise to many landlords is that the tenant’s stuff must be left in the “right of way” – the space designated by any given zoning authority (often the space between a sidewalk and road) -- for at least 24 hours before it can be removed. As you can imagine this can cause quite an issue whereby many landlords simply dispose of it as it is removed from the property. Unfortunately, that is a decision ripe with legal liability and corresponding monetary consequences. We regularly help our clients navigate this challenging property removal scenario to reduce that liability and any corresponding pain to their wallet.
Yay! You are at the end of a process that seems never ending at times and you may finally be able to start the healing process of putting your property back in order, learning any necessary “lessons” and moving forward with a performing tenant. We are happily here to talk through any of those “lessons” and to help avoid having to learn them more than once.
Call us 24/7 at (616) 724-0346 or fill out the form below to receive a free and confidential initial consultation.