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Unlawful Detainer Process


The following notices are notices to terminate a tenancy:

  • 3 days notice to quit, 3 days to pay or quit, 3 days to perform or quit, 30/60 and 90 days notices to terminate tenancy.

An Unlawful Detainer (THIS IS CONSIDERED AN EVICTION) is filed by the landlord, immediately after the expiration of the following notices, if you did not comply or vacate.  An unlawful detainer means that the landlord had to force you to vacate by court order, and you did not move out at will.

  • 3 days to quit, 3 days to pay or quit, 3 days to perform or quit, 30, 60, and 90 days notices to terminate tenancy.

Once Unlawful Detainer has been served, the tenant has 5 days to answer, starting the day after they were served.  The Summons shows the court location in which to submit your answer.

  • Answer, is a response to the Unlawful Detainer, which gives you an opportunity to explain why you’re in this predicament, and MUST/SHOULD explain why you are going to court and your defense.  If you don’t write anything to give your reasons or defense, then you have nothing to say in front of the judge, even if you did have a defense.

If you DO NOT answer the Unlawful Detainer, you lose your case and waive your rights

  • Meaning, whatever the landlord was asking for, he will get, and by you not answering or showing up, you do not have a defense.

Once you answer and go in front of the judge, the following two things can happen

  • You can win your case, and the case will be dismissed, meaning that the judgment does not go against your record/credit.  This means that you can continue to live in the unit, or move, depending on the case scenario.
  • You can lose your case, and the eviction will go against you for 7 years on your credit. A landlord is not obligated to rent to you, if you have an eviction on your record. Any money owed will be a judgment against you for 10 years, which will increase 10% per year and the landlord, can collect up-to 25% of your income, garnish wages, Levi bank accounts or put leans on property you own.

**If by the time you show up to court, you have already vacated the premises; the case will only be a money judgment, not for possession.  This will allow the tenant to avoid having the Unlawful Detainer on his/her credit.   

**If the tenant loses the case, a sheriff will go to the property, sometime during the week and post a final 5 days notice of lock-out.  The notice gives the tenant the date/time that a sheriff will put lock’s on the premises.  Once the sheriff arrives, the tenant has about 15 minutes to vacate.