You may have seen on the news recently the drama between Michael Rotondo and his mom and dad. It seems Mr. Rotondo has had a failure to launch. You see, Mr. Rotondo is thirty years old. He is still living with his mom and dad. For months, his parents have insisted that he get his own place. Finally, the parents had to file an eviction against their own son to get him out of the home.
This little family drama eventually culminated with Mr. Rotondo and his mother and father appearing in front of a New York Judge. The Judge heard both sides of the argument and then ruled in favor of granting the eviction, telling Mr. Rotondo that he has to leave the home or else.
This scenario is not as unusual as you may think. This office sometimes gets calls from mothers and/or fathers looking to evict deadbeat children. Sometimes it is not a child, but instead a sibling, a cousin, or just a good friend who has worn out their welcome.
Often, people will start with calling the police and asking them to remove the person as a trespasser,. Usually, the police will refuse to remove the tenant, declaring that it is a civil matter. What this means is that the home owner needs to go through the eviction process.
So, how do you handle it when somebody overstays their welcome?
1. Notice of Termination and Notice to Vacate
The first step to an eviction is you deliver a notice of termination of the tenancy to the tenant. Then, you serve a notice to vacate on the tenant.
There are several ways to deliver these notices. I always send the notices via first class mail and certified mail return receipt requested. I believe this is the best way to do this. If you are going to serve the notice via personnel delivery, however, then I recommend you take pictures and/or video to document service. This prevents the tenant claiming you never delivered proper notice.
After giving the required notices, you must wait until the vacate period has expired before you file a petition for eviction. If the tenant leaves at this point, then you are lucky. Change your locks, give yourself a high-five, then kick back and relax in your suddenly quieter home.
2. Filing and Serving Eviction Petition with Justice of Peace Court
If the tenant ignores the notice, then you must go to the Justice of the Peace for your area and file an eviction petition (If you are filing in Tarrant County, visit this link HERE to determine which JP Court has jurisdiction over the property). The Court will direct the Constable to serve your petition on the tenant.
The Court will set a trial date when you file the eviction petition. At the trial, you must prove that you have a superior right to possess and control the property, that you gave the tenant the statutorily required notice of termination and the notice to vacate, and that the tenant has not vacated the property.
4. Writ of Possesion
If you are successful in proving your case, then the judge will sign a judgment granting the eviction. The tenant then has five days after the date the judgment is signed to appeal the judgment. If there is no appeal and the tenant still has not vacated, then you can use your judgment to get a writ of possession. When you get a writ of possession, the constable will attach a 24 hour notice to the tenant’s door. After the expiration of 24 hours, the constable will forcibly remove the tenant from the property, as well as oversee the removal of the tenant’s property from the home (which you have to provide movers for).
If all this seems to much trouble, then you can always call an experienced eviction attorney to handle it. For a flat fee, Westbrook Law can handle this entire process from Notice to Vacate to Writ of Possession.
Click HERE if you would like to schedule a consultation today.