Regardless of how good your relationship with your landlord is, sometimes things might not work out as expected and as a result, you may find yourself in a situation where the landlord wants to evict you. The last thing you would wish to experience is an eviction. This is because an eviction is not only embarrassing but also inconveniencing. At some point, you might be left wondering if his reason was truly valid or not. Going to your home and finding a padlock on the door can be very traumatizing. Ideally, all evictions should be carried out by a court of law. In most cases, the landlord will file a lawsuit against you so that you can be evicted legally. Since I was once a victim of such circumstance, I will narrate what happens after an eviction judgement, alongside other related ideas.
Reasons Why You May Be Evicted
Before we take an in-depth look at what happens after an eviction judgement, there is a need for you to know what could lead to an eviction. This is because it is unlawful for a landlord to evict you in the middle of the lease simply because they came across someone who is willing to pay more money for his or her unit. Better still, the landlord has no right to evict you simply because he does not like you. Here are some of the valid legal reasons why a landlord can evict you:
1. Rent collection issues
Last year, I was a victim of this circumstance. This is because I was not able to pay my rent in good time. There were instances I would pay my rent 10 days after the due date. Since most landlords usually rely on the rent collected so that they can service the loans of their properties, I had to be evicted.
Better still, the rent collected is used to maintain the property as well as the lives of the landlords. If this revenue stream is interfered with, chances are that the landlord will evict you.
2. Damage to the property
Besides not being able to pay the rent promptly, you can be evicted if you cause damage to your landlord’s property. Ideally, normal wear and tear is expected with many properties. However, there are instances when the tenant might damage the property beyond the normal way.
For instance, causing damage to the water pipes or puncturing holes on the walls of the building might make the building inhabitable as it will affect the structural integrity of the house. In the even the landlord notices that the tenant has caused the damages mentioned above and is unwilling to cater for the associated repair costs, he or she might be evicted.
3. Disrupting other tenants
Ideally, tenants have a right to live in a peaceful environment that is devoid of chaos, noise, disturbance, commotion, and so forth. If you disturb the peace of your fellow tenants, they will launch a complaint with the landlord, and you will be given the first warning. If the habit becomes persistent, you may end up being evicted by the landlord. This is because peace is paramount within the rented property all the time.
4. Engaging in various crime activities
Although you might be living in one of the nicest neighborhood, chances are that there will always be one or two tenants that engages in criminal activities. After all, criminals like to live in nice neighborhoods because they’re less likely to be suspected of crime.
If you are found culpable of such, you may end up being evicted. This is because no landlord would like his or her property to be at a crime scene all the time. Whether you sell drugs or hurt people in your apartment, be sure that you will be evicted by the landlord on the go.
5. Lease violation
You can also be evicted if you break any of the rules in your lease. This could be anything from having unauthorized pets to smoking in the property. Every lease is different, so it’s important to read yours carefully and make sure you understand all the rules. If you’re not sure about something, ask your landlord. Better to be safe than sorry!
What Happens After The Eviction Judgement
Since we have outlined some of the reasons that can make you to get evicted, time is ripe for you to know what happens after the eviction judgement is made. Typically, the landlord will take you to court and file an eviction lawsuit against you. If the reasons for eviction are justifiable, an eviction judgement will be made and thus inform the events that will follow after that.
Technically, once the eviction judgement has been made, the tenant can remain in the same property either by making an appeal or paying a supersedeas bond. Better still, he can also remain the property in case he works out an agreement with the landlord.
Ideally, any agreement made after the eviction judgement should not be by word of mouth. Instead, it should be made in writing. Thereafter, it should be signed by both the tenant and the landlord. Here, the landlord can keep a copy of the agreement while the tenant keeps the other.
It is imperative to note that any amount owed by the tenant can accrue some interest since the time of the judgement. When paying the balance, the tenant has to pay some extra money on top as the interest accrued during the entire period.
Once the tenant has made all the necessary payments, the landlord has to file a satisfaction with the court listening to the case. Typically, this is done so that everybody acknowledges that the landlord has been fully paid. It is important to note that the landlord is not entitled to possess the property immediately the judgement is made. Instead, the landlord has to wait and serve a writ of restitution.
Writ of Restitution
Once the eviction judgement has been made, the tenant should leave on his or her own within the stipulated number of days. In case the tenant does not vacate within those days, the landlord or property owner can now obtain a write of restitution order from the court that was hearing the eviction case.
The landlord can obtain a writ of restitution on the following day if the eviction was of an immediate and irreparable breach. However, in other conventional scenarios, the landlord can get the writ of restitution after 5 days.
Typically, the writ of restitution is usually served to the tenant by a sheriff or constable. It is important to note that the landlord has to wait for the writ of restitution to be issued by the court and be served by a sheriff or constable before he or she changes the locks of the rental property. In the event the landlord changes the locks or forces his way into the property before the tenant obtains the writ of restitution, the tenant is entitled to call the police and have the landlord arrested.
The moment the writ of restitution has been executed as per the laws of the state, the tenant cannot remain or enter the same property without the permission of the landlord. In case, the tenant remains or returns to the property without the express permission of the landlord, he or she can be sued for trespassing someone’s property.
Appeal of the Eviction Case
Just like other cases, the tenant is at liberty to appeal the eviction case in order to seek the much-needed justice. If you opt to appeal, you have 5 days for you to file a notice of appeal after the eviction judgement has been made.
Although you are at liberty to file a notice of appeal, you will not be allowed to remain in the same rental unit. Once you choose to file an appeal, brace yourself to dig deeper into your pocket as there is some fee associated with it. The good news is that you can request for a waiver or deferral in case you cannot afford this fee upfront.
To put this into perspective, you have to pay a $250.00 cost bond for you to file an appeal. However, this fee can be reduced for you if you apply for a waiver or deferral. Since you may want to remain in the rental unit as the appeal case is being heard, it is advisable that you stop the writ of restitution temporarily. To do this, you should file a supersedeas bond with the court hearing your case. Unlike the bond we have mentioned above, this one cannot be deferred or waived.
The amount that you will be required to pay as the supersedeas bond differs depending on a number of factors. These include:
- Attorney fees
- The amount of rent due from the date the eviction judgement was made until the next rent due date.
- Costs involved.
If the tenant wants to remain in the property as the appeal case is being heard, he or she has to pay the monthly rent to the court on or before the periodical rental due date.
What Happens To Personal Property After Eviction Judgement
As far as personal property of the tenant is concerned, the landlord is entitled to hold that property for about 14 days after the sheriff or constable has served the tenant with the writ of restitution.
However, the tenant has to pay for the costs involved during the removal and storage process after the 14 days are over. By doing so, he or she will be able to recover the properties and move on with his or her life.
What Happens to Security Deposit After Eviction Judgement
Anytime that you choose to lease or rent a house, you will be required to pay a security deposit, alongside the normal monthly rent, for you to be allowed to enter a certain rental unit. After the eviction judgement has been made, this security deposit can be used to cover up for the unpaid rent. Better still, it can be used to cover up for other lawful charges once the eviction judgement has been made.
For instance, if the tenant has damaged the kitchen’s sink, the security deposit can be used to repair it. Ideally, the landlord has to itemize all these charges and then send them to the tenant for consideration.
Here, the tenant is at liberty to dispute these charges in writing and have them rectified within a period of 60 days. If the tenant does not dispute these charges within that stipulated time period, those charges will be considered to be final and might not therefore get the security deposit back as expected.
Can The Eviction Judgement Be Set Aside
Yes. As we speak, the eviction judgement can be set aside or fail to be considered. Here are the reason why this judgement might be set aside:
- The tenant paid all the monies required under the lease agreement before the eviction judgement was made. Better still, if the tenant made a partial payment to the landlord before the judgement was made, the eviction judgement might be set aside.
- The eviction lawsuit was not filed at the right courthouse.
- The tenant in question did not get the right notice, or the eviction notice was not well served
- The tenant was bankrupt
- Both the tenant and landlord have agreed to set aside the eviction judgement
- The court that was hearing the eviction case did not follow the stipulated laws of the state
- At some point, the landlord committed fraud, misrepresented themselves or engaged in any other form of misconduct.
- Some newly material facts have mushroomed and can be used to defend the tenant.
As far as setting aside the eviction judgement is concerned, it is essential to note that it has to be filed with the trial court within 60 days after the judgement has been made. Although you may set aside the eviction judgement due to the reasons mentioned above, the writ of restitution will still be executed as per the laws of the land. In addition, filing the above-mentioned motion does not grant you permission to remain in the rental property.
From not being able to pay the rent in a timely manner to not adhering to the terms outlined in the lease agreement, there is a myriad of reasons why a landlord may evict you. However, once the eviction judgement has been made, you can appeal it within 5 days. The sooner you do it, the higher the chances of remaining in the rental unit. In my case, I had hired a lawyer who helped me appeal the eviction judgement and was able to remain in the property once the dust settled.
Although there are several bureaucracies involved, if you have a good lawyer, you can set aside the eviction judgement as illustrated above or appeal it within the shortest time possible. Consequently, you will be able to know whether you will still be a tenant in the same property or will have to look for another house or apartment out there.