How Long Is the Eviction Process In Atlanta?

How long does it take to evict a tenant? While it's a common question, it can be challenging to answer, as it depends on the circumstances of each case. However, there are some ways to help property owners to understand what may happen during your eviction process and the timing involved. Hiring the best property management Atlanta, Ga, offers can be a smart investment when dealing with bad renters and the eviction process—but today, let's get back to the timing property owners can expect. 

When Can the Eviction Process Start?

What is an eviction? Evictions legally remove a renter from the property and are usually the last resort for a property owner who can't get a tenant to fix a problem. Before starting the process, a property owner must make sure they have a legal reason to remove a renter from a rental unit. These reasons can include failing to pay rent, violating the lease agreement, or creating a nuisance.

However, the "start" of an eviction occurs after a tenant breaks the rules and fails to respond to reminders, an eviction notice, or requests to resolve the situation—or move out voluntarily. Whether it's past-due rent or an ongoing issue that violates the lease, property owners must document the problem and all correspondence and consult the lease before launching an eviction lawsuit. 

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What is the Eviction Process (and How Long Does It Take)?

When you have a valid reason and have done everything possible to rectify problems, you can move on to the next step of evicting the tenant. 

The eviction process can take several days to several weeks or a few months, depending on the type of lease violation and the tenant's cooperation. Keep in mind that times are different as we are all seeing effects from COVID-19. The timeframe might be affected. A property manager and an eviction attorney can help you work through the process, including:

  • Serving the renter notice of eviction that you will begin eviction. This written notice should include the reason for the eviction and the next steps. If a renter doesn't respond to the notice, a property owner should talk with an attorney before proceeding. 
  • Filing the paperwork in court. Once the paperwork is filed, a landlord must wait until the hearing to provide valid evidence to the judge. In some cases, it can take thirty to sixty days for your court date to arrive.
  • Attending the hearing. Make sure to show up on hearing day to present your evidence for removal. Bring your attorney and property manager, as well. 
  • The court rules. A judge will rule for the property owner or the resident. If the judge rules in favor of the property owner, the tenant will have to leave the property.
  • Getting the sheriff or other law enforcement involved. Before attempting to remove the tenant on your own, schedule a day with the sheriff's department or other law enforcement officials to be on-site to escort the resident off of the premises. Your property manager can also be there to conduct an inspection after everything is removed and collect the keys. 

Whether it takes a few weeks or a couple of months, property owners must rely on professional resources and the court system to successfully remove a tenant from a rental unit. Going outside of the process or removing a tenant's belongings on your own (then changing the locks) can lead to a lawsuit from your resident, fines, or worse.

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Avoiding Evictions Saves Time (and Money)

After law enforcement officials remove your resident, it's time to prepare the property for your next tenant! Work with a property management company to begin the makeready process, marketing the property, creating an enforceable lease or rental agreement, and conducting a thorough screening process to find a better renter for your property. The best way to reduce the amount of time spent evicting a tenant is to avoid one altogether! 

With better quality tenants, property owners experience consistent rental income and fewer problems. In addition, when investors don't have to spend valuable cash reserves on eviction proceedings and lawyer fees, they generate better rental property returns. 

Hire an Atlanta, Ga Property Management Company to Manage Renters 

The fastest evictions never happen at all! The length of the eviction process varies depending on the type of violation, the cooperation of the renter, and how busy the courts are when following through with the lawsuit. However, property owners can avoid spending any time dealing with bad tenants or dealing with legal issues when an Atlanta property management company handles everything. 

Compass Property Management can help answer your questions about difficult tenants and provide peace of mind for property owners. Our residential property management services help investors avoid bad renters and evictions. If it becomes necessary to deal with a difficult renter situation, our experts can handle it for you. Reach out soon to learn more about our full-service property management! 

Get more insights into handling evictions well when you download a copy of our free Tenant Eviction Checklist.