When you have a tenant that is not paying you rent or is breaking a part of the lease, as a landlord, all you can think about is “how fast can I get this tenant out of my property”. I have had several questions lately around if this situation allows me to ask for an expedited hearing or since the tenant did this can we get an emergency eviction?
I have never done anything like an emergency eviction, but I have watched a couple in court. Typically these type of evictions are reserved for significant problems such as criminal activity or unhealthy living conditions. Let’s explore some examples of each:
Criminal Activity-Unfortunately, you smelling pot smoking coming from your tenant’s apartment is not enough to ask for an emergency eviction. In fact, I would never try evicting tenants based solely upon my observation of criminal activity. You should have the police document and/or arrest the person(s) involved so that you have a very credible, neutral 3rd party report of what happened. I have seen the judge grant an emergency eviction when there is documented evidence of drug dealing or prostitution going on at the apartment. Other criminal activity include anything related to violence. Typically this criminal activity does not need to be committed by the tenant, but just by anyone associated with the tenant.
Unhealthy Living Conditions-Even with some of the worst sanitary conditions I have seen, rarely does a judge issue an emergency eviction. They often feel that if the issue has been going on for this much time, another 2 weeks or so for the eviction will not hurt anything. One exception is when the utilities are turned off because of the tenant’s failure to pay the bill. If the heat is off in the winter (which it is rare for the utility to turn it off in winter) you could damage the property and the judge may let you regain possession quicker to prevent problems.
While you can ask for an emergency eviction or expedited hearing, I find it rarely given except in rare situations. I recommend that you consult an evictions attorney when you have one like this. Also, watch out for some shady companies that will advertise fast eviction service. They can’t make it go any quicker than anyone else.