Question: My mother, who has moved out of state, wants me to handle the eviction of tenants who have not paid rent for the past three months and not maintained her house. What do I need to do?
Answer: First, you should get a power of attorney from your mother appointing you as her attorney in fact for the home. Second, you should hire an attorney to assist you in the eviction process. Third, you should hire a residential leasing agent to find new tenants for the home. The process for eviction of a residential tenant for non-payment of rent is relatively simple. A five-day notice is delivered to the tenants requiring full payment of the rent within five days. If full payment of rent is not received within five days, an eviction lawsuit is filed. The eviction lawsuit can be filed in Justice court unless the total amount involved, including rent owed by the tenants, totals more than $10,000. If so, the eviction lawsuit will have to be filed in Superior Court. If the tenants deny liability, a trial will be held. If you win, you will get a judgment against the tenants for the amount owed plus legal costs. In addition, the court will issue a writ of restitution. This writ of restitution is served on the tenants by an officer of the court (either a deputy sheriff in Superior Court or a constable in Justice Court), and will require the tenants to turn over possession of the home to you.