How long does it take to evict a holdover tenant?

How long does it take to evict a holdover tenant?


Evicting a holdover tenant can be a complex and time-consuming process. Landlords often find themselves wondering how long it will take to remove a tenant who remains in the rental property after their lease has expired. In this article, we will delve into the various factors that can affect the timeline for evicting a holdover tenant.

Understanding Holdover Tenants

A holdover tenant is someone who continues to occupy a rental property after their lease has expired. The lease agreement typically specifies the duration of the tenancy, and once it ends, the tenant is expected to vacate the premises. However, if the tenant decides to stay beyond the lease term without signing a new agreement, they become a holdover tenant.

The first step in evicting a holdover tenant is to review the local laws and regulations regarding eviction procedures. Each jurisdiction may have specific rules that landlords must follow. Generally, landlords are required to provide written notice to the holdover tenant, informing them of the termination of their tenancy and the need to vacate the property.

The notice period can vary depending on the jurisdiction and the terms of the original lease agreement. It can range from 30 to 90 days, giving the tenant sufficient time to find alternative housing arrangements. It is crucial to adhere to the notice requirements to ensure a legally valid eviction process.

Filing an Eviction Lawsuit

If the holdover tenant fails to vacate the property within the specified notice period, the next step is to file an eviction lawsuit. This involves initiating legal proceedings against the tenant in the appropriate court. The landlord must gather all relevant documentation, including the lease agreement, notice of termination, and any communication with the tenant regarding their refusal to vacate.

Once the lawsuit is filed, the court will schedule a hearing date. The tenant will be notified of the hearing, and both parties will have an opportunity to present their case. The timeline for scheduling a hearing can vary depending on the court’s caseload and local procedures.

Court Proceedings and Judgments

During the court proceedings, the judge will consider the evidence presented by both the landlord and the tenant. If the judge rules in favor of the landlord, a judgment for possession will be issued. The judgment grants the landlord the legal right to take back possession of the property.

After obtaining the judgment, the landlord must typically wait for a specific period, known as the “writ of possession” period, before proceeding with the physical eviction. This waiting period allows the tenant an opportunity to appeal the judgment or make arrangements to vacate the property voluntarily.

Enforcing the Eviction

Once the waiting period has passed, and if the tenant has not vacated the property, the landlord can enlist the help of law enforcement officers to physically remove the holdover tenant and their belongings from the premises. This process is known as the actual eviction.

The timeline for the actual eviction can vary depending on the availability of law enforcement resources and the local procedures. It is essential to coordinate with the appropriate authorities to ensure a smooth and lawful eviction process.


Evicting a holdover tenant is a multi-step process that involves legal requirements, court proceedings, and enforcement actions. The timeline for evicting a holdover tenant can vary depending on factors such as local laws, court schedules, and the tenant’s response. It is crucial for landlords to familiarize themselves with the specific eviction procedures in their jurisdiction to ensure a successful and timely eviction.


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