If there is no signed lease, how long does it take to force an eviction?

I am “renting” a house from my parents. The rent has always been paid on time, as the money goes straight from my paycheck into a separate account that I do not even touch. They want me to leave the property. If I stop paying rent, how long will I have to move out before any legal action can be taken. I heard an eviction can take up to 6 months to go through the court, and I have also heard that with mail addressed to me (proof of residency) the police can’t make me leave the house until I am evicted.

Asked on December 14, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If you are a tenant--and if you are paying rent, you are a tenant--then you can only be made to leave if legally evicted by the courts (i.e. by the landlord bringing an eviction action). If you don't have a written lease, you are a month-to-month tenant; that means you can be given 30 days notice to leave. If you don't leave then, they can send you a notice to quit and, if you're still not out, file the eviction action.

How long it takes varies not just by state but also by county within a state--it depends on the exact laws of your state and also how backlogged the local courts are. In NJ, for example, in Essex County, a landlord can usually get a court date around 2 months after filing the action; then it takes typically another 6 business days minimum, more  usually 12 - 18 business days, for the actual eviction.

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