Can I put renters out in 2 weeks due to not paying rent or the light bill?

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Can I put renters out in 2 weeks due to not paying rent or the light bill?

Asked on August 20, 2015 under Real Estate Law, Indiana

Answers:

Gregory Abbott / Consumer Law Northwest

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

I don't know what State you are in and each State has its own legal requirements for how you can lawfully evict tenants.  In general it requires serving the tenant properly drafted written notice, served in a proper and legal manner, and giving them the legally mandated amount of time to pay up or get out.  If they do neither within that time frame, then you need to go to your local county courthouse and file an eviction suit.  How much time you have to provide them depends on the State (everyone is different) but 72 hours (3 days) is a common amount of time in many (but not all) States.  If they do not pay within the amount of time specified but try to pay after that deadline, you have a choice.  If you accept it (or worse, if you accept only partial payment), then you have the rent money but have likely waived any right to evict them under the existing notice.  If you refuse to accept the rent after the deadline in the Notice, you likely can proceed to evict them.  In many, but again, not all, States, not having paid utitlities is a different basis for eviction and cannot be included in the amount of rent demanded in a 72 hr notice (here in Oregon a tenant has at least 30 days to come current on their utility bills) without invalidating the notice.  And we are just scratching the surfact of the requirements so you may wish to simply review everything in detail with a landlord-tenant attorney.  IF you try to go forward without an attorney, you are likely to make a mistake in either law or procedure.  Either of which can result in your eviction case being thrown out and your owing the tenant their court costs and possibly attorney's fees, plus they continue to live there rent free, feeling emboldened, while you have to start over.  An attorney can save you money in the end.  Good luck.


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