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How long does it take to evict a tenant?

The first step in an eviction is the Notice to Quit. A landlord must deliver this to a tenant before they can start eviction proceedings. The Notice to Quit typically tells the tenant to pay by a certain date or move out. There are other reasons, however for a notice to quit such as property damage or breaking the lease in other ways. The Notice to Quit can be created and signed by the landlord or his attorney. It should be served on the tenant by a state marshal, although this is not mandatory in all countries and states. The notice to quit can give the tenant 3-14 days depending on local laws.

Summons and Complaint

If and when the tenant does not move or otherwise comply with the notice to quit, the landlord must file a summons and complaint with the court. The landlord is then given a return date on which the landlord can file for an appearance. The return date is typically six days later.

Appearance and Stay of Execution

The appearance date allows the landlord to set a court date. If the tenant does not respond to the summons and complaint, the state marshal can move them out in 10 days. Should she respond, she is given a court date where she can negotiate more time to pay the rent and/or stay in the apartment. If the tenant is being evicted for not paying the rent or squatting in the apartment he is given a stay of execution and must move in five days. If he are in the apartment legally and can pay the back rent, he may be given up to three months to move. Should a tenant not move when the stay of execution expires, the state marshal will come to the door and give them a 24-hour notice. When the notice expires, the marshal will physically remove her and her belongings from the apartment.


Many evictions are not followed through and tenants are allowed to stay as long as they pay the rent due and any late fees. For evictions for non-rent related reasons such as the building being sold, the tenant can be given up to six months to move.
For the typical eviction, from notice to quit to execution, it can take from two weeks up to three months if the reason is for past due rent. It can take seven months to a year to evict for reasons that are no fault of the tenant.