Search thousands of topics on CostHelper.com

BROWSE ALL TOPICS >> appliances babies & children  cars  consumer electronics health & personal care home & garden personal finance  pets  schools small business weddings
CostHelper > Personal Finance  > Real Estate > Eviction

Eviction Cost


How Much Does an Eviction Cost?

 
low costLow: Do-It-Yourself Downloadable Forms Sell for $15-$50average costMedium: Serving Papers and Court Filing Fees Can Run $400-$700high costHigh: An Attorney Serving An Uncontested Eviction Can Run $500-$1,000+
post E-mail post Post   Comments (1)

Also called an unlawful detainer lawsuit, an eviction is the legal process by which a landlord removes a tenant from rented property. Typically a tenant who fails to pay rent, poses a threat to public safety or property, or in some way violates a rental/lease agreement may be evicted, but only after the landlord gives written notice and obtains a court order. Tenants may avoid eviction, particularly if the landlord doesn't precisely follow proper eviction procedures as defined by state law.

Typical costs:

  • Online services such as LawDepot.com[1] or USLegalForms.com[2] sell downloadable eviction forms for $15-$30 per document, depending on the level of service/advice included. However, it's extremely important that you use exactly the right form and wording to comply with the eviction process in your state, so some experts warn against do-it-yourself forms or kits. Some states provide a packet of forms designed for a landlord seeking to evict a tenant in a straightforward case of nonpayment of rent or an expired lease for a nominal fee of $30-$50.
  • Costs such as court filing fees ($50-$500, depending on location and the amount of money involved in the dispute), process server charges ($30-$150 per defendant) and related expenses typically total $400-$700 depending on the number of tenants living at the property, whether it's difficult to serve notice to all the tenants (more than one attempt may be required), and whether the tenants eventually leave voluntarily or must be removed by law enforcement officers.
  • Separate from these miscellaneous costs are the fees charged by an eviction service company or an attorney. Eviction service companies charge anywhere from $140-$500 or more to handle the eviction paperwork.
  • Lawyers typically charge $200-$400 an hour to handle an eviction, but may quote a flat fee after meeting with you and going over the circumstances of your case. An Illinois lawyer estimates that legal fees for a standard (uncontested) eviction run about $500-$600. An Oregon attorney says legal fees for an uncontested eviction average $750-$1,000; jump to $1,500-$3,000 if the tenant requests a trial but is not represented by an attorney; and can be $3,000-$5,000 if the tenant requests a trial and hires an attorney.
What should be included:
  • Generally, residential eviction laws are written to ensure that a tenant gets adequate notice and an opportunity to respond before being put out of his or her home. Each state has its own specific eviction procedures that must be precisely followed. Any mistakes may invalidate the process and require the landlord to start over, with new filing fees and other costs. Nolo Press explains how evictions work for landlords or property managers and Lawyers.com lists landlord-tenant information[3] for each state.
  • Generally a landlord must give a tenant a "notice to quit" before starting the eviction process, and the lawsuit begins when the tenant is served with the required legal papers. Within a few weeks, a hearing is held. If the court rules in the landlord's favor, the tenant is usually given a short period of time in which to move out. On average the total eviction process takes 2-4 months, although it varies by state. Lawyers.com provides a general overview[4] of the eviction process, and Nolo Press describes how the process changes if the tenant declares bankruptcy.
  • If a tenant doesn't leave after the court rules in the landlord's favor and issues an eviction warrant, law enforcement officers can remove the tenant's belongings and lock the tenant out. Only law enforcement officers can physically evict a tenant from a rental property. In most states it is a crime for a landlord to change the locks, remove a tenant's belongings, turn off the utilities or attempt to forcibly remove the tenant. Nolo Press briefly describes the potential penalties.
Additional costs:
  • Depending on the situation, there can be a wide range of other costs connected to an eviction. A Texas landlord estimates a recent eviction[5] cost him $11,000-$12,000 in lost rent, cleanup, new locks and repairs/remodeling.
Discounts:
  • If you win the lawsuit, the tenant(s) might be ordered to pay your costs and legal fees -- but most tenants facing eviction don't have much money, so it can be difficult (or impossible) to collect.
Shopping for an eviction:
  • If using a local eviction service, request references and ask about any additional costs or whether legal services by an attorney are included in the quoted fee.
  • Ask about the attorney's training and experience with your state's eviction process.
  • Search for attorneys specializing in landlord-tenant law at FindLaw.com[6] or Lawyers.com[7] .
  • Your attorney should provide you with a written fee agreement; be sure you understand what's included and any additional costs.
post E-mail post Post   Comments (1)
CostHelper News


7 Lesser-Known Discounts for the 50+ Crowd
As they age, members of the Baby Boomer generation don't like to admit that they're senior citizens, but they love getting discounts. It's kind of a quandary, because some of the best deals available are reduced prices for older folks. || Posted October 21 2013


Our Top 10 Favorite Secret Menu Items
Don't believe everything you read. Those menus posted at your favorite fast food spot or coffee stand are not the be all and end all of their offerings. || Posted October 25 2013

‣ All CostHelper Blog Posts


What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
Eviction
Amount: $250.00 total
Posted by: hac0410 in Denver, CO.Posted: May 7th, 2014 12:05PM
In Denver, we hired an attorney that specializes in evictions. For an uncontested eviction, we pay $250 total. If the sheriff has to get involved, it costs about $160 additional. Obviously, special circumstances or a trial would require additional fees based on the attorney hourly rate. For our two evictions (2013 and 2014), both have been resolved after paying just $250 each.
Was this post helpful to you?   yes     no Report prohibited or spam


 

Comment On Your Experience With an Eviction
 
Subject:  *
Amount Spent:  * total
Law Firm: Fee Per Hour: 
Comments: 
Purchased:  Year: 
City:  * State:  *
 
Information about you:
Email:  * Email addresses are not displayed.
Name:  This is the name we'll display with your post.
me on this computer
*=required field.
 



External Resources:
  1.  www.lawdepot.com/contracts/notice-of-rent-increase-form/index.php?&a=t
  2.  www.uslegalforms.com/findlaw/landlordtenant/leasetermination/
  3.  real-estate.lawyers.com/landlord-tenant-law/State-Landlord-and-Tenant-Information.html
  4.  real-estate.lawyers.com/landlord-tenant-law/Evicting-a-Problem-Tenant.html
  5.  crosslandteam.com/blog/2008/04/19/austin-eviction-aftermath-and-the-cost-of-rental-prop...
  6.  lawyers.findlaw.com/lawyer/practice/Landlord_Tenant
  7.  www.lawyers.com/landlord-and-tenant-law/find-law-firms-by-location/
More Personal Finance Topics
Check Out All Costs for Personal Finance How Much Do Tax Returns Cost? How Much Does Closing a Home Cost? How Much Does a Traffic Ticket Attorney Cost?

Search Thousands of Topics on CostHelper.com

 


Today's Featured Cost Articles

About CostHelper
CostHelper is based in Silicon Valley and provides consumers with unbiased price information about thousands of goods and services. Our writers are experienced journalists who adhere to our strict editorial ethics policy.

CostHelper Community
Angiogram of heart
Paid: 55150.00
Had this procedure done to check heart due to abnormal stress test. Did not need any stents or any other procedure as everything was negative... [more]
-Pamela Garrett
Angiogram Cost
HELP: asbestos in furance - many questions
Paid: 0.00
I am renting out my home in Grand Rapids, MI and have received a notice from the city that the home must be inspected... [more]
-Busa
Asbestos Removal Cost
Belly
Paid: 45.00
The clamp was annoying so it took away concentration of the tiny sting of the needle. I had just turned 15 at the the time and I've had it for almost a year and it has healed fast and never given me any trouble... [more]
-Madi
Body Piercings Cost
Duckwork
Paid: 3009.00
Single family home... [more]
-Lfdykes
Ductwork Cost
2 half shafts replaced
Paid: 140.00
Bought the axles myself on ebay for 40 each, then had a mobile mechanic come to my house to do the work. It is not a hard job, but has a couple tricky parts for a subaru. Easier for a honda or toyota... [more]
-Subbie Giy
Replacing a CV Boot Cost
Even with insurance looking at going broke
Paid: 55000.00
Recently on a camping vacation my 11 year old became very sick. Took him to the closest hospital. Found out he is type 1 diabetic. Was very sick and had to be flown from Rock Springs WY, to Salt Lake City, UT. 185 mile on the ground... [more]
-Broke and confused.
Air Ambulance Cost