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.
Related articles: Fighting Eviction, Landlord-Tenant Dispute, Real Estate Contract Review

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


10 Key Ways to Prepare for Extreme Snow
Forecasters are predicting a true nor'easter will hit the eastern and central states with rain, thunderstorms, ice, snow and high winds over the Thanksgiving weekend. It's crucial to plan ahead, before bad weather hits. || Posted November 26 2013


10 Most Popular Cosmetic Procedures Before the Holidays
With reunions and other get-togethers scheduled during the holiday season, most people want to look their best at this time of year. For some, that means filling in those wrinkles with a bit of botox, or having a nip and tuck down here and there. || Posted November 23 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
Insulation and labor of sump pump
Paid: 11000.00
My 87 year old mother was just told by Roto Rooter it would cost her 11,000 for a submersible sump pump to be instaled and connected to her city sewer... [more]
-Maryizene
Sump Pump Cost
Disposals
Paid: 265.00
$265.00 is about the going rate for a badger 5 disposal in the Cincinnati area.... [more]
-Mark45236
Garbage Disposal Cost
timing belt, water pump and thermostat
Paid: 800.00
My car over heated and the thermostat needle was fully up. They replaced the water pump, thermostat, timing belt and other old hoses once they were inside the engine...plus an oil change. in my 1998 Pathfinder. All is well after that... [more]
-CBG
Replacing a Timing Belt Cost
Dentures
Paid: 6000.00
This will be my second set of dentures. I've learned there are different types for different budgets. My first pair were premium and lasted over 25 years... [more]
-MaggieMae 368
Dentures Cost
Gift of love
Paid: 300.00
I just made my son's wedding cake. It was 4 tiers, with a rough frosting exterior. The frosting was made with real butter and whipping cream. The cake layers were baked from scratch. It cost $300 for the ingredients and supplies... [more]
-Debobo
Wedding Cake Cost
Home visit, euthanasia & communal cremation
Paid: 300.00
Our experience was very similar to Sharlene's in Anaheim. Our lab (70 lbs.) was almost 15. He was given a sedative (shot) first. We had the convertible couch bed open in the living room... [more]
-Mary K Swift
Pet Euthanasia Cost