By: Rick Davis
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FAQ’s on Evictions
Do you represent landlords or tenants?
Our firm focuses on representing landlords and property managers with residential evictions and defense of lawsuits brought by tenants. Moreover, because of the potential for conflicts of interest to arise when representing both landlords and tenants, we do handle any cases for residential tenants. If you are a tenant in a rental property and you are looking for assistance in an eviction action or bringing suit against your landlord, both the Kansas and Missouri Bar Associations offer services for helping find a lawyer. The contact information for these services is provided below for your convenience.
Kansas Bar Lawyer Referral Service
Phone: 1 (800) 928-3111
How long does the eviction process take?
The answer to this question will vary depending on if your property is located in Kansas or Missouri. In Kansas, an uncontested eviction can be completed in as little as 2 weeks. Moreover, there is a statute that requires eviction trials to take place within 8 days of the initial appearance if the tenant is still living in the property. Therefore, even if the tenant challenges the eviction, the process can be completed in less than 3-4 weeks.
In Missouri, the courts move slightly slower. Generally speaking, an uncontested eviction can be completed in approximately 3-4 weeks and if the tenant contests the eviction it will likely take 5-7 weeks from start to finish.
In both states, if the tenant moves from the property subsequent to the eviction being filed, the court can continue to hear the matter for the purposes of determining any money owed by the tenant. When this occurs, the timeline generally is expanded by several weeks as the court considers the matter to be less urgent since you have regained possession of the property.
It should also be noted that Missouri has a separate procedure for an expedited eviction when there is illegal activity taking place on the property.
What if I change the locks or shut off utilities?
This is generally referred to as a “self-help” eviction and it is strictly prohibited in both Kansas and Missouri. Landlords who take the eviction process into their own hands may have to compensate the tenant up to two times the monthly rent and may also be responsible for any damage caused to the tenant’s personal property. It should also be noted that neither a residential nor a commercial lease may change or avoid the proper legal process for removing a tenant from the property.
How do I collect on a judgment against a tenant?
Unfortunately, when the court enters a judgment against the tenant for unpaid rent or damages, it does not mean you will automatically receive payment from the tenant. In the majority of cases, tenants will not voluntarily satisfy a judgment and you will be forced to utilize judicial procedures such as wage garnishment to collect payment. We assist with post-eviction judgment collections on a contingency-fee basis, which means that we are paid based upon a percentage of the fee collected from the tenant. If you are interested in learning more about our post-eviction judgment collections, please give us a call or send us an email by using the form on the right of this page.