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Landlord-tenant law: How the eviction process works

| Feb 21, 2020 | Landlord-tenant Law |

Kicking out a tenant is not an easy or pleasant thing to do, but sometimes it is necessary. Landlord-tenant law in Missouri allows for it under certain circumstances. When is it appropriate, and how does the eviction process work?

It is legal to evict a tenant who is not upholding his or her end of a rental contract, whose lease has expired or who is participating in illegal activity at the residence — among other things. Generally, to evict a tenant, the tenant must be given notice. It is not something one can just decide to do one day, or do without a court order.

An eviction order can be obtained within 10 days of asking the court for one. Once received, one can turn to the sheriff’s office for assistance with the eviction process. The order must be delivered to the sheriff’s office a week before the eviction date, so they can be sure to schedule a deputy to the task. If a tenant moves out before the scheduled eviction date, the landlord must inform the sheriff’s office in a timely manner.

On eviction day, the landlord must meet the sheriff’s department at the residence. If the resident refuses to answer the door, the landlord will have the right to gain access, and police will escort anyone inside the property out in a civil manner. Any belongings of the former resident must then be placed on the curb and kept there for at least 24 hours, allowing him or her to come back and retrieve the items — if desired. After 24 hours have passed, any remaining items may be disposed of. The deputy assigned to the case will then sign off an eviction completion form for the court.

Keeping the eviction process as civil as possible is always the goal. Sometimes, that does not happen, but the deputy on hand can take care of a tenant who is fighting, abusive or refusing to leave. Once the eviction process is complete, the landlord can do what he or she wants with the property — such as change locks and get it ready for the next tenant, if that is the plan. Landlords in Missouri who need help applying for eviction orders can seek the assistance of counsel with landlord-tenant law experience to get the court orders they need to regain control of their property.