Landlord gives tenant 3-day notice if he is 1 day late with rent


Greg: Okay. The question is, my rest is due first of every month. And I get paid every two weeks. And I don't have it on the first. By the second, my landlord puts a letter on my door, a three-day eviction. And he tells me if I don't have it by the third day, then he sends paperwork to the court and then I have another 24 hours. And without the rent, it's an additional $275 court fee. Is that right? And if so, is there --

Attorney Tom Olsen: Okay. No Greg, it is not right. So let's take a minute to break it down, okay? Because we have Rob Solomon, my landlord-tenant attorney with us today. So Rob, first thing that you said is proper. His rent is due on the first, day number two, landlord puts a three day notice to pay rent or vacate. Step number one is correct.

Attorney Rob Solomon: That is correct. 

Attorney Tom Olsen: So it gives the tenant three days to pay rent or vacate. During that three day period, the landlord must accept the rent if the tenant pays it in full.

Attorney Rob Solomon: Correct. 

Attorney Tom Olsen: On day number four, if the tenant has not paid rent, the landlord, if he wanted to do so, could begin an eviction process. How long would that process take?

Attorney Rob Solomon: Okay, so he's going to have to get served with a five-day eviction summons for a complaint. So the issue isn't that you get a 24 hour notice at that point. You get served with a complaint by a process server. And you will then have five business days to answer that complaint. And only if you fail to answer it and/or put money in the court fund would something immediately happen thereafter. And the immediately thereafter would be, he would apply for a rid of possession, and that's where the 24 hours that he's talking about comes to play. They put it on your door and you have 24 hours to vacate. 

Attorney Tom Olsen: So Greg, the 24 hour to vacate is correct, but it happens at the end of the court proceeding, which is going to be at least 15 days, could be longer. But when a judge does finally grant the eviction to the landlord, the judge gives him a rid of possession that goes on the door and tells the tenant that they got 24 hours to move out. And 24 hours later the landlord shows up with a sheriff to keep the peace. And they will put your stuff on the curb. Greg, does that answer your question for you?

Greg: Yes. One other thing. If he actually gets the papers to the court files, is it true that I have to pay an additional $275 court cost on top of my rent?

Attorney Rob Solomon: When people apply for eviction, the prevailing party, which if the landlord ultimately -- you got an eviction then he would be the prevailing party -- could get court costs included to be paid back and then the attorney's fees. So the answer to that is yes, but generally speaking, all that the landlord cares about is making sure that you vacate the premises. So as a practical matter, if I'm representing a tenant, I'm much more concerned, not about the $275, but about the fact that they could potentially be evicted.