Attorney Rob Solomon discusses a Writ of Possession


Attorney Tom Olsen: Rob, I want to thank you. You were helping me with my first eviction ever. I’ve had a rental property in College Park for years and years and a lot of people come and go and people get different jobs or lose jobs or move to another city. For the first time ever I’ve had a boyfriend/girlfriend that have been living there for quite a while and they broke up and that’s the reason that they’re moving. But one of them is not moving out so I actually have to do an eviction and you’re helping me with it. 

Someday next week I’m going to get a default judgment against them and get what is called a writ of possession. And so, tell the listeners what the writ of possession is going to get me.

Attorney Rob Solomon: Okay, so the writ of possession is the Holy Grail of evictions which is once you have this document it instructs the sheriff that the time has come for you to be present, for you to post this on the property of the tenant. That gives them 24 hours to vacate and if they don’t vacate the landlord and the sheriff meet at the premises. The sheriff keeps the peace, he puts you in a position where you can enter the house, change the locks, move all of the furniture and other personal possessions of the tenant out to the curb. It creates a safe harbor so that you can do that without liability. It becomes public property, anybody could pick it up; the tenant, a passer-by, yourself and that essentially terminates, it clears out the premises and returns possession to you.

Attorney Tom Olsen: And just out of curiosity, if we show up there with the sheriff and my tenants are not there is the sheriff going to say, ‘’Okay, looks like all is clear boys, you guys finish your job’’, I’ll be there for a couple of hours without sheriff standing-by, keeping the peace? Or is he going to stay there until I am actually done and I leave the property?

Attorney Rob Solomon: Right. Well, that’s such an interesting question because it’s such a pragmatic question. Pragmatically speaking, he’s not sticking around. Should he stick around? Yes. But, as a practical matter they really don’t. So, once you’re there and he has done his job and made it possible for you to change the locks and start moving things out, he’s probably going to leave.

Attorney Tom Olsen: Okay. All right. So, doing my first eviction hopefully will finish it up next week and get it back on the market.