EVICTION PROCEDURE

 

APARTMENT MANAGERS AND LANDLORDS

 

The Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office procedures for evictions are as follows:

 

 

When the Writ of Possession in Unlawful Detainer is received in the Sheriff’s Office, it will be scheduled as soon as is practicable for the deputy that it is assigned to based on his/her court schedule and current amount of evictions.  We will call and notify you of the date and time set for the eviction.  REMINDER PLEASE PUT YOUR ADDRESS AND TELEPHONE NUMBER ON THE WRIT.  If we do not have a phone number to reach you, we cannot schedule the eviction.  The earliest date available will be given for your eviction.  Keep in mind that evictions come in daily, it may take a week or more from the time that we receive the writ from court to schedule your eviction.

 

Once a date and time are set, we will prepare an eviction notice to be served at the address on the writ.  We must give the tenant(s) a MINIMUM OF 72 HOURS NOTICE BEFORE WE EVICT THEM from the premises.

 

If the tenant moves out entirely anytime prior to the eviction, you may contact us and we can give you possession of the premises.

 

Suggestion: If actual set out is utilized. (If not 24 hour lockout will be utilized).

 

On the date of the eviction, you must furnish sufficient man-power to expedite the eviction. or it will be CANCELLED:

 

 

  • For apartment complexes/mobile homes – three or more able bodies

  • For a house, townhouse, condo or bigger – five or more able bodies

  • Trash bags and/or boxes for all loose items

 

If there is inclement weather on the day of the eviction, we will cancel and reschedule the eviction.  Our office will notify you of the new date and time.

 

All possessions removed from the residence will be put on the nearest public way.  We request that care is used in handling a tenant’s personal possessions and that they are handled as if they were your own.

 

EVICTIONS:

 

 

  • Step 1 – 5 or 30 day notice

 

When a tenant’s rent is in arrears, the landlord may give the tenant a five day notice to pay the amount due or eviction action will be taken.  This notice is not prepared by the court, but by the landlord or his attorney.  It may be presented to the tenant by the landlord, or mailed to the tenant by the landlord (by registered or certified mail) to make it legally binding upon the tenant.

 

A thirty day notice is given to the tenant if there is no money involved and the tenant is being evicted for other reasons.

 

Service of notice should be made upon each defendant.

 

  • Step 2 – Summons for Unlawful Detainer

 

After the five or thirty day period of notice has expired and the landlord has not received satisfaction, the landlord may obtain a Summons for Unlawful Detainer from General District Court that the tenant retains possession of the premises unlawfully.  The clerk of the court will issue a Summons for Unlawful Detainer against each person named in the landlord’s affidavit.

 

The Summons for Unlawful Detainer is an action taken before judgment by the court and notifies the defendants (tenants) of the hearing date.  It is the legal process that covers any situation in which the possession of any house, land or tenement is unlawfully detained by the person(s) in possession thereof. (VA Code 8.01-124; 8.01-126)

 

  • Step 3 – Writ of Possession in Unlawful Detainer

 

When judgment has been awarded in favor of the landlord under a Summons for Unlawful Detainer procedure, the landlord may then obtain a Writ of Possession from the court.  The writ is the authority of the deputy sheriff to remove the tenant(s) and their property from the premises, thereby restoring possession to the landlord.

 

Sometimes immediate possession is granted to the landlord on the day of court.  Immediate possession allows the landlord to file for the Writ of Possession before the tenant’s ten day appeal period is up.  Even though immediate possession may be granted by the court, the Sheriff’s Office is still required by the Code of Virginia Section 8.01-470 to give the defendant(s) a minimum of 72 hours notice before evicting them.

 

  • Appeal from Unlawful Detainer Judgment

 

Unless otherwise specified by the court, the tenant shall have the right to appeal the judgment of the district court.  The appeal must be filed within ten days after the original court date, and security given by the tenant (for rent due, etc.) as required by court.

 

“Unless otherwise specifically provided in the court’s order, no writ of execution (Writ of Possession) shall issue on a judgment for possession until the expiration of this ten-day period (for appeal).” (VA Code 8.01-129; 8.01-470)

 

  • Notice to Tenant

 

VA Code 8.01 – 470 “…the officer to whom a writ of possession has been delivered to be executed shall, at least seventy-two hours before execution, serve notice of intent to execute, including the date and time of execution, on the defendant…”

 

  • Inclement Weather

 

In the event of inclement or extreme weather conditions (rain, snow, freezing conditions, etc.), or other unforeseen circumstances at the time set for the eviction, the deputy sheriff will cancel the eviction and reset the date.  This decision will be made by the deputy on the day of the eviction.

 

In the event that the eviction is already in the process and it starts to rain, snow, etc., it would be helpful if the landlord would have some type of covering for the items that have been set out to protect them from the weather.

 

  • Notice to Landlord

 

The deputy sheriff will co-ordinate the eviction with the landlord to ensure that the landlord will be prepared to remove the tenant’s possessions from the premises, if necessary.  In the event the landlord does not make such preparation, or fails to comply with reasonable conditions imposed regarding the eviction the deputy may cancel the eviction.

 

 

  • Deputy Sheriff May Break and Enter

 

If on the date of the eviction the deputy finds the premises locked, he has the authority under the Writ of Possession in Unlawful Detainer, to break and enter the premises in the daytime, after notice to the tenant (if he be on the premises), to restore possession to the landlord.  If the landlord has a key, entry may be made with the key, or a locksmith may be obtained to effect the entry.  Our office is not liable for any damages that may occur during entry.  (VA Code 8.01-470)

 

  • Removal of Property

 

When removing the property from the premises, the landlord and their crew must place it on the nearest public way to the property.  Everything must be removed from the premises before possession will be given to the landlord.  Trash left in the residence will not be set on the public way; the landlord is responsible for hauling off any trash left on the premises.

 

After the eviction has been completed and possession of the premises is given to the landlord, the tenant shall have the right to remove his personal property from the public way during the twenty-four hour period after the eviction.  Upon the expiration of the twenty-four hour period after eviction, the landlord shall remove, or dispose of, any such personal property remaining in the public way.  (VA Code 8.01-156; 55-237.1; 55-248.38:2)

 

  • Storage Area Option

 

At the landlord’s request the deputy sheriff will cause the personal property of the tenant(s) to be placed into a storage area designated by the landlord, which may be the dwelling unit.  The landlord may choose to designate the dwelling unit as the storage area, thereby leaving all of the tenant(s) personal property inside.  If this option is utilized you should notify our office before the date of the eviction.  On the day of the eviction, the deputy sheriff will check the premises to ensure that the tenant(s) are gone.  At that time the landlord may secure the premises and possession will be turned over to the landlord.  The tenant shall have the right to remove his personal property from the landlord’s designated storage area at reasonable times during the twenty-four hours after eviction from the premises or at such other reasonable times until the landlord has disposed of the property as provided by law.  If the landlord fails to allow reasonable access to the tenant to remove his personal property, the tenant has a right to injunctive relief and such other relief as may be provided by law.  Any property remaining in the landlord’s storage area upon the expiration of the twenty-four hour period after eviction may be disposed of by the landlord as the landlord sees fit or appropriate.  (VA Code 55-237.1; 55-248.38:2)

 

VA Code 55-237.1; 55-248.38:2

 

“Notwithstanding the provisions of section 8.01-156, when personal property is removed from a residential premises (dwelling unit) pursuant to an action of unlawful detainer or ejectment, or pursuant to any other action in which personal property is removed from the premises in order to restore such premises to the person entitled thereto, the sheriff shall cause such personal property to be placed into the public way.  The tenant shall have the right to remove his personal property from the public way during the twenty-four hour period after eviction.  Upon the expiration of the twenty-four hour period after eviction, the landlord shall remove, or dispose of, any such personal property remaining in the public way.

 

At the landlord’s request, the sheriff shall cause such personal property to be placed into a storage area designated by the landlord, which may be the dwelling unit.  The tenant shall have the right to remove his personal property from the landlord’s designated storage area at reasonable times during the twenty-four hours after eviction from the premises or at such other reasonable times until the landlord has disposed of the property as provided herein.  During that twenty-four hour period and until the landlord disposes of the remaining personal property of the tenant, the landlord and the sheriff shall not have any liability for the loss of such personal property.  If the landlord fails to allow reasonable access to the tenant to remove his personal property as provided herein, the tenant shall have a right to injunctive relief and such other relief as may be provided by law.

 

Any property remaining in the landlord’s storage area upon the expiration of the twenty-four hour period after eviction may be disposed of by the landlord as the landlord sees fit or appropriate.  If the landlord receives any funds from any sale of such remaining property, the landlord shall pay such funds to the account of the tenant and apply same to any amounts due the landlord by the tenant, including the reasonable costs incurred by the landlord in the eviction process described in this section or the reasonable costs incurred by the landlord in selling or storing such property.  If any funds are remaining after application, the remaining funds shall be treated as security deposit under applicable law.

 

The notice posted by the sheriff setting the date and time of the eviction, pursuant to 8.01-470, shall provide notice to the tenant of the rights afforded to tenants in this section and shall include in the said notice a copy of this statute attached to, or made part of, this notice.”

 

 

                                              SAMPLE-5 Day Pay or Quit Notice                                              

 

 

John L. Landlord

1411 Grant Street

Anytown, VA 21111

 

Dear Tenant,

 

As you know, your rental account is now delinquent.  Your rent is due on the first day of each month and you are now ten days late. It is possible that you may not know about or understand the ramifications of what it means to be the subject of an unlawful detainer proceeding (eviction). 

 

You must pay your account up to date within five (5) days or be advised that the eviction process will begin. You owe $950.00 (past due rent payment) plus $50.00 (late fee).

 

Please contact us immediately if you have any questions concerning this matter.

 

Sincerely,

 

John L. Landlord

 

 

Sample-30 Day Notice

 

 

John L. Landlord

1412 Lee Street, Apt. 121

Anytown, VA 21111

 

Dear Tenant,

 

As you know, your rental lease agreement prohibits any pets on the premises (§ 7.14 Prohibition of Pets).  The rental office was notified that there was a dog barking in your apartment on several occasions in the past weeks. We came by your apartment this afternoon and confirmed that there is a dog on your premises, which violates your lease agreement. We have documentation that this is your third lease agreement violation concerning pets. It is possible that you may not know about or understand the ramifications of what it means to be the subject of an unlawful detainer proceeding (eviction) due to a lease agreement violation. 

 

You must vacate these premises (1412 Lee Street, Apt. 121) within thirty (30) days or be advised that the eviction process will begin. You are still legally obligated to pay your rental amount of $950.00, which becomes due on the first of the month.

 

Please contact us immediately if you have any questions concerning this matter.

 

Sincerely,

 

John L. Landlord