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Coping with Eviction: A Guide for Landlords and Solutions

One of the most complicated situations for a landlord is facing the eviction of a tenant. The most common question in these cases is how long the eviction process can take.
In this article, we will provide you with all the necessary information as a landlord, as well as a way to continue receiving rent even if the tenant stops paying.

Reasons to Evict a Tenant

It is important to understand that not all evictions are due to the same reason. In the rental field, we may encounter several situations: a tenant who does not pay rent during the term of the lease (the most frequent cause), a tenant who breaches other contractual obligations, or one who refuses to leave the property once the lease is terminated.
Each of these scenarios involves a different process and time, especially if the tenant decides to oppose the eviction lawsuit.

When does the eviction process begin?

The landlord can start the eviction proceedings from the first moment the tenant stops paying. According to the Urban Leases Law (LAU), the landlord has the right to collect the rent from the first day, without the need to wait for a minimum period of time to consider the tenant as a defaulter.
However, before initiating the legal process, the landlord can try to resolve the situation out of court, reminding the tenant of his obligation to pay. This can be done by sending a burofax detailing the amount owed and a deadline for payment (usually 10 days).
If 30 days elapse without the tenant paying or responding, the tenant is considered to have decided not to pay, especially if the burofax specifies that such action cannot be preserved. In this case, the landlord can ask his lawyer to draft the eviction lawsuit, which will be filed in court by his solicitor.

What happens when the eviction lawsuit is filed for non-payment?

Once the lawsuit is admitted, the process can follow two paths:

  1. The tenant accepts the lawsuit: In this case, the eviction will be relatively quick.
  2. The tenant opposes the claim: This lengthens the process, since an eviction trial must be held, where both parties will present their arguments before a judge. The process culminates in a court judgment that the tenant must abide by.

The minimum time to execute an eviction is six months, although on average it usually lasts between seven and eight months. However, it is not uncommon for the process to extend beyond 12 months.

What should a landlord not do when faced with a delinquent tenant?

Based on our experience in urban rentals, we recommend landlords to always follow the legal channel. It is crucial to send the burofax and, if the tenant refuses to pay, to resort to a lawyer to file the eviction lawsuit.
Although the situation may be frustrating, the landlord should not engage in illegal actions such as coercion, threats, cutting off utilities, changing locks, or hiring illegal eviction agencies. These actions can harm the landlord in the event of a lawsuit.

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