Eviction help

16 Replies

ok I am a newbie and made a major error.  I bought a property at auction with the owner still in it.  Property was deeded to husband and wife but wife no longer resides there.  Had the sheriff serve them both nail and mail. Got an eviction for Oct 14.  Husband did not move. Paid sheriff to evict today, Oct 16.  Sheriff arrives and husband and another party are now in possession.  In the last 10 days, he moved someone in.  I didn't put "and all others" on the dispossess.  New party claims that everything in house is his which is a flat out lie.  But, now I am told that I have no other choice to re file.  Went to court and refilled today.  I am so confused at this point.  Sheriff says can't evict because order just says husband and wife.  But won't evict husband as per the order.  Is there any way to get rid of this loser sooner?  I got a judgment but it is worthless since he has no job.

I am in Georgia.  Also is a sheriff even necessary?

Any suggestions would be much appreciated.  I have sure learned some lessons in this process.


Yes you absolutely need the sheriff involved in GA.  My advice is keep doing what you're doing and use the court.  You just have to be patient at this point and let the system work. The sheriff will not get involved in the eviction process if there's any question of the legality of the order or a question about who in the home is to be evicted.  Once you have another hearing, or actually get the writ of possession with or without a hearing (depending upon what the people in the home do as far as filing an answer) then you should be able to go forward.  Once the judge issues the order for the husband and any and all others in the home, they will remove them by force if necessary.  

But, don't do anything on your own without the courts permission at this point.  Trust me it could be a lot worse.  I'm finally going to start collecting on a judgement here in GA that I've been trying to collect on for a year and half!  Hang in there, they'll move on soon enough.

I am in IL so not familiar with Georgia law. It sounds like omitting the "and all others" statement tripped you up. When I did my eviction  earlier this year my lawyer made sure I put that in their since I was unclear how many people were living in my unit.

Would a "cash for keys" strategy work by chance?

update:  thanks for putting it in perspective Thomas.  I was fuming mad.  Settled some since earlier.  I tried cash for keys on purchase.  This guy is going down with the ship.  

I refiled the case against the husband, the wife, and all others.  This one is a little tricky because H is a loser.  W works but no longer lives in property.  I couldn't have known that upon initial case filing. So I served both at the property address, but she didn't show.  So I got a dispossess about both but only got a judgment against him which I can't collect.  Even though I refiled she won't answer again because she doesn't live there.  I now have her new address.

Does anyone think I should serve her there?  It's a catch 22 because she's not in possession so how can she be responsible for rent?

How about the prior judgment against him, should I try and enforce it against her via small claims court?  Technically, they're married but she hasn't lived there since I bought the property.

How would some of you proceed?


If I were in your shoes, I would just be concerned with getting them out and taking possession of the house.  I could be wrong, but once the notice is left on the door tack and mail, it doesn't matter if the wife is personally served or not.  Tack and mail will suffice as service.  In GA you can request personal service for an eviction, but it's not necessary.  If they don't answer the summons, then my experience has been you can request a "Writ of possession" after the first seven business days after the notice has been posted at the property.  

If either the husband or wife files and answer within the seven day period, then you'll have a court date.  My experience in Newton and Walton counties thus far has been the judge explains to everyone in the courtroom prior to the proceedings that if they haven't paid the rent, then they have to vacate regardless of repair issues, loss of job etc.

Your case is somewhat different given they were the homeowners and you bought it at auction.  I would imagine all still applies and the eviction process will remove them.  It's a personal decision, and I don't know how much they owe etc, but again at this point I would just concentrate on getting them out and taking control of the property.  Good luck, stick with it.  The longer you stay in this business, the more you'll have situations like this, but keep pressing on!  

I think the cash for keys idea is the least expensive and most expedient. If this was me, and that didn't work, I would hire an attorney. You don't need the problems. These people sound like they are going to play you big time. Find an attorney that won't try and soak you worse than the tenants, hire him, and tell him politely to rip their heads off in court:)

Thomas you are absolutely right.  I'm just focusing on getting him out.  Odd thing is local custom.  I spoke with an attorney is Athens and was told that they discourage "an all others".  It's assumed that everyone is evicted in a homeowner situation because the other person has no rights except through the homeowner.  Once those are extinguished, all are.

I did try cash for keys.  Didn't work.  Anyway, I will just have to wait, but am requesting an expedited hearing AND an additional judgment which I may never be able to collect.  If they answe, I will also request a judgment against the friend.  Lastly, instead of 7 days, I will ask for immediate eviction due to him attempting to circumvent the original court order.

I've learned some valuable lessons: use a process server, not the sheriff (faster); file all other; ask for back rent to get a judgment even if your goal is possession because it prevents an easy appeal.

Thanks all.  This is a great board.

Kalimah Jenkins

sorry for the typos.  Finding the iPhone 6 plus difficult to text on.

I know in other Georgia counties like Newton and Morgan, you can use "and others" liberally. The lawyer in Athens is reflecting the local Clarke County jurisdiction.  

I have had eviction filings rejected by the Clarke County Magistrate when I use "and others". We are required to only put the EXACT and ALL names that appear on the lease. By doing that, we can attain a Writ of Possession to have the sheriff remove all parties that may be in residence.  Not a lawyer - Not legal advice.

update:  just got the new order from the judge.  Sheriff unavailable until Nov 10.  I really cannot wait that long and in GA, a sheriff is not required anyway, but to keep the peace which is important.

Any suggestions on a non violent way to get this guy out.  He doesn't work so no real schedule.  Otherwise I would just go in and change the locks.

He wouldn't take cash for keys before and in actuality, after his antics, I don't want/need to offer it since judge signed the order.

Perhaps you could offer an off-duty officer to assist?  Offer to pay an expediting fee? Don't know if any of these will work, but it's worth asking.

Just be aware that when you arrive and his stuff is still inside, the sheriff will make YOU take out all the deadbeat tenants' possessions and place them on the side of the road for a minimum of 24 hours.  That's not the tenant's responsibility, that will be yours.  In Athens Clarke, they will not leave or sign off that the writ is fully executed until the property is empty.  Take helpers with you.

Now, after 24 hours, anything left on the property becomes your personal property... that includes everything like cars, other valuables, whatever they may have left.


@Jack Tucker  tried those.  We are going to evict at 6.  He should be out of the house at that time, hopefully.  Our plan is to have several movers to put the stuff in the driveway and one look out person to keep him at bay should he come back when we are there.  We will also take video and photos.  I confirmed and reconfirmed with the court that this is ok.  I even tried to talk to the guy this afternoon and find out what he needed. He said a truck and a storage unit.  I offered both.  He then texted me and said he answered the petition.  This guy just needs to go. I would really prefer the sheriff but cannot wait another 11 days.

eviction completed.  Took 7 hours.  This guy had no intention of leaving.  He called 911, but officers looked at all paperwork and offered to arrest him for trespass.  Locks changed and photos taken.  Also called the police when I left to ask them to patrol if possible since I knew the guy was still hanging in the area.

Thanks guys for all of your responses.  Now to get contracting estimates since we have removed 17 years worth of stuff.

Dramatic read. Would it have been possible to cut power and water to the home to expedite his leaving?

@Andrew, I'm not sure about that, but with this guy, I didn't want to do anything that could be even questioned as illegal.  He seemed to know the system and even tried to use more stories with the police yesterday.  Thankfully, they reviewed the paperwork and ignored his word.  One win for the landlord.

@Kalimah Jenkins   - sorry to hear your story but I am glad you got the situation resolved.  Your story, although rough for you, taught me tips that I may use in the future.  I have not had to go through what you did but I learned that I may add "and all others' to my paperwork.  Thanks!

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here