How do I begin the eviction process?

12 Replies

Hello fellow members! I recently posted “To Evict, Or Not To Evict?”, and I have ultimately decided from the responses to begin the Eviction process. How do I begin the Eviction process? Will an Eviction go on my ‘record’ (do I even HAVE a ‘record’?)? I want to evict safely legally and with little complication stress and headache as possible for everyone involved. Does anyone have any tips or experience on how to begin this process? Thanks, everyone!

I would check with your local laws to make sure you follow the process correctly. Make sure you document and keep records of any and everything. Make sure you treat it like a business with being professional and not take things personally or let emotions get in the way. Even if you are new and you own one home you are a business and you are considered a business in the eyes of the law and the government entities that protect the rights of your tenant. Have a policy and procedure, if you do not have one you need to create one so that you always follow that procedure and make sure that you do not deviate from this. This is where people get in trouble for fair housing and discriminatory practices. 

I would suggest if you are not sure how to do any of these things you do one of two options. One is you hire an attorney to make sure it is done correctly or two if you want to learn look up the local NARPM chapter and reach out to fellow property managers and ask. They are really good about sharing best practices to help. 

Good luck, just remember its a business and its not personal

@Kyle Baron You'll get a lot of good advice here from many experienced landlords.  My advice would be to read everything you can get your hands on pertaining to evictions in Minnesota, sit down with a landlord attorney and let him/her walk you through it.  

Good luck and welcome to the reality of landlording.


Good morning.  I process evictions across the the Minneapolis St. Paul metro.  First thing is to decide if your time has any value.  Many attorneys, including myself offer flat fee residential evictions that are not excessive.  If you elect to file on your own, the eviction can be filed in the county of the property.  Generally instructions can be found here:

The main mistakes landlords who file on their own make are either with 1) not filing paperwork as an agent for their LLC (if owned in an LLC) or 2) improper service upon the defendant. Your case can be dismissed (after waiting 2 weeks and spending the money on filing) for improper service.

You also need to think through strategy.  What are my eviction action tenant default options?  Do I want the tenant to redeem for non-payment (or do you have a choice)?  What are the benefits to filing only non-payment of rent, etc.  Is the tenant month to month?  If so, do I want to issue a 14 day notice to pay or quit, then notice to terminate (if no payment, then eviction so that there is no opportunity to redeem?  In other words, in some instances, tenants routinely pay late, then redeem in court (and frustrating and costly to landlords) while others are late one time, and others have told a false bill of goods and have fallen way behind.  

Good luck!

We work in a lot of different cities, counties (MN) and based on requirements either handle them in house with an independent expert or through an attorney. Unfortunately we have found a lot of counties/cities are making it harder and harder to use an independent expert that is not an attorney. I think attorneys are great, but they are not always affordable for straight forward evictions or conciliation court when the owner doesn't want to personally show up and chooses representation. In many cases the cost will exceed just paying the tenant damages by 2- 3 it forces owners to settle from a simple economic standpoint of ROI on fighting something in court at a loss.

One thing I normally always do is file evictions in the ownership entity name vs. personal or in my case my management company.   I recently had a case where this wasn't put in the entity and in my management company name and it did cause some issues since we were on record for filing the eviction, only because it was a unique situation using different representation.  Normally non- payment evictions are as straight forward as they get, so I would never be concerned about it going on your record.

Hire a lawyer. Extremely doubtful you can successfully manage a eviction on your own.

Dollar wise you will spend/lose less by paying someone that can do the job professionally without suffering the weakness of compassion.

@Kyle Baron

Don't do this on your own.  Farm it out.  PM me and I will give you the number of a company I hire for such things.  However, one piece of advice.  Send them a notice that unless x is paid by date xyz, you will file for eviction.  You may see some movement.

@Brad Schaeppi

Will you share on this board, or PM me what your flat fee is?  While I do have a company that does this, I'm always looking for other options.  

@davidmoore Thanks for the opportunity to chime in.  My rate for flat fee non-payment or failure to vacate through initial hearing (including court and service) starts in the $600s for Hennepin/Ramsey.  Some attorneys will charge flat fee per case plus court plus service which will seem dramatically less.  I handle fact specific breach of lease cases hourly and not flat fee.  My clients have the opportunity after the initial appearance with order/settlement to take over and handle the writ/sheriff direct and keep costs down.  I also have an online form permitting property managers or owners toquickly upload all the info including common area access info and attach proper documents.  This process decreases on client staff time needed for questions or follow up.

Investor, broker, and management company clients work with me not because I am the 100% lowest cost shop in town, but fair priced, good/quick customer service, and deliver on most of their legal needs:  I have my own leases, forms, notices, handle rent escrow trials, property management company contracts, purchase and sale agreements, commercial leases, contract for deed, cancellations, etc.

The value I bring is that clients with complicated residential or commercial fact patterns can in 10 minutes receive a potential outcome scenario based answer based upon hundreds of cases across multiple counties.  As with much in life, you generally get what you pay for.  

Questions for any eviction agent or attorney:  

1) If I go with you now, when do you file the complaint?  How do I know you will not wait until you have X amount of cases, then file?  

2) How do you know my eviction complaint is the best strategy (non payment, breach, etc.) given all options?  

3) How will potential habitability defenses affect the outcome (if applicable)?

4) Can I call/email prior to the hearing without a charge?  If so, who do I call?  

Thanks Everyone!

You have never done it before, so I also suggest to hire an attorney.  I did for my first one as well.  It is well worth the money.  If you make one mistake doing it yourself, it could drag the process on another month, and you will end up spending more in the long run, especially when you figure in even more lost rent.  

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this forum so far. I have learned a lot and have decided to Evict my tenants. I understand the process and am moving forward to looking for referrals, lawyers and attorneys who can help me with this process. If anyone can refer someone, please feel free to do so, and private-message me! I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks.

Best way is to hire an eviction attorney.They are not that much and it could save you so much in rental time if you get the person out quickly.  Some tenants have ways of extending the time of you dont do everything perfectly right!

Ive done a few in Goodhue county. Very easy. You pay 300 for the court filling then the sheriff charges 75 per adult on the lease to serve. You may want to check with a local lawyer that had done them in Anoka county. You can try calling the court office and they might walk you through it. Is it owned in your name or an LLC because that matters when you file.

I have done one myself, just to get educated about the process. The cost is about 1/2 of what the lawyer charge, and take a number of trips to the county court.

If you just want a simple / easy way, hire a reputable flat fee service.

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