I have some tenants who have refused to pay rent. I already spoke to a lawyer and went through the standard process of giving tenants written/verbal notice to pay by XXX date or lose rights to possession of property. Seems like they ain't going to pay.
As far as going to the Durham County Courthouse to file the eviction:
is their anything I should know?
Anything (evidence) I need?
Any information on fees for filing the eviciton?
... Would love to hear from people with experience.
It's fairly easy.
1) Fill out the forms, take to courthouse, pay fees. You will pay $30 (or $40 or $50, I can't remember) more to have the Sheriff's department deliver the summons.
2) Show up in court with the signed lease (not necessarily a dealbreaker, as I've seen leaseless eviction proceed just fine.) The magistrate will ask you if you would accept payment and keep the tenant or are you ready to evict regardless. Be ready and know your answer beforehand. If the tenant shows up, he/she will probably complain about something or another. Don't respond. Your focus is on the lack of payment. The magistrate will set a date for the tenant to either appeal or move out.
An appeal will delay the actual eviction but tenants rarely appeal. To appeal, the tenant has to pay the court the entirety of the money due, which the court will hold for you until the resolution of the proceedings. If the tenant had the money, they would have paid you by now.
3) If at the move out date set by the court the tenant has not moved out (likely,) go back to courthouse and pay another $30 (or $40 or $50) for a Sherrif's deputy to meet you at the house to enforce the eviction. The deputy assigned to your case will call you a day or two later and you two will pick a day and time to meet at the property. The tenants will usually have moved out by this date. If not, the deputy will knock on the door and enforce the eviction, with threat of arrest if the tenant doesn't leave. You just stand quietly and wait for the tenant to leave. Then change the locks. You don't even have to show up for this part -- you can send a handyman or whoever in your place. I sent a friend once because I was out of town. He loved the experience -- still talks about it after all this time.
4) Legally, you'll have to wait a couple of weeks before discarding the tenants belongings, if they left any behind.
PM If you need to ask more
What a hassle especially if you work. Another reason to use a good property management firm.