How to Evict a Tenant (Process)
The Kansas eviction process begins with the landlord serving the tenant with a written notice outlining the eviction information (i.e., the reason the lease is being terminated, the date by which the premises must be vacated, whether or not the lease can be cured, etc.). The tenant must respond by either paying rent, correcting their non-compliances, or vacating the dwelling. Should they fail to comply, the landlord may attempt to reclaim possession of the premises by filing a Forcible Detainer, a.k.a. eviction lawsuit, with the district court.
Step 1 – Draft an Eviction Notice
A landlord cannot file an eviction lawsuit with the court unless the tenant has been given a written notice to vacate. The letter will need to be delivered to the tenant at least three (3) days before filing, though this period may be longer depending on the circumstance.
To start, the landlord should select the notice type corresponding to the reason for the eviction.
10-Day Notice to Pay or Quit – Used to evict for non-payment of rent (lease periods of three (3) months or longer only). The tenant must pay the total sum due or vacate within ten (10) days.
3-Day Notice to Pay or Quit – Used to evict for non-payment of rent (lease periods of less than three (3) month only). The tenant is required to vacate or pay rent in full within three (3) days.
14/30-Day Notice to Comply or Quit – Used when a tenant is non-compliant with the lease terms or tenant obligations. The tenant has either fourteen (14) days to cure their non-compliances or thirty (30) days to vacate.
30-Day Notice to Quit (2nd Non-Compliance) – Used to evict a tenant for committing a 2nd non-compliance within six (6) months of receiving the initial 14/30-Day Notice to Comply or Quit.
30-Day Notice to Quit – Used to terminate the tenancy of a month-to-month rental agreement without cause. The tenant must vacate within thirty (30) days.
Weekends, legal holidays, and days when the clerk’s office is unavailable shall be entered in the duration of the notice period.
Step 2 – Deliver the Notice to the Tenant
After selecting the proper eviction notice, the landlord must fill it in with the necessary information and serve it to the tenant. The completed letter must be personally delivered to the tenant or another resident of the dwelling who is above the age of twelve (12). If neither individual can be found, the notice can be posted to a conspicuous location of the dwelling or mailed to the address (if sending by mail, an additional two (2) days must be added to the notice period).
Step 3 – File a Petition for Eviction
The tenant will have until the final date of the notice period to either pay rent, correct their non-compliances, or vacate (options are dependant on the cause for eviction). Should the tenant pay their rent or rectify their violations before the notice period expires, the landlord’s right to evict will be waived, and the tenant will retain possession of the property.
If the tenant fails to adhere to the notice terms, the landlord may proceed by filing an eviction lawsuit with the district court of the county where the property resides. To accomplish this, the landlord must submit an Order to Take Possession of Personal Property and Return to the court. This form can be filed directly with a district court office or online using the State’s eFiling service (see eFiling instructions). There will be an initial filing fee of about $56 to $125 depending on the amount of rent owed by the tenant.
Note: A landlord demanding a money judgment from the tenant should replace the original Petition with the Petition (Eviction & Rent).
Step 4 – Serve Court Papers to the Tenant
A clerk of the court will arrange a trial date for the eviction and subsequently provide this information on the Summons form. It will be the landlord’s responsibility to have copies of the Summons and Petition served to the tenant by the sheriff’s department or a private process server (the landlord cannot serve the papers). Depending on the policies of the court, the clerk will either submit both copies directly to the sheriff’s department for service or return them to the landlord. If the documents are returned, the landlord must make the proper arrangments to ensure the papers are served to the tenant. A service fee will be required for either of the options mentioned above.
Note: The Summons and Petition must be served to the tenant at least three (3) days before the trial.
Step 5 – Go to Preliminary Trial
Both parties must appear in court on the date and time scheduled by the clerk (this information is available on the Summons). Should the tenant fail to attend the trial, or if they admit to violating the lease or not paying rent, the judge will issue a judgment in favor of the landlord. However, if the tenant attends the trial and denies the allegations against them, a second trial will be scheduled for seven (7) to fourteen (14) days from the initial trial date.
Step 6 – Remove Tenant
After hearing the cases presented by both parties at the second trial, the judge will make a ruling and issue a judgment. If the landlord wins the case, they will need to prepare a Writ of Restitution and file it with the court (the Writ will permit the sheriff’s department to forcibly remove the tenant from the premises).
A clerk will send the Writ to the sheriff’s department after it has been filed and signed by a judge. The sheriff’s department will then arrange a time and date for someone to visit the dwelling and remove the tenant from the premises.