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LEGAL DICTIONARY

Writ of Restitution

What Is a Writ of Restitution?

A writ of restitution is a court order that allows a landlord to reclaim any personal property after an evicted tenant has failed to move out. It is typically used as a final step in the eviction process.

Courts see a writ of restitution as a last resort, preferring landlords and tenants to work out property disputes on their own.

How Does a Writ of Restitution Work?

There are several steps that a landlord must take before asking the court for a writ of restitution. First, they must notify the tenant that their lease agreement has either ended or been breached and that the tenant must move out by a specific date.

If the tenant remains on the property, the landlord must ask the court for an eviction order. The court often requires a hearing before the case goes any further.

If the landlord wins the eviction case in court, the court issues a writ of possession, also known as a writ of eviction. It sets a date –often three days– for the tenant to move out before the landlord takes control of the property.

If the tenant still does not vacate the property by the set date, a landlord may request a writ of restitution. The local sheriff or police captain and the judge who issued the eviction order typically endorse a writ of restitution. If looked at this way, a writ of restitution serves to enforce the eviction order.

In most U.S. jurisdictions, a sheriff, police captain, or U.S. Marshall serves tenants with this court order. They typically post a notice on the tenant’s door that specifies the amount of time the tenant has to remove their possessions and vacate the property.

Police officers sometimes help the landlord move property out of the rental space and take steps to bar the tenant’s reentry.

What are a Tenant’s Rights When Served with a Writ of Restitution?

Although this court order is designed to give the landlord legal restitution, a tenant still has some rights. For example, in most jurisdictions, tenants can request that their personal property be held in secure storage.

A tenant must make this request to the court within a few days of the date the writ is served. The tenant must pay the storage costs in order to retrieve their belongings as well as any money owed for back rent or property damage.

The court allows a landlord to sell, give away, or dispose of any property the evicted tenant does not ask to be stored.

Eviction Rules Vary by State

It is essential to understand that the rules regarding the eviction process can vary from state to state and from county to county within a state. As a result, landlords and tenants need to be aware of their rights in the jurisdiction where they live.

Eviction laws are strict due to the fact that an eviction results in the loss of someone’s home. Courts want to make sure that landlords follow the letter of the law in these often-sensitive cases. It’s important to make sure that your eviction notice is done correctly.

Get a Eviction Notice Form

Helpful Resources:

My Law Questions?

Law Help

Avvo

Shergroup

The Balance SMB

What Is a Writ of Restitution?

A writ of restitution is a court order that allows a landlord to reclaim any personal property after an evicted tenant has failed to move out. It is typically used as a final step in the eviction process.

Courts see a writ of restitution as a last resort, preferring landlords and tenants to work out property disputes on their own.

How Does a Writ of Restitution Work?

There are several steps that a landlord must take before asking the court for a writ of restitution. First, they must notify the tenant that their lease agreement has either ended or been breached and that the tenant must move out by a specific date.

If the tenant remains on the property, the landlord must ask the court for an eviction order. The court often requires a hearing before the case goes any further.

If the landlord wins the eviction case in court, the court issues a writ of possession, also known as a writ of eviction. It sets a date –often three days– for the tenant to move out before the landlord takes control of the property.

If the tenant still does not vacate the property by the set date, a landlord may request a writ of restitution. The local sheriff or police captain and the judge who issued the eviction order typically endorse a writ of restitution. If looked at this way, a writ of restitution serves to enforce the eviction order.

In most U.S. jurisdictions, a sheriff, police captain, or U.S. Marshall serves tenants with this court order. They typically post a notice on the tenant’s door that specifies the amount of time the tenant has to remove their possessions and vacate the property.

Police officers sometimes help the landlord move property out of the rental space and take steps to bar the tenant’s reentry.

What are a Tenant’s Rights When Served with a Writ of Restitution?

Although this court order is designed to give the landlord legal restitution, a tenant still has some rights. For example, in most jurisdictions, tenants can request that their personal property be held in secure storage.

A tenant must make this request to the court within a few days of the date the writ is served. The tenant must pay the storage costs in order to retrieve their belongings as well as any money owed for back rent or property damage.

The court allows a landlord to sell, give away, or dispose of any property the evicted tenant does not ask to be stored.

Eviction Rules Vary by State

It is essential to understand that the rules regarding the eviction process can vary from state to state and from county to county within a state. As a result, landlords and tenants need to be aware of their rights in the jurisdiction where they live.

Eviction laws are strict due to the fact that an eviction results in the loss of someone’s home. Courts want to make sure that landlords follow the letter of the law in these often-sensitive cases. It’s important to make sure that your eviction notice is done correctly.

Get a Eviction Notice Form

Helpful Resources:

My Law Questions?

Law Help

Avvo

Shergroup

The Balance SMB