Whether you managing multiple properties or own a single rental home, nothing is more frustrating than a tenant that fails to pay rent or causes damage to your property. Although Kansas and Missouri courts have designed a simplified process for a residential eviction, there are still many steps that must be completed in order to get the tenant out quickly and avoid liability for a wrongful eviction. These steps include providing notice, filing the proper legal action and actually getting the tenant out of the property in a peaceful manner.
How long does the eviction process take?
The answer to this question will vary depending on if your property is located in Kansas or Missouri. In Kansas, an uncontested eviction can be completed in as little as 2 weeks. Moreover, there is a statute that requires eviction trials to take place within 8 days of the initial appearance if the tenant is still living in the property. Therefore, even if the tenant challenges the eviction, the process can be completed in less than 3-4 weeks.
In Missouri, the courts move slightly slower. Generally speaking, an uncontested eviction can be completed in approximately 3-4 weeks and if the tenant contests the eviction it will likely take 5-7 weeks from start to finish.
In both states, if the tenant moves from the property subsequent to the eviction being filed, the court can continue to hear the matter for the purposes of determining any money owed by the tenant. When this occurs, the timeline generally is expanded by several weeks as the court considers the matter to be less urgent since you have regained possession of the property.
It should also be noted that Missouri has a separate procedure for an expedited eviction when there is illegal activity taking place on the property.
What if I change the locks or shut off utilities?
This is generally referred to as a “self-help” eviction and it is strictly prohibited in both Kansas and Missouri. Landlords who take the eviction process into their own hands may have to compensate the tenant up to two times the monthly rent and may also be responsible for any damage caused to the tenant’s personal property. It should also be noted that neither a residential nor a commercial lease may change or avoid the proper legal process for removing a tenant from the property.
How much does an eviction cost?
The costs of an eviction include the costs for hiring an attorney, the court costs required to file the case and the costs of serving notice of the eviction action on the tenant. I charge a flat rate of $300 for uncontested evictions. If the tenant contests the eviction, we will charge an additional $250 fee to handle the trial. For your reference, below is a chart containing the various filing fees for an eviction action seeking less than $5,000 in unpaid rent or damages.
|Johnson County, Kansas||$75.50|
|Other Counties in Kansas||$74.00|
|Jackson County, Missouri||$62.00|
|Clay County, Missouri||$33.00|
There is an additional fee for service of process on the defendants. This fee is paid to the sheriff’s office or civil process division of the court and is required so the paperwork can be properly delivered to the tenant(s). The below chart of service fees is provided for your reference.
|County||Service Fees (per tenant)|
|Johnson County, Kansas||$15.00|
|Other Counties in Kansas||$15.00|
|Jackson County, Missouri||$36.00|
|Clay County, Missouri||$50.00 (2nd is $30.00)|
In both Kansas and Missouri, the filing fees and costs for service of process can be added to the judgment obtained against the tenant(s). In Missouri, the judgment can also require the tenant(s) to pay the attorneys fees incurred by the landlord.
How do I collect on a judgment against a tenant?
Unfortunately, when the court enters a judgment against the tenant for unpaid rent or damages, it does not mean you will automatically receive payment from the tenant. In the majority of cases, tenants will not voluntarily satisfy a judgment and you will be forced to utilize judicial procedures such as wage garnishment to collect payment. We assist with post-eviction judgment collections on a contingency-fee basis, which means that we are paid based upon a percentage of the fee collected from the tenant. If you are interested in learning more about our post-eviction judgment collections, please give us a call at 913-210-1847 or send us an email by using the form on the right of this page.