Tenant eviction is at times a necessary but unfortunate process for Kansas landlords. It’s usually the last resort after a landlord has done everything else to find alternative solutions.
As a landlord in Kansas, you must follow the statewide eviction process and the broader Kansas Landlord Tenant Law to successfully evict a tenant from your rental property, whether the person you want to evict is a tenant or a squatter. Engaging in ‘self-help’ methods such as changing the locks will fail, and your tenant may also pursue legal action against you.
If you are a first-time Kansas landlord or simply want to learn more about the Kansas eviction process, continue reading.
Legally Justified Reason for Eviction in Kansas
Landlords cannot evict a tenant for any reason; it must be legally justified for the eviction process in Kansas to be valid by law. The following are common reasons a landlord will begin tenant evictions in Kansas:
Failure by the Tenant to Pay Rent
A key responsibility tenants have under a typical rental agreement is paying rent on the date it is due. If a tenant fails to pay rent to their landlord for an illegitimate reason, that missed payment would be grounds for a landlord to begin the eviction process in Kansas against their tenant.
Gross Violation of the Lease Agreement
By law, all Kansas tenants have a responsibility to abide by all terms of the lease agreement that the landlord laid out. They must adhere to all the landlord’s policies on subletting, smoking, occupancy limits, pets, and more. If a tenant, say, illegally sublets the unit, that would be a lease violation which is a sufficient reason for a landlord to initiate the Kansas eviction process.
Tenant Doesn’t Move Out After the Lease Ends
Included in the lease terms are a tenancy start and end date, and a tenant must move out when their lease period expires, even if the tenant pays rent on a month to month lease. If the agreement expires and the tenant remains on the property when the landlord doesn’t want to renew the lease for another term, the landlord can start the Kansas eviction process after the written notice period expires.
Written Eviction Notice
Once a landlord has a legally justified reason to start the Kansas eviction process, the next step in the eviction proceedings would be for the landlord to serve the tenant with a proper written Kansas eviction notice. ‘Proper’ means that it must be appropriate to the transgression committed.
Nonpayment of Rent
For nonpayment of rent, a landlord must serve the tenant with a 3-Day Notice to Pay. Landlords must serve it once the rent has become due. According to Kansas law, rent becomes late a day after it’s due. But of course, landlords can provide a grace period in the rental agreement per a tenant’s request after which the rent will become late.
The 3-Day Notice to Pay gives tenants the option to pay the missing rent within three days or else face eviction. If the notice expires and the tenant hasn’t paid the due rent, landlords can continue the Kansas eviction process and seek further help from the courts.
For rental agreement violations, a landlord must serve the tenant with a 30-Day Notice to Comply. The landlord must serve this to a tenant that they want to evict for failure to uphold their lease obligations. This Kansas eviction notice gives tenants 14 days to ‘cure’ their violation.
If the tenant doesn’t fix the violation and comply with the lease within 14 days, they will have until the 30th day to move out or else risk eviction. Violations that fall under this category include having a pet when there is no pet policy, exceeding occupancy limits, and unauthorized subletting.
By law, if the tenant fails to cure the violation within the notice period, the landlord may be able to proceed with the Kansas eviction process.
A holdover tenant is a tenant that refuses to leave after their lease has expired. For “holdover” tenants, landlords must serve them an X-Day notice to Quit as part of the Kansas eviction process. The specific period the landlord must use will depend on a number of factors, including the type of lease, whether a unit is furnished, or if the tenant is in the military.
For tenants on a weekly lease, landlords must serve them a 7-Day Notice to Quit. For tenants operating a rental agreement that’s less than three months, the landlord must provide them a 3-Day Notice to Quit. For tenants on a lease, landlords must give them a 30-Day Notice to Quit before the landlord can begin moving to court for further action in the Kansas eviction process.
If the unit is furnished, the landlord must provide the tenant with a 10-Day Notice to Quit as part of the eviction process. Military personnel employed in the U.S. military must provide their landlord with a 15-Day Notice before terminating their lease.
The next step for a landlord in the Kansas eviction process is the filing of the complaint in the appropriate Kansas court. In Johnson County, for example, the filing fee ranges anywhere between $55.50 and $121.50. Landlords may also have to pay an additional $15 in sheriff’s fee for eviction execution.
Once filed, the court’s clerk will issue the landlord a summons which is the next step in the Kansas eviction process. A sheriff is usually the officer tasked with serving a tenant with a copy of the summons and complaint. The copies must be served at least 3 days before the day of the eviction hearing by law.
Court Hearing & Judgment
After the tenant is served with the summons, the initial eviction hearing must be held anywhere between 3 and 14 days later. A tenant can choose to appear at this hearing either in person or by filing a written answer to the complaint giving reasons why they object to their eviction.
If the judge needs more information to make a ruling, a second hearing will be held 14 days later.
The following are common defenses a tenant can give at the hearing:
- The landlord fails to ensure the rental property is habitable, which led to the tenant withholding rent.
- The eviction was retaliatory.
- The eviction process was initiated by the landlord based on a discriminatory reason. Kansas forbids discrimination on the basis of the state’s protected characteristics which, include race, color, religion, gender, national origin, and disability.
Writ of Restitution
If the landlord wins the ruling, the court will issue the landlord with a writ of restitution. The writ of restitution will give the sheriff power to physically remove the tenant after 14 days if they do not vacate the premises in possession of the landlord.
As a Kansas landlord, you must follow the legal eviction process when seeking to evict your tenant. A landlord must also ensure that they’re complying with rental property laws such as the landlord-tenant and security deposit laws when interacting with their tenant.
If you’re a landlord that would like help managing your rental property or evicting a tenant contact the experts at SCUDO Real Estate & Property Management.
Disclaimer: This blog should not be used as a substitute for expert legal advice. Laws frequently change, and this post might not be updated at the time you’re reading it. If you need specific help, kindly get in touch with a qualified attorney, Kansas legal services or an experienced property management company.