Eviction Process in Louisville, Kentucky
A GUIDE TO THE LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY EVICTION PROCESS
Evictions are very serious affairs in Kentucky, and there is a detailed, multi-step approach to it.
The first step to an eviction process in KY is to terminate the lease and send a written notice.
There must be reasonable grounds for ending a tenancy, such as failure to pay rent. It’s important for landlords to have a solid grasp on Kentucky landlord-tenant laws.
If the tenant ignores your eviction warning and does not comply with the conditions, you can go to the court and file a lawsuit. This is also known as a Forcible Entry and Detainer Suit.
NOTICE FOR LEASE TERMINATION WITH LEGAL CAUSE
A landlord must have a firm reasonable ground for evicting a tenant. Here are common reasons a landlord may evict a tenant:
- Failure to pay monthly rent
When a tenant fails to pay rent, the landlord may send a 7-day notice to provide the required rent or vacate the property.
If the tenant still doesn’t pay the rent within this period and refuses to move out, then you can go to court and file a Forcible Entry and Detainer suit.
- Violating the terms of the lease
When a tenant violates the terms and conditions of a lease, the landlord can send a 15-day notice to cure. Failure to remedy the violation of the rental agreement within the prescribed time means you can continue with filing a lawsuit.
If the tenant commits the same violation again, a landlord can send a 14-day unconditional notice to quit. This second infraction must happen within 6 months from the last violation.
At this junction, there is no more chance to remedy the situation. If the tenant refuses to leave the premises after 14 days, you can go to court and file the suit.
Lack of a written lease with a tenant means you can evict them without due cause. However, you have to follow the requisite landlord warning period. There are 2 leasing types you will commonly encounter:
- Month-to-month tenancy, which requires a notice of 30 days to quit.
- A fixed-term lease does not require giving a tenant a notice period unless it’s stipulated in the rental agreement. A landlord must simply wait until the tenancy expires, otherwise, it is considered breaking the lease.
If in both situations, the tenant refuses to move out after 30 days or after the tenancy ends, you can proceed to file for an eviction lawsuit.
SERVING A TENANT AN EVICTION NOTICE IN KENTUCKY
Under Kentucky eviction laws, as a landlord, you are required to send your tenant a 7-day Notice to pay rent or quit the property.
A landlord must give the notification to the tenant by personal delivery, by passing it to another adult living in the same property or by posting a copy somewhere visible. If you choose the latter option, you must also send a copy via registered mail.
TENANT EVICTION DEFENSES IN LOUISVILLE, KY
During a court hearing, your tenant may suggest a number of reasons why you, as the landlord, shouldn’t win the case. They may claim:
- You discriminated against them for their race, sex, religion, familial status, national origin or disability (which is against Fair Housing Law)
- You are evicting them as punishment for complaining of a health & safety code violation.
- There was information missing in your eviction forms, meaning you didn’t abide by the proper eviction process.
- They were a victim of landlord retaliation, as they complained about the negligence of your duties as a landlord to keep the property in good condition.
ATTENDING A COURT HEARING IN KENTUCKY
In Louisville, you’ll file for a Forcible Entry and Detainer suit at the District Court where your rental unit is situated. Once your tenant receives a copy of the hearing schedule, they must prepare to go to court if they wish to contest.
The landlord and tenant will both be given sufficient time to present proofs and defenses. If the tenant fails to appear in court, the judge may issue you a favorable judgment by default. Tenants who will contest the eviction will assume the landlord’s court fees.
If you win the case, the tenant will need to move out in 7 days. If they wish to appeal, they will have 7 days to do so.
WARRANT OF POSSESSION IN KENTUCKY
After 7 days, if the tenant refuses to leave the premises, you may request a Warrant of Possession. This is also known as a “set-out warrant.” The Sheriff will then proceed to post this on the property.
THE LOUISVILLE EVICTION PROCESS
If your tenant happens to leave belongings at your property, the Sheriff can help guide the removal of the items. Kentucky eviction laws do not have any specific policies addressing this particular issue. The recommended practice is to inform the tenant through a written note.
Sending a detailed list and providing ample time to recover personal property is courtesy. If, after the given period, the tenant still did not return to claim them, then you can get rid of the belongings.
BOTTOM LINE: LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY EVICTION LAWS
So, how long does an eviction take in Kentucky? Well, it can vary, but the eviction process tends to be a lengthy one. Hiring a property management company who are experts in Kentucky eviction laws is beneficial for landlords facing this stressful problem.
Feel free to call Alltrade Property Management at (502) 562-1985 to assist you with eviction and other legal matters. You can also email us at [email protected].
Note that this blog is not a substitute for legal advice from a licensed attorney. Kentucky eviction laws are changed frequently, and this post might not be up-to-date at the time of your reading.