Often clients, especially tenants, are confused by the eviction process. The first step in any eviction is to serve a “Notice to Quit” or Eviction Notice. The Eviction Notice spells out the basis for the eviction and specifies the time period the tenant has to leave. If the eviction is based on failure to pay rent, a Demand for Rent should accompany the Notice to Quit. Both the Notice to Quit and Demand for Rent forms are available online at the NH State website.

If you are a landlord and are not sure what you should put on the form, and what you should be evicting your tenant for, you should contact an attorney to help you. Our firm handles Landlord and Tenant matters and would be happy to assist.

If you are a tenant, the Eviction Notice does not mean you have to leave immediately. Once the date you are asked to leave by your landlord passes, your landlord still has to file a Landlord/Tenant Writ in the local district court where you live. It is this filing that starts the Court action. If a Landlord/Tenant writ is filed against you, you should contact an attorney to help you.

After the Landlord/Tenant writ is filed, and the Tenant files an Appearance in the Court action, the Court will schedule a hearing on the merits. It is at this hearing that the Court will decide whether the landlord or the tenant has the right to use and occupy the premises. If the landlord wins, the Court will issue a Writ of Possession that gives the Landlord the right to use and occupy the premises. This Writ of Possession must be served by a local county sheriff, and once served, the Sheriff will physically remove the tenant from the property. The hope is that the process does not go this far, but often it becomes necessary.

Landlord Tenant law is wrought with minefields that, if a landlord isn’t careful, can create substantial liability to the tenant. It is strongly encouraged that if you need help with an eviction, or even just a better understanding of the process, that you meet with an experienced lawyer at Parnell, Michels & McKay that can help guide you through the process. If you find yourself in need of assistance, contact our office.