Owning rental property can be a profitable side project to get a little extra money each month, but it can also be a serious headache that loses you money when tenants don’t pay their rent or destroy your property. Evicting someone from rental property is generally a quick and simple process that can often be accomplished in under a month, but your lease will control what kind of notice of default you must give them and what kind of financial penalties you may sue for in your eviction case. Lawsuits for eviction are handled in General Sessions Court and require notice be served on the tenant and a brief hearing in front of the judge. All you have to prove is that you own the property, the tenant is occupying the property, and the tenant has breached the terms of the lease.
Landlords often try to represent themselves, but that can lead to legal problems if things are handled incorrectly, and you may not represent yourself if the real property is owned by a business entity like a corporation or LLC. If you own rental property and organized your business as a corporation or LLC then you must hire a lawyer to represent you in court.
If you are being sued by your landlord for an eviction, then there is not a whole lot than can be done to defend against that action except delay the process unless you can prove you are not in default of the lease agreement. The most common way to delay an eviction is to file bankruptcy, which brings all collection efforts to a halt automatically, but that will not stop the eviction but only delay it until the landlord can get permission from the bankruptcy to go forward with the eviction, which can be done in as little as few weeks. If you haven’t paid your rent and your landlord sues you for an eviction, then you are going to have to pay them in full immediately or pack your bags.