Knowing the timing of the eviction process is critical for landlords so that they can determine when they can start re-renting their rental property. Each county in Ohio is slightly different in terms of the timing of the eviction procedure. I am going to outline the typical eviction timeline for Franklin County, Ohio so that landlords conducting business there can understand the process and use it to their advantage when planning to retake possession and in attempting to rerent the premises.
The eviction process begins in all counties with the posting of a three day eviction notice. Once that notice is posted and has expired, the landlord has the right to file an eviction action in court against the tenant. In determining when the three day eviction notice expires, the day of posting does not count. Weekends and legal holidays do not count towards the three days either. If, for example, a landlord posts a notice on Friday, Feb. 7, the day of posting (Friday) does not count towards the three days. Saturday and Sunday do not count either. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of the following week would be the three days that count. The landlord could then file an eviction action on Thursday, Feb. 13. If the landlord filed before that date, the tenant has a defense to the eviction (the tenant was not given three full days to vacate the premises).
At the time of filing the eviction complaint with the court, the landlord or its representative can schedule a hearing date within two to three weeks of the filing date. Franklin County generally permits (except during certain times of the year) the landlord to request a hearing date exactly two weeks after the filing date. The earliest possible hearing date would then be two weeks after the filing date.
At the hearing, the tenant may show up and request a continuance of the hearing because the tenant is still seeking legal representation or for other reasons. Generally, the court reschedules the hearing for a date that is one week after the original hearing date. If, however, the first hearing proceeds without such a request and the landlord is granted the eviction then the next step is getting the property posted with a red tag (also known as a writ of restitution).
The landlord must pay a $35 fee for the red tag. Once that payment is made, the bailiff generally posts the red tag at the rental property two business days later (during certain times of the year, it may take longer for the bailiff to do this). Once the red tag is posted, the clock starts ticking for the tenant to move out of the property. The tenant has five days to leave once the red tag is posted. The date of posting, weekends and holidays do count against the tenant in this instance. To continue our example, if the landlord had an eviction hearing on Feb. 27 and paid for the red tag on that date, then the bailiff would most likely post the red tag on March 3. The tenant would technically have until the end of the day on Friday, March 7 to be out of the property.
Because the court is not open on the following day (Saturday, March 8 as well as Sunday, March 9), the tenant gets the benefit of the weekend and does not have to be out of the unit until the end of the day on Sunday. If the landlord has already paid for the set out ($45) fee, then the landlord could contact the bailiff via phone (614-645-7780) on Monday morning between 8 am and 9:30 am to schedule a set out. Depending on the bailiff’s schedule, the set out would normally be scheduled for a day or two later and the landlord could retake possession of the property immediately following the set out.
Timeline for our example would thus be:
Friday, February 7 – posting of the three day eviction notice;
Thursday, February 13 – first day that landlord could file an eviction complaint with the court (three day notice expired on Feb. 12);
Thursday, February 27 – earliest hearing date that could be obtained;
Thursday, February 27 – if the eviction is granted on this day then the landlord can pay and apply for the red tag on this same day;
Monday, March 3 – if eviction granted on Feb. 27, then this is earliest date that red tag could be posted by bailiff (remember the bailiff generally posts the red tag at the rental unit two business days after it is applied for);
Sunday, March 9 – last day that tenant could remain in possession without facing a set out;
Monday, March 10 – earliest day that landlord could call bailiff to schedule a set out;
Wednesday, March 12 – Friday, March 14 – likely days for set out to occur depending on bailiff’s availability.
Remember, a landlord cannot come in and remove the tenant and/or the tenant’s belongings without the bailiff’s attendance.
This timeline assumes that no delays occur during the process. The most likely cause for delay would be a request for a continuance of the initial eviction hearing by the tenant. Franklin County is fairly liberal about granting a first request for a continuance by either the landlord or the tenant so it is not unusual for this to happen once. With this timeline, you can get a better understanding as to how your eviction case is likely to proceed and when you can get the property back to ready it for rerental.
This is just a suggested timeline and your mileage may vary depending upon your legal situation.