Make sure you do the correct notice. If its a non-payment of rent issue, you need to do a 72 Hour notice. A no-cause eviction requires a 30 day notice for a month to month tenancy. A pet violation is a 10 day notice but ONLY if you have given a prior notice giving an opportunity to cure, A notice violation may result in an inability to evict the tenant in court and payment of the tenants attorney fees AND difficulty evicting the tenant in the future! Tenants from Hell no how to work the system and frequently know how to bring up problems with the notice
Serve the Notice Correctly
Oregon is very strict on serving notices. A landlord MUST add 3 days for mailing and state on the notice that 3 days was added for mailing, IF the agreement provides that "nail and mail" is allowed, the 3 day requirement is waived--but, you must actually post the notice on the tenant's property and mail it by first class mail. Also, Oregon requires notices to be mailed via first class mail. Registered Mail is not sufficient. Personal service or delivery is OK and is the BEST way to serve a notice. MANY evictions are dismissed based on a failure to serve a notice correctly. Tenants from Hell are great at avoiding service and also bringing up every possible dispute on service imaginable. If you follow the rules, you are usually ok. When in doubt, have a competent lawyer do the notice and/or the service.
If notice is not followed--FILE TO EVICT IMMEDIATLY
When a tenant does not comply with a notice and you let things slide, or you accept rent even after the notice of eviction, your right to evict is waived. You must file the eviction proceeding immediately after the notice period if the tenant is still in possession. This is required to allow the sheriff to remove the tenant. The proceeding is quick, with the "first appearance" scheduled days after the filing. If the tenants do not appear, you are awarded possession immediately and a writ of execution, plus a judgment of costs at that time. If the tenant appears and challenges the eviction, a court date must be set to occur within 10 days. You can expect a Tenant from Hell to appear in Court and file an answer alleging everything but the kitchen sink.
The Court Procedure--Getting the Tenant Out
The court procedure is usually quick and informal. If rent is a question, you can ask the court before the trial to force the tenant to pay the rent in dispute to the court. If the tenant does not do so, the Tenants challenge is usually dismissed. Make your case organized and prove your process of how notice was made, your right to possession (the rental agreement), and the fact that the tenant is still withholding possession. Usually, the tenant is trying to bide time. It is a good idea to offer to the judge to allow the tenant some time to leave in return for an order of eviction within a certain time. The Court will usually give you your costs and, if you hired a lawyer, your attorney fees. The quicker you can end the case and get the tenant out, the better. Some tenants will take the case to trial and fight to the end. You have to keep it going until the tenant from Hell is escorted out by the sheriff.