Landlords should familiarize themselves with the statewide rules and procedures that govern evictions in the state of Kansas and understand their responsibilities.
Quick Facts for Kansas
- Grounds for Eviction: Failure to pay rent, rental agreement violations, breaking the law, failure to move at lease end, allowing criminal behavior on rental property
- Notice Required for Nonpayment of Rent: Minimum 3 days’ notice to pay or quit (10 for tenancy 3 months & up)
- Notice Required for Eviction without Cause: 30-Day Notice to Quit at minimum
- Notice Required for Lease Violations: 14/30-Day Notice to remedy or vacate
- Duration for Tenant to Appeal Eviction Ruling: 5 days
How Long Does it Take to Evict a Tenant in Kansas?
The state of Kansas has legislated specific procedures for discontinuing a rental agreement and evicting tenants. Although this may not make the eviction process faster, it does make the process clearer than it is in many states. Clarity of the process makes it easier for the landlord to proceed with confidence through the eviction process.
Except when the tenant fails to pay rent in a timely fashion, a Kansas landlord is required to provide a minimum of 30-days notice prior to proceeding with the eviction process.
Clearly, this lengthy minimum notice requirement means the eviction process in the state of Kansas is rarely a quick solution. However, the state does provide fairly quick resolution when a tenant is not paying rent. The earliest a landlord may file a Forcible Detainer suit with the court is when a tenant who has been renting for less than three months fails to pay rent. In this instance, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process if the tenant fails to respond to a 3-Day Notice to pay rent or quit the property.
Once the landlord files a Forcible Detainer suit, the issue is dealt with in the court system. The length of time the suit takes will depend upon the tenant’s willingness to fight the case.
Reasons for Eviction in Kansas
In the state of Kansas, a tenant may be evicted for a variety of reasons. These reasons include:
- Failing to pay rent
- Violating terms of the lease or rental agreement
- Breaking the law
- Failing to move at the end of the lease
- Allowing criminal behavior on the rental property
Regardless of the reason eviction is sought, the process in the state of Kansas requires that a written notice be provided to the tenant before the landlord may proceed with the eviction process. The amount of time provided in the notice will depend upon the reason the landlord is considering pursuing an eviction. However, regardless of the cause, the written notice must be delivered to the tenant by personal delivery, by being left with anyone over the age of 12 who resides in the rental property, by posting a copy of the notice in an obvious place, or by mailing a copy of the notice to the address associated with the property. The amount of time indicated on the notice begins when the notice is delivered or posted. If the notice is mailed, an additional two days is allowed to account for the amount of time necessary to deliver the notice.
Eviction for Failure to Pay Rent
Kansas law requires that a landlord provide a minimum of a 3-Day Notice to pay rent or quit the rental property to a tenant who has failed to pay rent before proceeding with the eviction process (K.R.S. 58-2508). A landlord is required to provide a written 10-Day Notice to pay rent or quit for tenants who have been renting the property for three months or more (K.R.S. . Note that a landlord may begin charging a late fee as soon as rent is past due.
If the tenant fails to pay the outstanding amount due, in full, by the date indicated on the Notice, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process by filing a Forcible Detainer suit with the court.
Eviction if Rent has Been Paid
In the state of Kansas, a tenant may only be evicted when there is a cause or when the tenant has no written lease. Only tenants who are considered “at-will” can be evicted from a rental property for no cause. Even in this case, a landlord is required to provide written notice prior to filing a Forcible Detainer suit with the court.
Only when a tenant continues to remain on a rental property after the end of the lease has ended may the landlord proceed with the eviction process with no notice. This is true regardless of whether or not the tenant has continued to pay rent on the property.
Evicting a Tenant For Violation of Rental Agreement/Lease
In the state of Kansas, a landlord is required to provide a written 14/30-Day Notice that clearly states the issue for which he/she is considering eviction (K.R.S. 58-2564(a)). This notice allows the tenant 14 days to remedy the problem. If the tenant fails to correct the issue within 14 days, the landlord may expect the tenant to be off the property within 31 days of the service of the notice. If the tenant remains on the rental property beyond the 30 days indicated in the notice after having failed to remedy the issue within the 14 days allowed, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process by filing a Forcible Detainer suit with the court.
If the landlord has already issued a 14/30-Day Notice that was corrected, he/she is only required to issue a 30-Day Unconditional Quit Notice if the tenant violates the terms of the lease a second time.
Evicting a Tenant for Illegal Behavior
Today, most tenants will find that leases incorporate terms regarding criminal activity. Such provisions may refer to the tenant(s), members of the household, and guests. Some leases include not only illegal activity that occurs on or near the property, but also criminal activity that occurs elsewhere. Although the state of Kansas does not define specific actions regarding eviction of a tenant for illegal behavior, the courts have upheld the terms regarding illegal behavior that are being written into lease agreements.
How Does a Landlord Evict a Tenant When There is no Lease?
If a tenant rents from a landlord without the benefit of a written lease, he/she is considered an “at-will” tenant. In Kansas, a landlord is required to provide a written notice to an “at-will” tenant equal in length to the amount of time that passes between rental payments (K.R.S. 58-2504). Therefore a month-to-month “at-will” tenant must be provided with a minimum 30-Day Notice to Quit. If the tenant remains on the property beyond the time specified in the notice, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process by filing a Forcible Detainer case with the court.
When Can a Tenant Not Be Evicted in Kansas?
According to Kansas law, it is illegal for a landlord to evict a tenant for making complaints about needed repairs, asking a government agency to inspect a rental property, lodging a complaint with a government agency regarding the need for repairs, or being a member of a tenant organization. Topeka has an ordinance that specifically states that a landlord can’t evict a tenant within six months of any of these tenant actions.
In accordance with federal law, it is illegal in the state of Kansas, for a landlord to evict a tenant based on sex, race, religion, color, nation of origin, familial status ancestry, or disability status.
Once a Tenant Fails to Respond to a Notice
The landlord may proceed with the eviction process by filing a Forcible Detainer claim with the court. Such cases are filed in the county or district court where the rental property exists. When the landlord files a Forcible Detainer case, a preliminary hearing and a trial will be scheduled. The landlord has the right to charge rent for every day the tenant remains on the property. He/she may legally ask for the higher of one-and-a-half times a month’s rent or actual damages.
The court will serve the tenant with a summons explaining the suit filed by the landlord and indicating the date the tenant is required to appear. If the tenant fails to appear or have a representative in court for the hearing, a default judgement will be filed in favor of the landlord.
If the case goes to trial, the date for the trial must be set within eight days of the first court appearance. All counterclaims must be made at the first court appearance.
Once Eviction Occurs
If the court rules in favor of the landlord, the sheriff will be given up to ten days to remove the tenant from the rental property. If the landlord has been awarded financial compensation, he/she may collect by garnishing the tenant’s wages.
If the tenant leaves personal property behind after an eviction, this property may be treated as abandoned property if the tenant’s rent is more than 10 days past due and most of the tenant’s belongings appear to have been removed from the rental property. If the property is deemed to be abandoned, the landlord must hold it for a minimum of 30 days and allow the tenant to retrieve the property if outstanding debts have been paid. An ad must be placed in the paper a minimum of 15 days before the landlord intends to sell or dispose of the property. The landlord must also send a copy of the ad to the tenant’s last known address within seven days of the ad appearing in the paper. Once all of these steps have been taken, the landlord may dispose of the property.
Make sure to read the Kansas property laws for landlords and tenants, chapter 58, art. 25 of 2014 Kansas Stat. Ann., before starting the eviction process. Landlords should make sure to educate themselves on their rights and responsibilities on this topic.