Being evicted can be a traumatic experience. According to Kansas law, there are 2 broad categories that landlords can attempt to evict you: not paying rent, and other. We'll cover the law regarding evictions, including what landlords can and can't do. If you are being evicted, reach out to the organizations listed on our Outside Resources page for legal help.
Eviction for failure to pay rent
If you are within your first 3 months of tenancy and have not paid rent according to the terms of the lease, you may be served with a 3 day notice. This indicates that you have 3 days to pay the past due rent or you'll be evicted. The state statutes do not reference a late fee.
If you are past the first 3 months of tenancy, then your landlord will have to serve you with a 10 day notice, indicating that you have 10 days to pay the past due rent. In both scenarios, the notice must be served either in person or via a ‘prominently placed note’ on the premises. The notice may also be sent via the mail, but that adds 2 days to the 3/10 day counter.
If, once the 3/10 day period is over, rent has not been paid, then the landlord must file a summons and a petition for forcible detainer. The summons will be assigned a court location and date, and served by the county sheriff. The petition will include the amount of money the landlord is demanding in past due rent along with taking possession of the property.
At that point, if you and your landlord show up to the initial hearing, the court will review if the dispute can be resolved. At this point, you can file a notice of intent to dispute and supply a written answer to the petition for forcible detainer. This answer will contain your side of the dispute as well as any positive defenses you wish to offer. Acceptable defenses include, but are not limited to:
- The landlord accepted partial rent. If so, the landlord may have waived his or her right to continue with the eviction.
- Improper notice was given.
- Improper service of the summons.
- You were not given proper notice for a rental increase.
- The unit was not livable because of inadequate heat, water, and utility services.
- The landlord failed to remedy an unsafe or unsanitary condition despite written notice.
- Retaliatory eviction, meaning the eviction is in response to you having complained to the local or state authorities about the landlord or for participating in a tenants’ rights union.
- Discriminatory eviction, meaning you cannot be evicted on the basis of religion, nationality, gender, family status, creed, or disability. In some jurisdictions, sexual orientation is not a permitted reason.
If the petition is granted for the landlord, the court will issue a judgment in their favor, designating a time for you to vacate the premises. If you do not do so voluntarily, the landlord then must obtain a writ of restitution, which will authorize the county sheriff to remove you from the premises.
Evictions for reasons besides nonpayment of rent
These reasons include noise violations, ‘failure to maintain a quietable habitation’, code violations, property damage, etc. The landlord will serve you with a 14 day notice, indicating what the violation(s) are, and what measures must be taken to resolve them, along with informing you that these matters must be remedied during the 14 day period and that you must vacate within 30 days (including the 14 day remedial period) if they are not remedied. If you don't fix these, then the above process shall begin with the filing of the summons and petition for detainer.
NO right to constructive eviction
‘Constructive eviction’ is a fancy term describing the means by which a landlord may make your life miserable, by shutting off utilities, locking you out, denying you access to common areas (bathrooms, kitchens, etc.). All of these are illegal, and you can legally recoup the cost of all damages, including attorney’s fees.