State Evictions

Kansas Eviction Process

October 24, 2023

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Eviction in Kansas

If you own and rent properties in the state of Kansas, you are responsible for complying with Kansas eviction laws. In this article, we break down each step of the legal eviction process in Kansas. 

Kansas’ eviction laws can be found at KS § 58-2504 to 58-2510 and § 61-3801 to 61-3808.

Eviction Process in Kansas

  1. Landlord serves a three- to thirty-day eviction notice. 
  1. Landlord files an eviction lawsuit with the court. 
  1. Court serves tenant the summons. 
  1. Tenant files an answer. 
  1. Landlord and tenant attend court hearing and receive judgment. 
  1. Tenant gets 14 days or less to move out. 
  1. Sheriff arrives to forcibly remove the tenant.  

In Kansas, tenants can be evicted for failing to pay rent, violating the lease agreement, or committing certain types of noncompliance that materially affect health and safety (KS § 58-2564).  

It’s also important to note that if a Kansas landlord accepts late rent payments or behavior in violation of the lease from a tenant, that action constitutes a waiver of the landlord’s right to terminate the lease for that breach, unless otherwise agreed afterwards (KS § 58-2566). 

1. Landlord Serves a Three- to Thirty-Day Eviction Notice 

If any of the above lease violations occur, the landlord must first serve an eviction notice in Kansas and state that the tenant has the appropriate number of days to remedy or cure the violation. There are three Kansas eviction notice possibilities: 

  • Rent Demand Notice: 3 days to pay or quit. If rent is unpaid when due, the landlord must deliver this Kansas eviction notice stating the amount of unpaid rent and late fees required to remedy the breach and the date on which the lease will terminate if they are not paid (not less than three business days after receipt of the notice). If the notice is mailed, the tenant gets two additional days to pay rent and avoid eviction (KS § 58-2564(b)). 
  • Lease Violation Notice: 14 days to cure; 30 days to quit. If a tenant violates another lease term, the landlord must deliver this notice stating the breach, what is required to remedy it, and that the lease will terminate in 30 days if the tenant does not comply within the first 14 days (KS § 58-2564(a)). 
  • Repeat Lease Violation Notice: 30 days to quit. If the tenant commits substantially the same violation twice within one lease term, the landlord is not required to provide a cure period and can simply send a 30-day Kansas eviction notice (KS § 58-2564(a)).  

Every Kansas eviction notice should be served in one of the following manners as per KS § 58-2510 and § 61-3803

  • Personal delivery to the tenant 
  • If the tenant can’t be found, by leaving a copy at the rental unit or with a person who lives there and is at least 12 years old. 
  • If no one can be found on the premises, by posting a copy in a conspicuous place on the premises or mailing a copy by registered/certified mail with a return receipt. 

Note that the eviction process in Kansas allows landlords to file for eviction immediately without sending notice to quit when a tenant at will (month-to-month) commits waste or a tenant holds over after the lease term has ended (KS § 58-2509). 

For all evictions, the landlord may recover actual damages and obtain injunctive relief for a tenant’s noncompliance with the rental agreement or the law (KS § 58-2564(c)). 

2. Landlord Files an Eviction Lawsuit with the Court 

If the tenant has not cured the breach at the end of the notice period (or if the violation is uncurable and the notice period expires), the landlord can then file an action for forcible detainer (the eviction lawsuit) with the Kansas District Court in the country where the property is located (KS § 58-2542). There are two forms required to file an eviction action: 

  1. The Petition for Eviction (separate forms for Nonpayment of Rent and Failure to Comply other than nonpayment) 
  1. A Civil Cover Sheet 

The landlord can file a petition for a monetary judgment (for unpaid rent) at the same time, or they may file a separate lawsuit for the monetary claim (KS § 61-3804). 

The complaint should state the reason grounds for the eviction. It also includes the following: 

  • The county and case number 
  • The names and addresses of both parties 
  • Verifications that the landlord owns the property and that the tenant is currently in possession 
  • The date the tenant’s lease started 
  • The amount of unpaid rent and due dates (for nonpayment cases) 
  • A description of the tenant’s failure to comply with the rental agreement or the law in a material way (for lease violation cases) 
  • The date(s) the landlord delivered the proper Kansas eviction notice 
  • A description of any damages 
  • What kind of judgment the landlord is requesting (e.g., possession, court costs, rent owed, damages, etc.) 
  • The landlord’s signature and contact information. 

The landlord will also need to pay a docket fee to initiate the eviction process in Kansas, the amount of which depends on the amount of unpaid rent and damages claimed. The docket fee is $35 for claims less than $500, $55 for claims greater than $500 but less than $5,000, and $101 for claims exceeding $5,000 (KS § 61-4001). 

3. Court Serves Tenant the Summons 

The next step in the Kansas eviction process is serving the summons. Once the lawsuit has been filed, the court will issue an Eviction Summons (downloadable here) to be served to the tenant. The summons will require the tenant to appear in court on a day determined by the court between three and 14 days after the day the summons is issued (KS § 61-3805). The summons should be served with a copy of the petition to the tenant by a person authorized to do so in the state and by a manner listed in KS § 61-3003. If the landlord hires the sheriff to serve the summons, they will need to pay a fee of $15 for this service (KS § 28-110). 

Note that either party may ask for a continuance, which if approved, can delay the court hearing (KS § 61-2904). However, if a tenant wishes to request a continuance, they must file a bond with security approved by the court, conditioned for the payment of all damages and unpaid rent that will accrue if the tenant loses the case (KS § 61-3807(b)). 

4. Tenant Files an Answer 

The summons will also inform the tenant that they must either file a written answer or prepare a defense to present upon their appearance in court (KS § 61-3806). The form they should file is called a Written Answer to Petition for Eviction (downloadable here). If the tenant presents their defense at the court hearing, they should still file a written answer no later than 14 days after the appearance date (KS § 61-2904).  

The written answer should include the following: 

  • What the dispute is 
  • Any affirmative defenses the tenant has to the landlord’s claim 
  • The tenant’s current address, phone number, fax phone number, and email address 

The answer can also include a counterclaim against the landlord. If the tenant chooses to file a counterclaim, a copy will be sent to the landlord, who must file a reply disputing the counterclaim no later than 14 days after service of the tenant’s answer. If the landlord doesn’t file a reply, they waive their right to dispute the tenant’s counterclaim entirely (KS § 61-2904). 

If the tenant fails to file an answer or appear in court, a judgment will be awarded by default to the landlord (KS § 61-3002). 

5. Landlord and Tenant Attend Court Hearing and Receive Judgment 

The next step of the Kansas eviction process is the hearing itself. On the day of the eviction hearing, the landlord should bring copies of the lease agreement, the eviction notice with proof of service, the complaint, and any evidence of the lease violation. Both the landlord and tenant will present their cases and any evidence to the judge, who will afterwards issue a judgment. If the judgment is in the landlord’s favor, the landlord may request the court to issue a Writ of Restitution (downloadable here), or an order for the tenant’s removal. The landlord must take the writ to an authorized process server in Kansas (e.g., the sheriff) who can return possession to the landlord. 

6. Tenant Gets 14 Days or Less to Move Out 

The process server must execute the writ within 14 days after receiving it (KS § 61-3808). Tenants are not given a specific time frame to move out, but it may be listed on the writ when served to the tenant. 

7. Sheriff Arrives to Forcibly Remove the Tenant 

The sheriff or other authorized person to whom the writ was directed will return to execute the writ and forcibly remove the tenant from the property within 14 days. They will then file a return under the code of civil procedure for limited actions. 

If the court sends notice that the eviction proceedings have been stayed by appeal and the tenant has already been removed, the sheriff will immediately return possession to the tenant (KS § 61-3808(c)). 

Storage Rules 

If an evicted tenant leaves behind any personal property (e.g., household goods, furniture, etc.), the Kansas landlord should remove it from the rental unit and store it for 30 days at the tenant’s expense. The landlord can then sell or otherwise dispose of the property after the 30-day period, provided that at least 15 days prior to the sale, the landlord published in a local publication their intent to sell or dispose of the property. A copy of the publication should be mailed to the tenant within seven days after publication, informing them of their right to reclaim the property at any point within the 30 days (KS § 58-2565(d)). 

Any proceeds from the sale should be applied first to sales or disposal costs and then to unpaid rent/fees. The landlord may keep any remaining proceeds without liability to the tenant (KS § 58-2565(e)). 

Evicting a Squatter in Kansas 

A squatter is a person who moves into a vacant or abandoned property without getting permission from the owner or paying rent. Squatters can usually be charged as criminal trespassers and be evicted like any other tenant. However, some squatters can receive the right to possession by meeting certain state-determined criteria. In Kansas, squatters must have lived in the property for 15 consecutive years to invoke Kansas squatters rights and claim right of possession (KS § 60-503). Their possession must also be: 

  • Hostile/Adverse—The squatter must not have a valid lease with the owner 
  • Actual—The squatter must be actively residing on the property 
  • Open and Notorious—The squatter is openly and obviously living there. 
  • Exclusive—The squatter does not share possession of the property with anyone else.  
  • Continuous—The squatter must hold continuous and uninterrupted possession. 

While relatively rare, if a squatter meets all these criteria, they have “color of title”: the right of legal ownership without having a written deed to the property. They can file an action for adverse possession in Kansas to legally obtain the title to the property. However, in most cases, a squatter will not meet the criteria and can be removed. If you think a squatter is living in your vacant property in Kansas, you should: 

  1. Call local law enforcement. 
  1. Determine whether the person is a trespasser or a squatter. 
  1. If the person is a trespasser, they can be removed immediately by a police officer. 
  1. If the person is a squatter, you must contact the sheriff’s office. 
  1. Send the squatter an eviction notice as per Kansas eviction law. 
  1. If the squatter does not vacate the premises by the end of the notice period, file for eviction and follow the typical Kansas eviction process. 
  1. Only the sheriff can physically remove a squatter from your property. You cannot do so, and neither can a police officer. 

Kansas Eviction Cost Estimates 

This chart shows estimates of the approximate cost of the Kansas eviction process according to civil procedure in the state and iPropertyManagement. A highly accurate estimate of an eviction is impossible to provide, as cases and circumstances vary so widely. If you’re wondering “How much do eviction lawyers cost?” in Kansas, you’ll find only a broad estimate in our chart below since legal fees depend on the length and complexity of the case. Remember to factor in other losses due to an eviction as well, such as lost rent, time, and stress. 

Action Approximate Cost 
Filing fee $35-$101 
Service of court summons $15 
Service of writ of restitution $15 
Legal fees $500-$10,000 
Average locksmith fees $160 
Storage fees for abandoned property Varies 
Tenant turnover costs Varies 

Kansas Eviction Time Estimates 

The chart below shows an estimate of the duration of each part of the Kansas eviction process timeline. Keep in mind that the length of eviction cases varies widely depending on the complexity of the eviction, the court’s current caseload, and whether or not the tenant contests or appeals the lawsuit.  

Action Duration 
Eviction notice period 3-30 days 
Tenant response period 14 days 
Eviction hearing  3-14 days after service of summons 
Landlord reply to counterclaim 14 days 
Service of writ of restitution Within 14 days 
Storage of tenant belongings 30 days 
 Total  3 weeks to 3 months 

Court Documents 

Additional Resources

Conclusion 

The eviction process in any state can be long and complex, so hiring an eviction attorney is advised in most cases. It’s also important to note that municipalities and local governments often have stricter laws and requirements for landlords, so be sure to check local statutes as well as state ones. However, by reviewing the legal procedures and Kansas laws on eviction, you can feel more confident pursuing an eviction in this state. 

Innago does not provide legal advice. The content and materials provided in this article are for general informational purposes only and may not be the most up-to-date information. 

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