Virginia Poverty Law Center

Understanding a Sheriff’s Eviction Notice

If your landlord started an eviction case and won in court, you might get a paper from the sheriff’s office. This paper will tell you that they have set a day and time to force you out of your home.

What is the notice called?

The title of this notice can be different in different counties or cities. It might be called one of these things:

  • Eviction Notice
  • Final Notice to Vacate
  • 72-Hour Notice
  • Intent to Execute Writ of Eviction

What does it mean?

It means the court has ordered you to move out. If you do not, the sheriff will return on the day and time of the notice to evict you. They will force you out, remove your belongings, and change the locks.

It should have a court form attached called “Request for Writ of Eviction.” This has your case information and the judge's decision on it. The sheriff must evict you within 30 days of when the court signed the writ, or the writ is no good.

What’s in the notice?

  1. The name of who will be evicted.
  2. The address of the property they will be evicted from.
  3. The day and time the final eviction will happen. This must be at least 72 hours – 3 days – after the sheriff’s office delivers the notice.
  4. The day and time when the sheriff's office delivered the notice.
  5. The signature of the sheriff or deputy that delivered the notice.

Sample notice

Sample blank sheriff's eviction notice.

Keep in mind

You may want to talk to a lawyer for specific advice. Contact your local Legal Aid office to see if you qualify for free help.

Take action

Learn what you can do to try to stay in your home and avoid eviction.

Fight my eviction

Sometimes, you can't avoid eviction if your landlord wants you out. But it is always good to learn how the law can protect you and what you can do about your situation.