Eviction with Conviction
How to Deal With a Tenant Relationship That Isn’t Working Out
So, you have decided to evict one of your tenants. Maybe it was something as “common” as not being able to pay rent on time or AT ALL. Maybe they caused damage that will take thousands to fix, or they were caught committing crimes from their apartment. No matter the case, it is time for their tenancy to end so you can make up the losses of income you will experience until you can find another tenant. So, what is the legal, safe way to evict a tenant?
- Follow your state’s law, which includes giving an opportunity to correct problem behavior or situation, usually within 3-30 days. Check up on the Uniform Residential and Tenant Act (URLTA) regulations that apply to your area.
- You must have valid reasons for eviction. It could range from not being able to pay rent to violating the lease through improper use of the residence/unit. Unauthorized pets, extended-staying occupants who are not on the lease, leasing without the approval from the property or acting managers and noise complaints are some of the more common reasons. However, in extreme cases like drug related criminal activities, a landlord can terminate the lease with a 24 hour or less notice.
- Give a formal notice of eviction. List any details such as a deadline to move out and the amount owed to the property manager. If you have trouble drafting a notice, there are state-specific form templates to help list the details needed.
- File eviction, and prepare for court hearings. Give notice and wait a reasonable amount of time (usually a week) for the tenant the move out. If they have not, you may file your eviction at your local courthouse. Make sure to keep receipts, documentation, lease agreements, records of payment, communications between you and the tenant(s). Also, keep a written copy of the eviction notice (including date proof) for when you appear in court via a summons.
Remember, it is important to not get emotional during this process. No matter how much the tenant may have wronged you, keep things professional and not engage in verbal spats. Anything you say could be misconstrued as housing discrimination.
Follow the process through to the end and do not offload it on another manager or other personnel. This could lead to a nullification of your eviction process. Make sure you are in total control of the situation; if your tenant is not a fit, you must personally evict!