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The Reasons You Can (and Can’t) Evict a Tenant

Eviction Notice in an EnvelopeThere are several factors that contribute to a landlord’s success; one of the most critical is knowing when and how to evict a tenant. If you’re unfamiliar with the eviction process or are unsure when (and when not) to evict a renter, continue reading! We’ll go through the most common reasons landlords evict tenants, as well as the stages involved in the eviction process, in this blog post.

Understanding Just Cause

One of the first things all Sherwood property managers should know is that eviction is a legal process that requires a court order to remove a tenant from your property. You can’t merely change the locks and toss the tenant’s possessions out on the street. These two actions would violate your tenant’s rights.

It is crucial to have “just cause” in order to evict a tenant. Basically just cause means that you have the legal right to evict a tenant for infractions like property damage, nonpayment, or non-compliance to the terms of the lease. You cannot lawfully evict a tenant unless you already have just cause.

Reasons You Can Evict

A common reason why landlords evict tenants is due to nonpayment of rent. If your tenant does not pay their rent on time, you can issue them formal notice that they have a set number of days to pay or vacate the property, as required by state law. If the tenant fails to comply, you may lawfully file for eviction. Remember to keep to the terms of your contract of lease and all applicable laws both state and local.

Property damage is another causative factor for eviction. If property damage is beyond the usual wear and tear, you can issue a formal letter demanding repairs or leave the property. Noncompliance by the tenant means you are within your rights to file for eviction.

Breaking other terms in the lease agreement provides more reasons for evicting a renter. As an example, if your lease prohibits pets but your tenant is keeping a pet, you can serve an official letter asking the renter to get rid of the pet or leave the property. If the tenant continues to disobey, you may file for eviction. This applies to all the other conditions of the contract of lease.

Reasons You Can’t Evict

There are also situations where you cannot evict a tenant even if they have done something worthy of eviction. For instance, you cannot remove a renter because they wanted improvements to the property or started complaining about the rental unit’s upkeep. Further, you are restricted from forcibly removing a renter on the grounds of sex, familial situation, color, race, religion, disability, or national origin. It is illegal to evict a tenant based on these protected distinctions and so any attempt to do so may bring a lawsuit.

The Eviction Process

There are a few procedures to conduct if you are in the awkward position of having to evict a tenant. First, you must provide a proper written statement for the renter describing the reason for the eviction and the deadline by which they must evacuate the premises. After that, you’ll need to file an eviction petition with the court and the tenant will be notified. You may be awarded a default judgment if the tenant does not appear on the scheduled court date. Lastly, if the renter refuses to leave, you can have the lawful authority in your community evict them.

Although forcibly removing a tenant is never a nice experience, sometimes it is unavoidable. The more you know about why you can (and can’t) evict a tenant, as well as the steps in the eviction process, the easier it will be for you to deal with this unfortunate situation.

If you’re concerned about being evicted, it’s important to speak to a specialist regarding your options. Contact Real Property Management Hometown to speak to a local rental property professional today at 501-701-4702 or 501-303-6870.

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