How to Evict a Tenant

Eviction seems harsh, but it’s inescapable! Being the perfect landlord does not imply you won’t encounter tenants who default on their rent responsibility. Regardless of how airtight your tenant screening process is, you can once in a while expect the possibility delayed of failed payments. Remember that you have the responsibility to keep the cash flowing and it’s not in your interest to allow someone to keep on staying for free at the expense of other ready to pay prospective tenants. It’s just BUSINESS! However, before you begin the eviction process, you need to know how to evict a tenant lawfully. The following is a chronological summary of how to do this.

Understand eviction laws

Eviction laws vary from one region to another. If you are not sure of the law of the land, get familiar with the landlord-tenant act to get detailed insight on evictions. Avoid taking matters into your own hands as this will land you in legal trouble. Throwing the tenant out with no plan is illegal.

Have a valid reason for eviction

Before you decide the tenant needs to “pack and go,” make sure that you have a lawful reason. The actions by the tenant should be such that they left you with no other alternative. These would typically, include:
• Failure to pay rent
• Violating terms of lease agreement
• Health or safety hazard to other renters etc.

Reason with your tenants

It is important to try and maintain goodwill between you and the tenant even though your friendship is highly likely to suffer a blow from this. Sit down with the tenant at a neutral place and try to make them see it your way, especially in situations when the law is not entirely on your side. Be understanding yet stern to avoid being taken advantage of. It’s always good to be humane.

Give a formal eviction notice

Don’t ambush the tenant early in the morning demanding they vacate the premise without having informed them in advance. You should be able to provide adequate notice of eviction and a similar ultimatum. The notice should spell out the amount owed and the deadline to pay up or move out. Tape the tenants front door so that it’s not easily missed.

File Your Eviction with the Courts

Go to the local courts and file your eviction after which the clerk will give you the schedule for the hearing as he informs the tenant on your behalf.

Attend the Court Hearing

Make sure you attend court on the scheduled day so that it is confirmed the tenant is on the wrong. You should carry sufficient evidence to convince the court that the tenant indeed met the threshold for an eviction.

Evicting the Tenant

Once you have the green light to evict from the court, you can proceed and give the tenant a timeline from which to depart. If the tenant delays, you have the prerogative to seek help from the relevant authorities.

Collecting Past-Due Rent

Some courts will permit you to combine small claims and eviction lawsuits involving the same individual. Make sure you spell out all the monies owed in the lawsuit for a complete settlement.

If you need help with an eviction, contact our property management team.