Landlord Advice, Property Manager Advice, Tenant Screening

Important Things to Consider Before Evicting a Problem Tenant

Not all tenants are the same. Some pay rents on time, others don’t. Some follow the rules specified in the lease, while others don’t. If you are managing a property as a landlord, you have to patiently deal with all kinds of tenants. But what if a tenant has become too intolerable to keep? Obviously, you will have to evict him or her.

Eviction is considered the last resort for a landlord because it’s a very time consuming and expensive process.  If you too have a problem tenant, here are three steps you can take to avoid the stress that the process of evicting a tenant can otherwise cause:

Find out if you have reasonable grounds to evict a tenant

Keep in mind that tenants have certain legal rights. You should have a just cause before you can evict a tenant. You can’t evict a tenant just because you dislike him or her. There must a reason strong enough to support you legally. If your tenant is in violation of any of the lease’s clauses, then you possibly have the ground to evict him or her. Besides, if the tenant is not paying rent or has caused a serious damage to the property voluntarily, you probably have a just cause to evict that tenant. If a tenant is involved in any illegal activity on your premises, then you should not even think twice before initiating the eviction proceedings against him or her. In most states, a landlord can evict a tenant even when he or she has committed none of the above-mentioned violations, but the landlord has to give a 30 to 60 days eviction notice.

What it means is that before taking any step, you should carefully evaluate if you have reasonable grounds to initiate the legal process of eviction against a tenant.

Find out if there is an amicable solution

Before initiating a legal action like issuing an eviction notice to the tenant, you should try to figure out if you can avoid the legal hassle and find a solution that is mutually acceptable. If the tenant has agreed to pay the outstanding rent or is willing to amend the situation, then you can consider giving him or her a second chance. You can arrange a meeting and give a final warning that you will be forced to take a legal step if the tenant doesn’t correct the situation.

Familiarize yourself with the law

While the US Landlord and Tenant Act applies universally to all landlords and tenants, you have to take into account the state-specific laws also. The tenancy laws vary from state to state, so you need to study the laws that apply particularly in your state. Ignorance about state-specific laws can prove a big mistake, because your tenant can claim that you violated them while initiating an eviction procedure against him or her. You can also consult with an attorney specializing in tenancy laws.

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