Tenant eviction is a process that landlords never want to go through, even when it is the only option. Despite the fact that most disputes can be resolved through amicable negotiations, there are instances when tenant eviction becomes absolutely necessary.
If you are a property investor or landlord, then it is crucial to understand the process of evicting tenants just in case you need to apply it in future. If you fail to follow the right procedure, then you may not be able to successfully get the tenant to leave your premise or might have to appear before the court to answer to a lawsuit brought against you by a tenant citing ill treatment. This makes proper tenant eviction process important.
When to Evict Your Tenant
Although there are so many reasons why a landlord can evict a tenant, the common reasons include breach of tenancy agreement, rent arrears, and complain about a tenant’s behavior. Of all these three, rent arrears are the major reason for tenant eviction. If a tenant is unable to pay the rent due after several notices, then eviction may be the last result. However, before you go ahead with the eviction process, be sure to seek advice from a professional lawyer or property management company. But if eviction is the only option, then you need the 4 steps below to ensure a seamless process.
#1. Prepare All Paperwork
Before evicting your tenant, ensure all paperwork regarding your property and the reason(s) for eviction are in order. This should include the tenancy contract, tenant’s original rental application and evidence of tenancy infringement. For example, if the tenant stopped paying rent then you might want to provide proper documentation to support this.
#2. Clearly State Reasons for Eviction in the Notice
When serving the eviction notice, be sure to clearly state the reason(s) why you’re seeking eviction. Avail copies of this notice both for the tenant and your own record purposes. It’s essential that the exact reason(s) for eviction is known to the tenant to avoid any loophole for misunderstanding.
Inspect the Property
Some tenants can destroy or cause damage to the property as a way of getting back at you for evicting them. Before the tenant leaves your premise, take time to inspect the property, taking pictures and making a checklist to give prove of the condition of the apartment at the time of eviction. You might have to give the tenant at least 24 hours’ notice before carrying out an inspection. The inspection will also help you determine whether to withhold the security deposit in case anything was damaged.
Give the Correct Notice
Give the right notice period once you serve the eviction papers to the tenant. This is normally between 30 and 60 days, although it can be shorter in case there’s sufficient ground such as criminal behavior or violence. If you need this, then you might want to go to court to obtain an order for quick eviction.
Although tenant eviction is something all landlords detest in, if you follow the above four steps then you’ll find the eviction process much easier and less painful for both you and the evictee.
Patrick Rogers is a real estate investor and founder of Asurent Property Management Eugene, a company that specializes in property management of single family homes, commercial properties, HOA’s and larger apartment complexes.