You Are Outta Here!
Part of being a successful landlord is understanding the value of a tenant who pays on time, gets along with the neighbors, abides the law, and respects the property. If only all renters fit that criteria!
Sooner or later, every landlord ends up with a renter that for one reason or another cannot continue to live on the property, forcing the landlord to face the dreaded eviction process. But before you decide to evict a tenant, you should protect yourself from a lawsuit by examining whether or not you have grounds.
Here are 5 valid reasons to evict tenants:
Failing to pay the rent on time, or at all.
Perhaps the tenant’s most clear cut responsibility is to pay the rent. If a tenant is often late on the rent, or is a few months behind, landlords have every right to begin the eviction process. Be sure to consult the particular laws in your state, as there is some variation as to the time frame and the required eviction process. It’s smart business to keep a record of every communication you have with the tenant while you are evicting him. Strong documentation will help you win in court if the evicted tenant sues you.
Violating the rental agreement,
A rental agreement is a legally binding contract that you and the tenant have agreed upon. If a renter is willfully violating the terms of the rental agreement, it gives the landlord the right to evict the tenant. For example, if the tenant subleases the property to another person, the landlord could begin the eviction process.
Damaging the property.
Tenants are responsible for treating your property with respect, and failing to do so can give you the right to kick them out. Be sure before going this route, however, that the tenant truly did damage your property, and it’s not simply everyday wear and tear. Willfully or carelessly breaking out windows, punching holes in the walls, and ripping up the carpet are all good examples of property damage that would likely be a reason to evict. Take pictures of the damage and keep for your records as proof. Give the tenant proper notice that he will be evicted. It’s a possibility the tenant will offer to pay for repairing the damage, at which point you may reconsider evicting him.
Participating in illegal activities on the property.
Tenants who conduct illegal activities on their property are opening themselves up to being evicted. A common illegal activity that landlords face deals with drugs. Illegal drugs on the premises for personal use, selling illegal substances, and everything in between is considered grounds for termination. Under certain circumstances, the landlord is obligated to evict the tenant, or risk forfeiting his property.
Leases expire at the end of the agreed upon term, and either party can choose not to renew it. If the renter wants to move, he can do so. By the same token, if the landlord no longer wants the tenant to live on his property, he can evict the tenant at this time. Basically, once the agreement expires, there is no longer a binding contract for either party. As stated earlier, it’s advisable to consult your particular state laws for the specifics on how to handle this eviction.
Handling the eviction process often ends up costing landlords a considerable amount of time and money. Mitigate the risk of renting to tenants you will eventually need to kick out by conducting a thorough tenant screening background check in the beginning of the relationship. By reviewing the applicant’s credit report, criminal history, and eviction records, you can weed out the majority of applicants who will cause you problems down the road.
If, however, you are thinking about evicting a tenant, consider these 5 reasons before you begin the eviction process. Make certain you have a legal standing to evict, and document the process to protect your side of the story.