There are many good reasons to evict a tenant. Knowing which ones are valid and which might not be in line with the law can be useful, though. If you are a landlord, you need to know both what counts as a valid reason to evict and what you need to do to stay in accordance with the law. Fortunately, the grounds for eviction are fairly straightforward.
Reasons to evict a tenant the legal way
As a landlord, you’ll frequently encounter tenants with whom you don’t get along or who you wish might move out. Eviction, however, can only occur in a few very specific cases. You’ll always want to ensure your reason to evict is actually valid. Below is not only a list of the reasons why you might want to be able to legally evict your tenants, but also a brief guide to how the eviction process for each might work. As a landlord, it’s important that you understand exactly how these reasons might apply to your current situation with any of your tenants.
Non-payment of rent
Perhaps the most common reason to evict a tenant is non-payment of rent. Of all the reasons to evict tenants, this is also the one that makes the most sense. After all, property owners rent out their property in order to turn a profit and tenants who refuse to pay rent make doing so impossible. While most landlords have some degree of sympathy for tenants who encounter tough financial situations, renting out a home for free simply is not tenable.
When you’re looking at the legal reasons to evict a tenant, you’ll also need to look at when non-payment becomes an issue. Tenants are given a brief grace period under the law, followed by a brief period of time in which they may cure the fault. Failure to make payments by the time this period is over makes eviction legal.
If a tenant damages the property
One of the more frustrating reasons to evict a tenant is due to damage to the rental property. Typically speaking, landlords count on tenants to take care of the property in which they live because someone else will have to live in the property in the future. When a tenant causes unusual damages, that’s money out of the landlord’s pocket and a potential danger to anyone else who chooses to rent that property. While regular wear-and-tear is to be expected, tenants who cause unusual damage are typically evicted.
Again, this might be one of the typical reasons to evict a tenant but it’s not something that can be done immediately. The tenant is given a brief (ten days) period of time to get the issue fixed before an eviction can occur. Once that time period ends, though, the landlord may evict.
Illegal drugs or activities
Of all the legal reasons to evict a tenant, this one is perhaps the most straight-forward. Doing drugs or conducting illegal activities inside or around a property can not only cause a significant amount of danger, but it can permanently damage the value of a home. As such, landlords are given a fair bit of leeway when it comes to evicting tenants who conduct illegal activities.
Once the activity is discovered and confirmed, a landlord can evict the tenant. While the tenant can be given time to move out of the home, this type of eviction doesn’t necessarily require that the landlord give the tenant time to cure the issue. The lack of recourse for the tenant goes to show just how seriously the state and the courts take these types of issues.
Violation of the lease agreement
Violations of lease agreements are perhaps the type of evictions that can take the most shapes. After all, every lease agreement is different and the reasons an individual can violate that agreement vary greatly. Typical reasons for eviction might be having a pet on the property without permission, having an extra person living on the property, or having certain types of possessions (grills, fire pits, etc) that are banned by the lease. There are also violations that have to do with noise, odors, and even property maintenance that can eventually lead to an eviction.
Violations of a lease are generally treated in a manner similar to property damage. The tenant is usually given a brief period of time to cure the issue, with the eviction process starting as soon as that window ends. In most cases, the landlord will give the tenant every opportunity to get back in compliance with the lease in order to avoid eviction.
The lease expires
At some point, the lease on a property might expire. The landlord might decide to get out of the property game or might think that it’s time to let the property go empty in order to make upgrades. No matter what the case, a tenancy can come to an end as soon as the contractual agreement is over. In the vast majority of cases, all a landlord needs to do is to give proper notice to the tenant that he or she is expected to move out once the tenancy has ended. If the tenant fails to leave after the notice is given, the landlord may have to go through the eviction process to have the tenant removed.
Working with a property management company
There are several very valid reasons to evict a tenant. No matter what the reason, though, eviction can be time-consuming and stressful. As such, it makes sense to work with a professional property management company that can help to both undertake the eviction process on your behalf and deal with tenants to ensure that eviction is unlikely. CENTURY21 MoneyMaker can help to screen your tenants to help avoid eviction and help to carry out the eviction process when there is a problem. When you’re ready to start dealing with your eviction, make sure to visit C21NW MoneyMaker to view the free 5-day eviction notice template.