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Tenant Eviction: The Do’s and Don’ts

Eviction notice on door of house with brass door knob. Fictitious address, ID, signature and 555 phone number for fictional usage.Being a successful landlord involves many different abilities, one of which is understanding when and how to evict a tenant. Overall, knowing when and why to evict a tenant enables you to be a responsible and legal landlord, safeguard tenant rights, and keep a harmonious landlord-tenant relationship.

Understanding Just Cause

All property owners should be aware that eviction is a legal procedure that necessitates a court order in order to kick a renter from your property. You can abide by local, state, and federal laws that control landlord-tenant interactions by being aware of the legitimate reasons for eviction. Without sufficient legal justification, evicting a renter may result in penalties like fines or legal action.

To evict a tenant, you must have what is known as “just cause.” Just cause eviction statutes require that you have a legal justification to evict the tenant, such as nonpayment of rent, property damage, or violation of the lease terms. You cannot evict a tenant unless you have just cause.

Reasons You Can Evict

Nonpayment of rent is one of the most prevalent reasons landlords evict tenants. If your tenant is late in paying rent, you can use a legal notice to give them a specific amount of time to bring their payment current or face eviction. Tenant noncompliance is grounds for eviction. Please observe all applicable local, state, and federal laws, as well as the terms of your lease.

Damage to the landlord’s property is another common trigger for an eviction. A written notice to repair or vacate can be sent to a tenant if they have caused significant damage to the property beyond normal wear and tear. Tenant noncompliance is grounds for eviction.

Tenants can also be evicted for breaking other lease provisions. If your lease forbids tenants to have dogs, you can legally ask them to get rid of them or vacate the premises. Tenant noncompliance is grounds for eviction. The same holds true for any additional clauses in the lease.

Reasons You Cannot Evict

Even if a renter has done something that would seem to warrant eviction, there are a few more reasons why you can’t evict. For example, you cannot remove a tenant because they have requested that you make repairs to the property or have complained about the rental unit’s circumstances. Furthermore, you cannot evict a tenant because of their race, color, religion, national origin, gender, familial situation, or disability. These protected classifications cannot lawfully be used as the reason for an eviction, and attempting to do so may result in a discrimination lawsuit.

Carrying Out an Eviction

There are a few steps you must take if you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of having to evict a tenant. You must first provide the renter a written notice outlining the reasons behind the eviction and the deadline by which they must leave the rental property. The next step is to serve the renter with a court-filed eviction petition. You might be able to obtain a default judgment in your favor if the tenant misses their court date. Finally, if the tenant still won’t leave the property, you could have the local law enforcement take them out.

Even though evicting a tenant is never simple, it is occasionally essential. Understanding the reasons why you can (and cannot) evict a renter as well as the steps involved in the eviction procedure will help you minimize legal risks and encourage an amicable and equitable living situation for everyone involved.


You might wish to seek help from a property management specialist if you are in danger of being evicted. Speak with a local rental property expert right away by getting in touch with your neighborhood Real Property Management office!

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