Residential Tenant Eviction For Breach of Lease

By E-Renter Tenant Screening
Posted on July 17, 2006 under Eviction | icon: commentBe the First to Comment

Maybe your tenant has not paid rent for a lengthy period of time, has continually broken the terms of the lease agreement, or deliberately and intentionally damages your property. No matter what the reason it is time to terminate the lease agreement and evict the problem tenant.

This, however, can prove to be difficult for landlords, particularly those saddled with problem tenants. In such a situation, so as not to be accused of discrimination or held hostage by an unruly tenant, one must take specific steps to protect one’s interests.

Lease Termination for non-payment of rent. Even though, this is the most cut-and-dried area, landlords must still document reasons for eviction, including a clause in the lease that states, what will happen if a tenant fails to pay rent. If a tenant is habitually late in paying rent, or fails to pay it, a landlord should keep a record, including a file on each tenant to ensure accurate record keeping that will hold up, should a tenant contest the eviction.

The first step should be to warn the tenant he / she is in danger of being evicted as a result of late payments or non-payment of rent. If no heed is paid to the warning, then issue him / her an eviction notice. Give the tenant 15-days between the warning and the notice to make payment. Ensure you stick to this time limit or the warning will lose credibility, as how long the tenant takes to vacate the property is determined by state law.

Breaking or failing to follow the lease agreement. This can cause landlords many problems; therefore, it is important they include rules and prohibited conduct within the rental agreement. The lease should state clearly what behaviours are unacceptable and the consequences of not respecting the lease.

Take for example, if you do not want pets in your rental property or would prefer the tenant removes his / her own trash, it should be stated clearly in the lease agreement. In the event of a problem occurring, ensure you document what happened, when it happened, and how you dealt with it. And, provide at lease one warning to the irresponsible tenant before terminating the lease.

If documentation of the problems and the warning does not stop a tenant from persisting in breaching the lease, then it is time to serve an eviction notice based on the problems. Documenting lease violations will protect you, in the event a tenant does not wish to leave or intends to fight your decision in court.

Lease Termination for property damage. If a tenant damages your property and refuses to carry out repairs, document the problem clearly. Put down in detail when the damage occurred or was noticed, any police action that might have taken place, including pictures of the property to prove the extent of the damage. Before and after pictures of the property will help considerably in improving your claim. With all documentation in place, you can now serve an eviction notice and terminate the lease agreement.

Amicable lease termination. Or else, a landlord may terminate the lease in agreement with a tenant who wishes to move. In this case, request the current tenant to find a replacement tenant for the duration of the lease, or withhold the security deposit in lieu of a month’s notice.

A successful landlord must take time to prepare a lease agreement that covers all eventualities and document any problems that occur and their resolution, to minimize tenant problems. What is included in the lease will help him / her win the case in court.

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