Thinking About Evicting Tenants?

Posted by Teresa on March 18, 2009 under Eviction, Landlord Tenant Lawsuits | icon: commentBe the First to Comment

 

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Eviction: the word itself sounds unpleasant, and it is—on both sides. Does any landlord begin the eviction process against a tenant unless it is absolutely necessary? It’s not likely that anyone actually enjoys the legalities, paperwork, court orders and stress that accompany this process.

 The best way to prevent having to evict tenants is to do the work required up front to attract and retain the best tenants. A few examples are:

1. Keep your property in the best possible condition;

2. Keep communication open with your tenants;

3. Screen tenants prior to signing the rental agreement;

4. Put everything in writing.

 

Even when all seems to be going well, you could still experience a situation that cannot be tolerated; and eviction is the eventual result. Knowing what to do in this case can make it easier.

 

Eviction laws vary by state and even by locality; it is vital to follow them precisely.  You may decide to consult an attorney or eviction service to assist you; if so, the web is a great resource to find these specialists.

 

There are basic rules to evict problem tenants, no matter where you live.  First, a legal reason, such as violating the lease agreement, is required. Second, you must give the tenant notice. Each state has exacting procedures that define “proper notice.” Keep in mind that in some localities, you may not follow through on the eviction if you accept rent payments after giving notice. Third, you will have a legal proceeding before a judge. If the judge’s rule calls for eviction, there will be a notice of eviction from the court. 

 

Now, the court may side with the tenant; if you decide to appeal the decision, be prepared for another lengthy and costly procedure. You will likely need legal representation for the appeals process. And, the tenants can appeal, as well—so a first-round victory doesn’t mean you’re completely off the hook.

 

Preparation is key: a solid rental agreement, along with evidence (such as photographs and communication logs) will be your best tools when facing the eviction process. It’s easier to stay organized from the beginning than to try to catch up when you’re facing a court date!

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