Despite your extensive tenant screening process and efforts to build a good relationship with your current tenant, sometimes the relationship still goes bad. As a property manager, you’ll probably have to go through evicting a tenant at least once in your whole career. There are a lot of bad tenants out there anyway. How do you evict a tenant through the right and legal process?
You can evict a tenant for issues like staying on the property after the lease expires, causing major damage to your property, as well as breaking rules like noise restrictions, guest limitations, and pet regulations. Before doing so, know that you must follow strict procedures if you want your tenants to leave your property. If you don’t follow the standard process, you’ll lose your eviction case, land in civil court, and earn a reputation as a bad landlord.
If you’ve finally decided to evict a tenant, we suggest that you review the Landlord and Tenant Act first, and follow it step by step. Again, straying from the set process will later on make you lose your case. You can get a copy of the Landlord and Tenant Act from your state attorney general’s website. Getting a printed version at a local court office or through a lawyer is also possible.
Many states require you to give the tenant a notice for each minor offense, as well as adequate time to correct the problem before you can start eviction proceedings. If, for example, you have decided to proceed to the eviction process, you should also give the tenant written notice, a notice to vacate. Include in that memo the amount of time in which the tenant has to correct the problem and the date when you will file the eviction.
When you’re finally ready to get it on, file for a court hearing which you can do at your local courthouse. After completing the paperwork, the clerk will give you a hearing date, and the court will notify the tenant. Prior to the day of the hearing, prepare your case by gathering documents, including your lease agreement, a copy of the written notice you provided, and records of all forms of communication between you and the tenant.
On the day of the hearing, present your case. Do remember that your tenant will also have the chance to present his or her side of the case. The judge will then decide to either continue the eviction or allow the tenant to stay at the property. If you win the case, the judge will then give you instructions for evicting the tenant.