Eviction is a process that can consume a lot of time. It also involves multiple steps and making numerous decisions. The only legal way to accomplish this is by filing an Unlawful Detainer lawsuit; this is why you need to hire a professional lawyer to help you in the case. As a landlord, you can have a person locked out of your property once it has been proven that they are not following the lease agreement once signed and at the conclusion of the court action.
It is also possible to give a notice to a tenant that has an expired lease agreement and that you do not want to renew. This will allow you, as a landlord, to prevent any money loss and to have the property rented again to a more suitable tenant.
Aspects to be considered before evicting
- Make sure you have a reason to evict the tenant or the tenant has reached the end of their fixed term lease.
Most of the times, failing to pay rent constitutes a reason for eviction. Many eviction processes start because the tenant has failed in paying the corresponding amount of money. It is recommended not to accept partial payments that could interfere with the legal process later on.
It is also possible to evict a tenant on the grounds of damages to the property. In a lease agreement, some clauses establish who is responsible for maintenance and how the property has to be kept in the same conditions it was received. Failing to do so will lead to eviction by the landlord.
In some cases, tenants are using the property to perform an illegal business, or they are causing a significant nuisance to neighbors and other tenants. If after having a conversation, problems do not stop, it is a reason enough for eviction.
- Do not evict the tenant yourself
As a landlord, you may feel it is somehow your responsibility to evict them, but this is not true. The civil and legal authorities are the only ones that can do such a thing. Do not change the locks, cut off utilities or threaten the tenants. If you need to read more about this topic you can visit legal advice pages, there is plenty of information on how to behave with your unlawful detainers.
Evicting the tenant yourself can bring about a lot of negative consequences, they can sue you for damages, and these penalties can cost a lot of money. More than the money you wanted to recover from the unpaid rent.
- Serve your tenant with a notice
The first step, after the conversation is over, is to serve a notice. According to the type of eviction you want to proceed with, the notice will vary. There are notices for 3 days, for 30 days and for more. And there are notices to pay or quit, to solve issues or quit, etc. The type of notice that you have to serve to your tenant has to do with the different kinds of terms that were broken. An eviction attorney would exactly know what type of notice to use and when to serve it to the tenant.
- Give the tenant the appropriated time
According to the type of eviction being carried out, the tenant has more or less time to act. Either paying or quitting the premises, but some action has to occur in the amount of time established in the notice. Once the notice expires and nothing happens, the eviction process continues by filing in court.
- Proceed with the summons and complaint to court.
You will need to submit your summons and complaint to the court. For this step, it will be necessary to have all documentation at hand. Having evidence of the reasons for eviction is useful. This can include bank statements, emails, receipts, even texts messages.
After documentation has been filed, you have to wait for the tenant to file a response to the court or you can default the tenant if they fail to respond within the proper time frame. Eviction processes can take some time, but they are the only legal way of removing tenants from your property without bringing about any more legal issues for the landlord.
There are, of course, some other variables that can affect how easy or how difficult it is to evict a tenant. The best thing to do is to find a specialized professional that knows how and when to act. Timing is a very important tool in the legal process.