A Landlord’s Guide to the Eviction Process

eviction process

Evicting tenants isn’t easy, especially if you’ve never had to go through it. On top of being a costly process, it can be a stressful one.

Unfortunately, most landlords will find themselves in this situation at least once. If your tenants refuse to play ball, eviction may be your only option. Thorough background checks can alleviate this issue, but some bad tenants can still slip through the cracks.

The good news: you can break the eviction process into four simple steps. Here’s what you should know about this side of property management.

Know Your Laws

Before you can evict a tenant, you need to know your state’s eviction laws. Reviewing them is particularly important if you’ve recently moved.

Knowing the laws can help you with writing lease agreements as well. If you know what to include, you won’t have to spend as much time reviewing the laws later. Alternatively, you can hire a property manager to take care of the tenants for you.

Check for Violations

When it comes to how to evict a tenant, the first thing you’ll need is a valid reason. Here’s a list of common violations of the lease agreement:

• Damaging the property

• Failing to pay rent

• Disrupting other tenants

• Staying after the lease expires

• Using the property for illegal purposes

Make sure to document evidence of violations. This may serve as evidence in court, so be as thorough as possible. These documents can include text conversations with the tenant, photos of damages, and bounced checks.

Issue an Eviction Notice

If you can’t come to terms with the tenant, your next step is to send them an eviction notice. This won’t automatically evict them, but it lets them know what they can do before the case goes to court.

There are three types of eviction notices: a notice to cure or quit, a notice to pay rent or quit, and a notice to quit. The former two give the tenant a chance to remedy the situation. The latter option simply sets a date by which the tenant needs to leave the property.

File for Eviction

If the tenant hasn’t moved out by the time specified in the notice, you’ll need to file for eviction. You can do so in your local housing court.

At the courthouse, you’ll need to prove that the tenant had enough time to respond to the notice. To do so, you can use the tenant’s dated signature or a certified mail receipt. Once you’ve provided proof, you’ll receive a scheduled court date.

If the case gets to trial, your best bet is to let the evidence speak for itself. If you win your case, the judge will give your tenant a time limit to vacate your property.

More on the Eviction Process

Keep in mind that this is just a basic overview of the eviction process. As straightforward as it is, individual circumstances can disrupt it. If you want to make sure you haven’t skipped any steps, hire an eviction lawyer to help you.

Want to avoid going through the tenant eviction process in the future? Check out our tips on how to find the right tenants for your property!