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The Dos and Don’ts of Evicting a Tenant Every Property Manager Needs to Know

evicting a tenant

Property owners nationwide filed four eviction notices every minute throughout 2016. In all, 2.3 million Americans got evicted.

Unfortunately, evicting a tenant is sometimes necessary. Are you prepared to handle an eviction if a tenant refuses to pay rent?

Keep reading to learn what every property manager needs to know about evictions.

Evicting a Tenant 101

Choosing the perfect tenant through screening measures will prevent many evictions. Even so, you’re likely to have to evict someone at some point as a property manager.

You should start taking the first steps to eviction under the following circumstances:

  • The tenant has violated the lease
  • The tenant refuses to pay rent
  • The tenant is posing safety or health hazards
  • The tenant is breaking health, noise, or occupancy ordinances
  • The tenant has broken the lease in other ways

Once you have a valid reason to begin the process, you’ll need to learn how to evict the tenant.

The first step is to provide the tenant with a notice of eviction. The document should include a deadline to either pay or move out.

You’ll need to serve the notice by both mail and on the property’s front door.

If the deadline passes, then you’ll need to file the eviction notice with the courts.

Mistakes to Avoid When Evicting a Tenant

Evicting tenants can be emotional. Don’t let the stressful situation make you stumble into one of these common mistakes:

  • Taking the tenant’s property from the rental home
  • Changing the locks
  • Physically removing the tenant from the property
  • Shutting off essential utilities
  • Failing to perform requested maintenance tasks
  • Making threats to withhold the security deposit

Under the law, these actions are not acceptable regardless of how the tenant is behaving. It leaves you vulnerable to a potential lawsuit.

After getting an eviction notice, tenants may try to give you partial payments. Never accept money after the eviction process has started unless it is the full amount owed.

If you do, then you may be forfeiting some of your rights if you have to go to court later.

Tips to Remember During an Eviction

The eviction process is costly and tedious. It’s a lose-lose situation for all parties involved, and it’s usually used as a last resort.

Keep these tips in mind when going through the motions:

  • Always document everything
  • Consider alternative resolutions
  • Don’t underestimate the importance of following the law
  • Consider consulting with an attorney or expert

A property owner can hire an agent or management company to assist with evictions. Such an action can help ensure you are following the laws every step of the way.

The Eviction Process Dos and Don’ts

A tenant’s failure to pay rent is the number one cause for eviction.

This high-stakes process of evicting a tenant is often stressful and emotional. Despite this, it’s necessary to keep your composure throughout the process.

Keep these tips and pitfalls in mind next time you need to evict a tenant.

If you have questions about how an agent can help you, then reach out to us on our online contact form.