Tenant Eviction Process for Landlords

Sometimes, the link goes sour between you and your tenant despite your best efforts to build a good relationship. You will probably have to go through the eviction process at least once in your career, even if you are a good landlord. You may be forced to the eviction process when a tenant is subletting to other tenants or did not pay the rent or, he may have damaged your rental property badly.

It is crucial to follow the proper legal eviction process to end the lease agreement early. Failure to go through the set process may result in losing your eviction case along with landing in civil court facing paying out monetary damages and earning the reputation of a slumlord. If you are in California, consider hiring a lawyer from Express  Evictions for the fastest, most expert help with evicting tenants.

  1. Decide If You Can Evict

One of the biggest struggles of buying a rental property and becoming a landlord is initiating an eviction case when your tenant has failed to pay the rent.

You can evict a tenant for other issues, but you cannot kick a tenant out just for giving you a hard time. You can evict a tenant for these issues:

  • Paying the rent late.
  • If the tenant is staying on the property after the lease ends, known as a "holdover."
  • If the tenant significantly damaged your property; remember that you have to prove this damage in the court.
  • The tenant has broken the lease agreement rules such as pet rules, extra tenant restrictions, or guest restrictions.

Before you can begin the eviction process, state laws require you to provide one or two notices to your tenant. It is to ensure that your tenant has a warning and time to resolve the issue causing the problem. The judge will likely dismiss the case when going through court procedures if you did not give your tenant any warning or notice first.

  1. Learn Landlord and Tenant Law

You have to get very familiar with landlord and tenant laws when you have decided to evict a tenant because the statutes explain the legal process for evicting a tenant. You need to follow the eviction method to the letter if you want to win your case. The judge may decide in the tenant's favor if you skip even a single requirement. Besides, it may also allow the tenant to sue you in a civil court.

If you are trying to do an eviction without the help of a lawyer, a copy of the landlord and tenant law can be obtained from your state attorney general's website. Get a printed version at the local clerk of court’s office or through a lawyer if you can't find your state's copy online.

  1. Give Proper Notice

Before you even begin to file a case for evicting the tenant, many states require you to give one or two written notices to the tenant. Before you can submit your lawsuit, you may also need to allow the tenant time to resolve the matter. You must mention the permitted time on your notice if your state's laws require your tenant to take time to correct the action before you file a lawsuit in court. The eviction notice must clearly state your intention to evict the tenant.

The date of delivery must be fixed and included at the time of writing the notice when you file the eviction. It is crucial to give (serve) the notice to the tenant or leave a note posted at the front door of the tenant’s rental unit and send it in certified mail.

  1. File Your Eviction

So, you are finally ready to start the eviction process by filing for a court hearing after you have gathered the information required by law and have given your tenant a chance. You can file the eviction the morning after the waiting period expires. You will have to pay a fee to start the process at your local courthouse. The clerk will give you a hearing date after completing the paperwork, and the court will notify the tenant.

  1. Get Ready for the Court

You need to prepare your case before the eviction hearing before the judge. You should gather any documents you have, a copy of the written notice, the lease agreement,  bank statements, and all communication records between you and the tenant. Before you enter the courtroom, make sure that you prepare what you are about to say to the judge. Do not give yourself cause for regret by leaving out any details.

Both you and the tenant will have the opportunity to present your case to the judge. After that, the judge can decide to order the eviction or allow the tenant to remain on the property. The judge will order  sheriff’s deputies to evict the tenant if the landlord win the case.

  1. Evict the Tenant

The tenant will have time to leave the property after the hearing. Some states give five days while some require evacuated tenants to depart in less than four hours. If the tenant still does not leave the property, contact the sheriff. The sheriff will remove the tenant and put any private property on the curb. You are allowed to sue the tenant for significant damage to your property. So, it is suggested to use this time to inspect the property for damage.