Sometimes landlords have the best tenants who pay rent on time and abide by all the terms in the lease. It is important for landlords to be prepared in case there ever becomes a reason to evict a tenant.

 

Make Sure There is a Valid Reason for Eviction

A tenant who doesn’t pay rent is one of the most common reasons for eviction. There are other reasons such as violating other terms of the lease (e.g. illegal drug use). It’s important for landlords to keep in close contact with the tenant and have open, honest communication. If a tenant is having a hard time paying rent, perhaps come up with a payment schedule to get back on track. If they get too far behind and it is time to file for eviction, make sure all procedures are followed and documented.

 

Hire Legal Assistance

The best way to go about evicting a tenant is to hire an attorney. If a landlord is going to do it without an attorney, make sure it’s done the proper way. First, a notice has to be given to the tenant describing what needs to be done to be compliant. It must be stated in the notice that if the terms are not met by a certain date, an eviction will be filed with the court. The notice should be taped to the front door and sent by certified mail. If the tenant is not paying rent, include the total amount due including late fees. A landlord is not allowed to remove a tenant’s belongings or change the locks.

 

File With the Courts

If the tenant doesn’t pay the rent or comply with the terms of the lease they are violating by the due date given in the notice, a motion for eviction must be filed with the court. The court will assign a court date and time. Be sure to be prepared for the court date with a copy of the lease, copies of payments and proof that the tenant hasn’t paid or has broken the terms of the lease (e.g. documents and/or images). If the judge finds in the landlord’s favor, the tenant will be given a certain amount of time to vacate the premises.

 

The eviction process can take a few months. Again, the landlord cannot remove any of the tenant’s belongings during this process. However, if the tenant clearly leaves items behind (e.g. furniture and dishware), the landlord must follow specific steps on how to dispose of them.