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The Reasons You Can (and Can’t) Evict a Tenant

Eviction Notice in an EnvelopeThere are several factors that contribute to a landlord’s success; one of the most critical is knowing when and how to evict a tenant. If you’re not sure how to evict a tenant or when you can (and can’t) do so, keep reading! We’ll go through the most common reasons landlords evict tenants, as well as the stages involved in the eviction process, in this blog post.

Understanding Just Cause

One of the first things all Smithfield property managers should know is that eviction is a legal process that requires a court order to remove a tenant from your property. You can’t even change the locks or dump a tenant’s belongings outside. Both of these actions would violate the rights of your tenant.

To expel a tenant, you must have “just cause.” Simply put, just cause means that you have a lawful basis to evict the tenant, including non-payment of rent, property damage, or violation of the lease terms. You cannot remove a tenant unless there is just cause.

Reasons You Can Evict

Nonpayment of rent is one of the most prevalent reasons landlords evict tenants. If your tenant does not pay their rent on time as per the agreement, you can serve them official notice that they have a fixed number of days to pay or vacate the property, as legally mandated by the state. If the tenant does not obey, you can apply for eviction. Make it a point to abide by the terms of the lease and any state and local laws that may apply.

An additional typical cause for eviction is property damage by the renter. If your renter has caused serious damage to the property that exceeds normal wear and tear, you can serve them with a memorandum to remedy the damage or remove themselves from the premises. Refusal of the tenant to comply means you may file for eviction.

Breaking other terms in the lease agreement provides more reasons for evicting a renter. For instance, if your renter has a pet and your lease prohibits pets, you can serve them with a written notice to quit the property or remove the animal. You may file for eviction if the renter disregards the warning as per the terms of the lease. This applies to all the other conditions of the contract of lease.

Reasons You Can’t Evict

Also, there are a few factors why you cannot evict a tenant, regardless if they have committed an act that would compel eviction. For instance, you cannot remove a renter because they wanted improvements to the property or started complaining about the rental unit’s upkeep. Further, you are restricted from forcibly removing a renter on the grounds of sex, familial situation, color, race, religion, disability, or national origin. It is not legal to evict a renter who belongs to these inviolable categories and you can expect to be sued if you attempt to do so.

The Eviction Process

There are a few procedures to conduct if you are in the awkward position of having to evict a tenant. For starters, you will deliver a notice in writing to the tenant detailing the reason for the eviction and the deadline by which they must vacate the premises. After that, you’ll have to submit an eviction petition with the state court and the renter will be informed. You may be awarded a default judgment if the tenant does not appear on the scheduled court date. Lastly, if the renter resists eviction, you can get the legal authority in your region to evict them.

Although forcibly removing a tenant is never a nice experience, sometimes it is unavoidable. You’ll be prepared to face this tough circumstance if you understand why you can (and can’t) evict a renter, as well as the various processes in the eviction procedure.

If you’re concerned about being evicted, it’s important to speak to a specialist regarding your options. Contact Real Property Management Cache Valley to speak to a local rental property professional today at 435-753-5200.

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