Tenant Evictions

credit: rick

Evictions are a tricky part of property management. Once you agree to rent to someone and let them move into your property they gain certain rights, which at times, can seem to be more in their favor than the property owner's.

This is why getting the right tenants in the first place is so essential. If you have made a bad tenant selection and you want to evict them you have to follow the letter of the law or face having them remain on your property even longer, losing money in court fees and lost rent, and possibly facing some criminal charges yourself. You'll have to become a bit familiar with your local laws regarding eviction because they all vary. But basically, every state requires that you terminate the lease before you even begin trying to remove a tenant. The verbiage differs but there are three different ways to terminate a lease contract:

Pay or Quit. This is pretty self explanatory, if your tenant hasn't paid their rent in a while, then you can send them a pay or quit notice. Each state gives the tenant a grace period, generally a few days, and you may allow them a little more, but don't let months slide by without payment. Get what you're owed.

Cure or Quit. This situation isn't quite as clear as you may need to get documentation that the tenant is breaking a clause of the lease, but once you do that you can send a cure or quit notice and they have a specified amount of time to remedy the situation.

Unconditional Quit. This is a bit harder to enforce as it requires the tenant to move without the chance to pay the rent or fix the problem. In this situation you'll want to be very sure you've dotted your I's and crossed your T's. These cases can get messy and require legal intervention. If you're trying to evict a tenant there is nothing more important than following the legal procedure prescribed by your state's landlord/tenant laws and documenting every transgression and step in the process. If you are meticulous, you stand a good chance of evicting the tenant without too much hassle.

Kristin Kizer
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