A Law Career

Stuck With A Bad Tenant? Take The Legal Eviction Route

by Ruby Mckinney

As a property owner, rental tenants offer an excellent way to cover the cost of the mortgage or earn extra money on the side. However, things don't always go as planned. Tenants might fail to pay their rent on time or violate other terms of the rental contract. Even though you're the property owner, you can't simply tell a tenant to vacate, as there is a legal process in place that protects you, the tenant and your property. Ensure you know what to do by reviewing the following suggestions:

Document Everything

Eviction is only legal when there is a valid reason for the process. Do your part by keeping a record of any documentation that supports the tenant's violation. For example, in the case of dishonored checks, maintaining a copy of the checks submitted, and a record from the bank showing they were dishonored is sufficient.

If you attempt to evict a tenant without this documentation, they can file a claim against you. Should the judge side with the tenant, your eviction request could be tossed, or you may have to pay for them to relocate. Either way, it's not an ideal situation for the property owner.

Provide Written Notice

Even when there is legal justification for an eviction, the law requires that you give the tenant time to rectify the situation. This written warning is referred to as a quit notice. This notice is your first step towards terminating the rental contract, and it serves as a demand.

For a tenant who has an unpaid balance, you'd send a pay rent or quit notice, and for a tenant who is violating another term, you'd send a cure or quit notice. Within this advisory would be clear instructions on how the tenant can rectify the situation, such as paying rent within five days.

Let the Process Play Out

Although you might be anxious, you still have to let the process play out. Just because the time outlined in the written notice has expired, this does not mean you have the legal authority to remove the tenants' belongings. Depending on the state you live in, you may be required to contact the courts and the sheriff department to execute the eviction, as only a representative of the court has the legal authority to enter the property and demand that the tenant terminate.

In some instances, this process might happen immediately after the quitting period has expired, and it's also not unheard of for several weeks to pass.

If you're dealing with a difficult situation or have a number of questions about the eviction process, don't hesitate to contact an attorney. An attorney can handle the entire process for you or answer any questions you may have. Contact a company like Steve Butcher Sr for more information and assistance.