Are you a new landlord trying to figure out if you have a problem tenant? While many issues can be resolved through a brief conversation, sometimes eviction becomes the only option.
Do you know the right reasons to evict a tenant?
There are laws around tenant eviction. Tenants have certain rights and as a landlord, you aren’t able to go around them. We want to help guide you so you can feel confident that evicting a tenant is the right decision.
Keep reading to learn all about appropriate tenant eviction.
1. They’re Disrupting the Other Tenants
Have you ever had a tenant complain about another tenant? While there are certainly some tenants who will complain about anything or purposefully try to get another tenant evicted because they don’t like them, many complaints are legitimate.
So what might be considered a disruption?
If your property has rules about noise limitations that your tenant isn’t following, it’s reasonable for other tenants to complain. Some tenants may have small children or early mornings, so having loud neighbors isn’t ideal.
If a tenant is throwing parties or spending a lot of time in non-gathering common spaces like hallways, your other tenants may be disturbed.
While it may be uncomfortable to evict tenants over loud fighting (and it’s best to call authorities first to make sure that there’s no violence happening), if it goes on for too long it may scare small children or be too loud, disrupting the peace of the other tenants.
2. They’re Using the Space Inappropriately
Are your properties exclusively for living in? If so, it isn’t appropriate for your client to use it as a business. Even small or successful businesses aren’t allowed in places that aren’t zoned for such things, but some people try to hide their businesses because rentals for business locations are too expensive.
It’s also possible that your tenants are doing something illegal in your rental, like selling or making illegal substances or performing illegal medical procedures.
If your client is doing something illegal, it’s appropriate to evict them right away.
3. You Need to Live In or Remove the Rental
Sometimes it’s no longer convenient to rent out your space. If you need to use the rental for your own purposes or if you need to take it off the market (for good reason) you may have to evict your tenant.
Keep in mind that this isn’t the tenant’s fault and you’re the one inconveniencing them. Check your local laws to see if tenants have the right to stay for a certain amount of time. Sometimes tenants with children are able to stay until the school year is over.
If your tenant is a long-term tenant or they have a disability, you may also have trouble evicting them. Talk to a lawyer about the tenant’s rights before discussing eviction with your tenant.
4. They Aren’t Paying
This is one of the more common problems associated with tenants and the need to evict. If a tenant is always paying late or not paying at all, you may have to evict them.
There are a few things that you should do before you evict. First, try to set up a meeting to have an open conversation with your tenant. If you only allow checks or cash payments for your properties, consider switching to online payments.
While this inconveniences you a bit, your tenant may struggle with remembering to pay rent. An online system can allow them to set up autopay so they always pay on time.
Your tenant may also be having money troubles, or be out of work. In this case, it’s a good idea to set up a payment plan so you still get your money and some of the stress is taken off of the tenant.
If your tenant is being defensive or otherwise refusing to pay rent, you can send a legal notice of eviction. Refusal to pay is one of the more common reasons to sue a tenant. You don’t want to have to sue a tenant to get the money that you’re owed, but it may come to that.
5. They Broke the Terms of the Lease
When your tenant moves in they should sign a lease. This lease is legally binding and should come with all of the rules associated with living in your rental unit.
Make sure that the rules are clear and there’s no possibility of misinterpretation.
These terms can include the previous issues of not disturbing the peace, paying on time, and not using the space for anything other than living. It may also include a pet limitation, a limitation on how long visitors can stay, rules about subleasing, and rules about damage.
Before you evict your tenant for this reason, check the lease. If you’ve had this tenant for a long time without sending them an updated list, it’s possible that their lease is different from the leases of newer tenants.
If this is the case, ask them if they’re willing to sign an updated lease and give them a warning.
6. They Haven’t Fixed Their Behavior
In most situations, it’s appropriate to first notify your tenant of the problem and talk with them before moving forward with an eviction.
It’s possible that your tenant hasn’t realized that they’re doing something wrong. For example, if they’re being too loud they may not realize it if they’re used to living in buildings with more noise reduction.
In this case, your tenant may be willing to adjust their behavior. If they’re not, and they continue the bad behavior, it’s appropriate to consider eviction.
Have You Experienced These Reasons to Evict a Tenant?
No one wants to have to evict a tenant. It’s uncomfortable and the reasons to evict a tenant can result in monetary losses or serious damage. That said, problem tenants exist and you need to know how to handle them.
When in doubt, consult with a lawyer or discuss the problem with your tenant first.
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