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

Eviction Notice in an EnvelopeBeing a successful landlord necessitates a variety of skills, one of which is knowing when and how to evict a renter. Read on if you’re unfamiliar with the eviction process and want to know when you can (and can’t) evict a renter. We’ll explore the most common reasons landlords evict tenants in this blog post, as well as the stages involved in the eviction process.

Understanding Just Cause

One of the very first things all Winchester property managers ought to know is that eviction is a legal process that demands a court order to remove a tenant from your property. You can’t merely change the locks and toss the tenant’s possessions out on the street. Both measures would be in violation of your tenant’s rights.

It is crucial to have “just cause” in order to evict a tenant. Basically just cause means that you have the legal right to evict a tenant for infractions like property damage, nonpayment, or non-compliance to the terms of the lease. Without “just cause”, you cannot evict a tenant legally.

Reasons You Can Evict

A common reason why landlords evict tenants is due to nonpayment of rent. If your tenant doesn’t pay their rent as agreed, you can give them written notice that they have a set amount of days to pay or vacate the property, as mandated by state statute. If the tenant fails to comply, you may lawfully file for eviction. Make it a priority to adhere to the conditions of the lease and all local and state laws.

Destruction of the property is another common ground for eviction. If property damage is beyond the usual wear and tear, you can issue a formal letter demanding repairs or leave the property. If the tenant continues to disobey, you may file for eviction.

Likewise, the violation of other lease terms grants reasons for evicting a tenant. As an example, if your lease prohibits pets but your tenant is keeping a pet, you can serve an official letter asking the renter to get rid of the pet or leave the property. If the tenant continues to disobey, you may file for eviction. This is true for all other terms of the lease.

Reasons You Can’t Evict

Furthermore, there are some reasons why you cannot evict a renter, even though they have perpetrated an action that would merit eviction. For instance, it is not lawful to remove a renter just because they requested repairs to the property or complained about the rental unit’s condition. Furthermore, you may not evict a tenant based on their religion, national origin, disability, sex, race, familial situation, or color. These safeguarded groups cannot legally be used as a reason for eviction, and trying to do so may result in a discrimination lawsuit.

The Eviction Process

If you are in the unfortunate case of having to expel a renter, there are some steps you need to consider. To begin, you must serve a written notice on the tenant specifying the basis for the eviction and the date by which they must depart the premises. You must then file an eviction petition with the court and have the renter served. You can get a default judgment if the renter fails to show up for their court date. Finally, if the tenant refuses to leave the property, you can have the legal authorities in your area remove them.

Though evicting a tenant is not a nice experience, there are times when it is simply necessary. You’ll be better equipped to deal with this difficult circumstance if you know why you can (and can’t) evict a renter and the processes involved in the eviction process.

Seeking the advice of an expert in property management is the best thing if you are faced with possible eviction. Contact Real Property Management Elevation to speak to a local rental property professional today at 540-409-5857.

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.