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Tenant Eviction: The Do’s and Don’ts

Eviction notice on door of house with brass door knob. Fictitious address, ID, signature and 555 phone number for fictional usage.Achieving success as a landlord necessitates a diverse range of skills, including the ability to effectively navigate the process of tenant eviction by understanding the appropriate timing and methodology. Having a comprehensive understanding of the reasons for evicting a tenant is crucial for landlords to fulfill their responsibilities and adhere to the law. This knowledge not only ensures that tenant rights are safeguarded but also promotes a harmonious relationship between landlords and tenants.

Understanding Just Cause

It is important for property owners to understand that eviction is a legal procedure that necessitates obtaining a court order to lawfully remove a tenant from their property. Having a clear understanding of the legal basis for eviction is essential in order to ensure compliance with the various regulations at the local, state, and federal levels that govern the relationship between landlords and tenants. Evicting a renter without sufficient legal justification can lead to potential legal ramifications, including the imposition of fines or the initiation of lawsuits.

To evict a tenant, you must have what is known as “just cause.” Just cause eviction statutes require that you have a legal justification to evict the tenant, such as nonpayment of rent, property damage, or violation of the lease terms. You cannot evict a tenant unless you have just cause.

Reasons You Can Evict

Nonpayment of rent is one of the most prevalent reasons landlords evict tenants. If your renter fails to pay their rent on time, you can issue them formal notice that they have a set number of days to pay or vacate the property, as required by state law. If the tenant fails to comply, you may file for eviction. Just make sure you respect the conditions of your lease as well as any state and municipal laws that may apply.

Property damage is another typical reason for eviction. If your tenant has caused serious damage to the property that goes beyond regular wear and tear, you can serve them with a written notice requiring them to remedy the damage or depart the property. If the tenant fails to comply, you may file for eviction.

Other reasons for evicting a tenant include breaching other terms of their lease. If your tenant has a pet and your contract prohibits pets, you can issue them formal notice to remove the pet or depart the property. If the tenant fails to comply, you may file for eviction. The same is true for all other lease terms.

Reasons You Cannot Evict

Even if a renter has done something that would seem to warrant eviction, there are a few more reasons why you can’t evict. For example, you cannot remove a tenant because they have requested that you make repairs to the property or have complained about the rental unit’s circumstances. Furthermore, you cannot evict a tenant because of their race, color, religion, national origin, gender, familial situation, or disability. These protected classifications cannot lawfully be used as the reason for an eviction, and attempting to do so may result in a discrimination lawsuit.

Carrying Out an Eviction

If you find yourself in the position of having to evict a tenant, there are a few procedures you must follow. First, you must provide the tenant a written notice stating the grounds for the eviction as well as the date by which they must vacate the property. The next step is to file an eviction petition with the court and have the tenant served. If the tenant fails to appear for their court date, you may be able to secure a default judgment in your favor. Finally, if the tenant still refuses to evacuate the premises, you might have the legal authority in your area remove them.

Evicting a tenant can be a challenging task, but it is an essential step that must be taken in certain circumstances. By gaining a comprehensive understanding of the reasons behind both permissible and impermissible eviction of a tenant, along with a thorough comprehension of the various stages encompassing the eviction procedure, you will effectively mitigate potential legal liabilities while fostering an equitable and considerate residential atmosphere for all relevant stakeholders.


If you find yourself in a precarious eviction predicament, it would be prudent to seek guidance from a seasoned property management specialist for invaluable insights and recommendations. Contact your nearby Real Property Management office to get in touch with a knowledgeable and experienced rental property professional in your locality. Don’t delay, reach out today!

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