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Landlords: How to Evict a Tenant
If you are in the unfortunate situation of needing to an evict a tenant, it’s critical that you follow the law to ensure the eviction is proper, so that it can be completed as quickly and inexpensively as possible.
Get Legal Advice Before You Seek to Evict a Tenant
While the general steps you need to take to evict a tenant are similar across the United States, the specific rules and regulations vary from state to state. To be enforceable, an eviction must follow the terms of the lease as well as the laws in the state in which the property is located.
Federal, state and local regulations on evictions related to COVID-19 further complicate the situation for landlords.
If you have any questions or would like to have access to a provider lawyer to help you through an eviction, consider getting a legal plan from LegalShield.
Is Eviction Your Best Option?
An eviction lawsuit can be stressful, expensive and time consuming. They can even result in countersuits from the tenant. As such, you want to make sure formal eviction is truly your best option. It is important to understand the law and options that are available to you.
Have a Productive Conversation
One option is to try to resolve the situation through a firm yet compassionate conversation. Try to understand their situation and see if you can come to an agreement. Alternatively, ask them to leave and politely point out this could help avoid costly legal problems, preserve their credit and reduce conflict.
Offer to Help the Tenant Move Out
Do you own a truck the tenant can use to move? Do you know of other properties that may be more suitable for them? Think about ways in which you can be help make moving out a bit easier and more appealing than fighting through a formal eviction.
Try the Cash for Keys Strategy
This option involves you paying the tenant to leave. While it may sound backwards, especially if the tenant owes you rent, offering a cash payment to entice the tenant to hand over the keys can be a far less stressful and less expensive way to get a tenant to move out than going through an eviction.
If you need legal advice about how to execute any of these options or would like a provider lawyer to assist you with a difficult situation, join LegalShield today. Once your membership is approved, you can be on the phone with a provider lawyer in as little as four hours.
Identify a Legally Valid Reason for Eviction
If you’re certain that eviction is your best option, it is important to make sure you have a legally valid reason to evict a tenant and that the tenant does not have a strong defense. Here are some of the most common reasons courts will allow a landlord to evict a tenant.
- Failure to pay rent
- Other violation of the lease
- Significant damage to the property
- Tenant does not leave after the lease ends
- The “tenant” is squatting or otherwise not legally allowed to occupy the rental unit
- You want to sell or renovate your property and these situations are covered in your lease
The nature of the tenancy (12 months, month-to-month, etc.) as well as the facts surrounding the reason for eviction and the laws in your state dictate the specific type of eviction notice you must provide and the steps you must take to be successful.