Get the Law on Your Side: How to Avoid an Unlawful Eviction
Unsure if you have the grounds to evict your tenants? The check out our complete guide to lean how to avoid an unlawful eviction.
After 2016, there were over 2 million evictions filed in the United States.
There are many reasons to evict a tenant. Maybe they’re not paying rent, they’re violating the lease, or maybe they’re even threatening your safety and the safety of other tenants.
An eviction is a complex process that could have many legal repercussions.
Here’s how to avoid an unlawful eviction.
Establish a Legal Need of Eviction
To evict a tenant, you need to have a legal reason. For most landlords, the eviction reasons can include failing to pay rent or violating the lease.
It’s best to have this in writing and hold on to any proof of the tenant’s wrongdoing. You can state this in the Cure and Quit notice, which we will discuss in the next section.
Notify the Tenant
In most states, the landlord needs to give the tenant plenty of notice of their wrongdoings and issue a warning, stating that eviction is the next course of action.
If the tenants don’t comply, try and convince the tenant to voluntarily move out to avoid any legal repercussions.
This process is called the Cure and Quit notice. This ensures the tenant is notified of their wrongdoing, they had time to correct their mistake, and they were first given the option to leave of their own free will.
Always hand out this notice by attaching it to their door, mailing it, or emailing it (if you have your tenant’s email address).
Are there exceptions to the Cure and Quit notice? Only if the landlord can prove the tenant is a threat and they must be evicted immediately. The landlord will still have to file a notice with the court.
File Your Eviction Notice
In most states, such as California, a landlord can only file an eviction notice if the tenant has not corrected their wrongdoings and hasn’t voluntarily moved out.
You file the lawsuit with the courthouse and the courts will notify you and the tenant of the court date.
You have to let the tenant continue to live on your property until the court date — even if the date is several months in advance.
At court, you must provide proof of your tenant’s wrongdoing and you sent them the Cure and Quit notice.
Bring all documents regarding your tenant, including their rent payment records, their lease contract, and any communication you had with the tenant.
If you win your case, the local law enforcement will escort your tenant out.
Avoid an Unlawful Eviction With a Property Management Team
Every landlord endures bad tenants. But it’s important you don’t face an unlawful eviction that can get you in trouble.
As a landlord, screening tenants for your property is difficult. But proper screening methods will ensure you only bring in the most reliable tenants. That’s why you need a property management company at your side.
Take a look at our tenant screening and other leasing services.