If you’re a landlord, you know that evictions are anything but pleasant, and they can leave you with a considerable amount of cost after the matter has been settled. But you can’t just throw someone out of your property without following certain procedures, and failing to do so can leave you with a lawsuit that could cost you more in the long run.
Before you start the eviction process, you first have to terminate the tenant’s lease, and it is simply a matter of giving him or her a written notice. There are certain regulations related to these types of notices, and they will vary from state to state.
There are different types of eviction notices, and each one of them is appropriate for a different type of situation. Not to mention, every state has its own set of regulations on how they are to be written and delivered.
Termination with Cause
There are certain notices you can use if you have cause to evict a tenant. These causes can be anything from failing to pay the rent to excessive property damage. The terms for these notices will vary, so it’s important to inform yourself on how your state refers to them.
There are three types of notices that result from the behavior or actions of a tenant:
- Pay rent or quit notice – This type of notice is for a tenant who has not paid his or her rent on time, or if he or she hasn’t paid at all. It informs the tenant that he or she must pay the rent, or he or she will have to move out.
- Cure or quit notice – This type of notice is for a tenant who has violated the terms of the lease. It can be anything from breaking a “no-pets clause” to making too much noise. It gives the tenant a certain amount of time to correct the behavior, or he or she will have to leave.
- Unconditional quit notice – This is the worst type of notice that a landlord can give, and it is only allowed in certain situations. It mandates the tenant to leave the property within a certain amount of days. An unconditional quit notice can only be given out if the tenant has repeatedly violated the terms of the lease, if he or she has been consistently late in paying the rent, or if he or she is involved in any illegal activity (such as drug dealing).
Of course, which one you use will depend on the circumstances surrounding the eviction.
Termination without Cause
These come in the form of 30-day or 60-day notices, and they are usually designed to end a month-to-month tenancy. Many states don’t allow these types of notices; and if they do, the landlord must give the tenant a legal reason for the eviction.
When it comes to evictions, tenants always have the right to defend themselves. This can add weeks or even months to the process, and the time in between can cost you. Your actions during this process will determine the outcome of the case, and failing to comply with certain legal obligations can cost you more in the long run.
The condition of the property can affect the outcome as well. If the property is uninhabitable, or if you failed to make certain repairs, that could easily work against you. Tenants may also claim that you are retaliating against them. So, regardless of the situation, you should make sure you conduct yourself in a courteous and professional manner.
Removing a Tenant
Even if you win an eviction lawsuit, it doesn’t mean that you can just throw them out into the street. There are certain procedures you have to follow, and failing to abide by them can get you into a lot of trouble.
You must hand it over to a law enforcement officer (such as a sheriff or marshal), and that person will give him or her a certain number of days before he or she is removed from the property.
Reasons for Eviction Laws
Unlike many other civil cases, evictions are resolved in a relatively short amount of time (usually in a few weeks). But because of what’s at stake, the courts have to make sure that the rights of a tenant are being protected throughout the entire process. They also want to make sure a tenant has a long enough notice for the eviction, and they also want to make sure he or she has enough time to respond.
Working with a Real Estate Attorney
When it comes to evictions, anything you say or do can affect the outcome of the case, and it could cost you more in the long run. So, consulting with a real estate attorney can be a valuable resource that could save you a great deal of time and frustration. So, get in touch with us today to find out how we can help you!