Evicting a Tenant: A Step-by-Step Guide

While evicting a tenant can be very stressful, knowing the necessary steps can eliminate much of the frustration and fear that new owners often face. With that in mind, always make sure you follow your lease to the letter and enforce it by your tenants; Failure to do so can result in your tenants taking advantage of you and potentially wasting a lot of money and time.

Step-by-step guide to evicting a tenant:

  1. First, you will want to have a good understanding of both your lease and local laws. Of course, your lease must comply with all local laws and you must put all the terms in writing according to how the lease will occur. Generally, a basic lease will not include many important specific clauses that will save you headaches at some point. Be sure to enlist the help of a competent real estate attorney in drafting your leases to cover your bases. Some of the most common reasons for eviction include non-payment of rent and other violations of your lease.
  2. You must ensure that you provide the tenant with adequate written notice that you intend to terminate their tenancy by means of an Eviction Notice; Of course, procedures may vary depending on your location, so be sure to follow state and / or local laws.
  3. If the tenant has not followed the terms of the Eviction Notice, either by moving out of the premises or by correcting any problem contained therein, it will be time to file an eviction complaint. Take great care to keep detailed documentation of all paperwork that you have given to the tenant and other information, including payment records, photographic evidence of damage done, repair bills, copies of any eviction notices, etc. If you have never evicted a tenant before, the best course of action would be to hire a real estate eviction attorney.

IMPORTANT NEWS: NEVER perform a “self-help” eviction, doing things to try to evict your tenant, such as cutting off the electricity or water, changing the locks, disposing of your property, or making the property uninhabitable, as these actions will not be kindly reflected soon!

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