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Achieving a Successful Eviction

An Envelope with an “Eviction Notice” StampMost Homestead property owners usually avoid evictions as these are often time-consuming and really bad for monthly cash flows. But if settling your dispute directly with your tenant is not possible, you might have to begin the eviction process. This article discusses ways to ensure that your eviction is a successful one.

Contrary to what many people believe, eviction isn’t the forcing of a tenant of the leased property. Rather, an eviction is a legal process by which a landlord or property owner regains possession of (or full legal rights to) the property. When you lease a property to a tenant, the lease documents legally assign both rights and responsibilities to you and your tenant. It is a legal contract. In order to void that contract, your tenant has to agree to willingly vacate the property, or a corresponding legal process will be needed.

In any eviction process, the first step is always understanding the Landlord/Tenant laws in your area. While some federal laws apply to all situations, there are also different state and even local laws that you need to know. Not following all of the relevant laws could be a reason that your eviction will fail. For example, you will need to know how much advance notice you are required to give your tenant to remedy the lease violation, how long the grace period is for late payments, how many days you should give your tenant to vacate the property, and so on.

When you know how the law applies to you, the next step is to give your tenant a Pay or Quit or Notice of Lease Violation. This document serves as an official notice to your tenant telling them they are in violation of the lease. The document should also contain instructions the tenant can follow to be in compliance with the lease once more. If required, you have to send the notice by certified mail or other required delivery methods. You also have to ensure that any stated actions or remedies follow all time periods required by law.

What should a landlord do if the tenant does not respond to the notice or if they are still unable or unwilling to return to compliance with their lease terms? Then, your next course of action would be to document your legal grounds for eviction and file a Forcible Detainer with the local court. Depending on the location of your rental property, the required documents could include both an Eviction Complaint and a Summons. These documents outline your case for eviction as well as inform the tenant of the action filed against them. You must file your form with the court and serve them to your tenant, either in person or by using the delivery method required by law.

Once you have filed a Forcible Detainer, the court will consider your case for eviction and issue a ruling. If the judge rules in your favor, they may also include instructions for the forcible removal of the tenant from the property, if required. Without a judgment from the court, you can’t evict a tenant who is unwilling to vacate the property.

Although the judgment is the legal end of the eviction process, for landlords, the final step is overseeing the removal of the tenant and their belongings from the property. In many states, the local police, constable, or sheriff’s department can assist landlords in the removal of a tenant. Even with an eviction judgment, it is illegal in every state for a landlord to intimidate or harass a tenant. Every state also has different laws regarding the removal of a tenant as well as how their personal belongings should be handled. Make sure you follow your local laws about these. A tenant could sue you, even after they have been legally evicted if you violated any of their rights. This could cause delays or even the overturning of your eviction judgment.

A successful eviction is a legal eviction that is well-handled and fully documented from start to finish. But evictions are also very sensitive matters that require a lot of time as well as detailed knowledge of tenant-landlord laws. Why not let the Homestead property management pros at Real Property Management Genesis handle your eviction for you instead? Contact us online or call 786-744-5700 to learn more.

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