Finding out that you have problem tenants is every property manager or landlord's nightmare. Being able to pay the mortgage or bills on the property as well as keeping the property rentable can be ruined by a few months of less than ideal tenants.
Tenant screening usually helps you to find the best tenants possible, but it's not always a guarantee. While having clear lease terms can also protect you from many situations with your tenants, there are those circumstances when you may need to start the eviction process.
If you are unsure of whether you can legally evict or how to evict them, this guide will offer you some basic counsel.
Do You Understand Your State Landlord-Tenant Laws?
State laws are in place to both protect the landlord and the renter. They can include security deposits, rent deadlines, landlord access, and tenant rights for lawsuits.
While every state has similar laws in regards to landlord-tenant agreements, they may have differences that matter. These may include reasons for eviction, how much notice you have to give, and what steps you have to follow to evict.
Understanding your state laws before you have to start the eviction process may help you to flag potential issues. Talking to your tenants when you first notice problems could lead to a better landlord-tenant relationship.
When Can You Evict?
If you are at a point where evicting tenants is needed, you must have a state-accepted reason to start the process. Among the basic accepted reasons are:
- Continually making late payments
- Missed rent payments
- Injury to others
- Multiple police reports
- Violating parts of the lease
- Excess damage to the home or property
Reasons that you cannot evict include retaliatory and discriminatory eviction.
If you try to evict your tenant because they reported you to a state department, began legal actions against you, or deducted maintenance fees from rent because they weren't taken care of by property management, this is considered retaliatory and won't hold up in court.
It is also illegal to discriminate in terms of race, sex, color, religion, family status, or disability.
Starting the Eviction Process
To start the eviction process, you need to serve a written notice and get proof of delivery. Check your state laws for exact requirements because it can lead to extensions for the tenants if not followed correctly.
The eviction notice should include the date the tenant must vacate the property, the amount they owe in fees and unpaid rent, and the date they need to respond to keep the process out of court.
Prepare for Court
If the tenant refuses to leave the property, you will need to file with the court. You must provide the eviction notice and delivery receipt, and there is a filing fee to pay as well.
Bring all documentation that will support your right to evict. These should include the original lease, bank records or receipts for payments, any written communication between you and the tenant, plus the documentation you already provided when you filed.
Once the judge has ruled to evict, you might need to contact your local law enforcement to remove the tenant.
Let Us Manage Your Property for You
While no landlord wants to start the eviction process, sometimes they have no other choice. Having property managers who can handle the task will give you peace of mind that your property is in good hands.
If you are looking for a property management company in the Denver, CO area, contact us to see what services we can offer you.