Eviction can be a messy and costly process. That’s why few landlords, if any, would rush with a decision to evict a tenant even if the relationship they have is far from perfect. Additionally, evicting a tenant for personal or unlawful reasons may warrant a retaliatory legal action initiated by the tenant. Even if a landlord feels like they have all the reason to proceed with the eviction, a threat of a lawsuit may make them think twice before going through with it.
Nevertheless, a troublesome tenant can negatively influence a landlord’s reputation, cause financial losses, and even become a threat to other occupants of the building. If you are a landlord, you should be aware that the law protects your rights and offers a framework for lawful evictions of extremely troublesome tenants. In our August blog, we offered some suggestions on how to stay out of legal trouble when evicting a tenant. This month, we will explore some reasons why eviction may actually be the only way to solve problems in a building that you own.
Tenant Repeatedly Failed to Pay Rent and Accumulated Debt
Most landlords are reasonable when faced with a tenant who has encountered a financial struggle and is unable to pay rent for a month or makes the payment a little late. Many such issues can be resolved thanks to good will shown by both parties. However, a repeated, unapologetic non-payment of rent is a lease violation and a financial hazard that few landlords can and are willing to afford. A landlord must remember, however, that they are obliged to deliver an eviction notice to the tenant with a 3 or 5-day notice period (depending on the property) before initiating further action.
Tenant Caused Major Damage to the Property
Normal wear and tear is not a lawful reason to initiate an eviction. However, intentional and extensive damage to the property can negatively influence its value and entail financial losses to the landlord, at the very least those related to repair costs. Similarly, a tenant cannot make significant changes or repairs to the property without a landlord’s permission or if such changes are not covered in the lease agreement. Both damaging the property and making illegal changes may constitute a lease violation, and are good reasons to start an eviction. However, if a tenant commits to repairing the damage and actually makes the repairs, the reason may cease to be valid.
Tenant Engages in Illegal Use of the Property
Illegal use of the property may entail engaging in some illegal activity on the property, but it can also mean using the property for business purposes even if the business itself is legal. If the property you are renting is residential, operating a business or commercial activities out of it may be illegal. Before taking eviction action on the basis of this reason, it is best to consult all the details and circumstances involved with an eviction attorney.
Ready to Evict a Tenant? Seek Legal Advice First
Taking care of all the legal aspects of an eviction may be stressful, but it’s even more nerve-wracking if the matter ends up in court. That’s why before taking this drastic step, you should make sure you have a trusted legal professional at your side. At Atlas Law, our attorneys have ample experience in handling complicated eviction cases. We will gladly help you make sure you stay out of trouble while protecting your property and financial interests. Contact us without delay to discuss your legal options.