How to evict a tenant from your rental property?
Step 1: Check the local law first
Contact your local government or lawyer’s office to check the laws governing eviction proceedings in your jurisdiction Suggestion! If you are managing government-subsidized housing, check with local government for special regulations available for your case.
Step 2: Know your rights
Get to know all the reasons that are accepted by law for evicting a tenant, which include:
- violating the lease/agreement (pets, subletting, illegal use, etc);
- breaking noise, occupancy, safety problems;
- non-payment of rent;
- causing significant damage to property;
- health or safety hazards caused by the tenant.
- Landlords often do not need a reason to evict month-to-month tenants, and they can choose not to renew a tenant's lease without giving a reason.
Step 3: Don't evict on your own and take matters into your own hands
Do not attempt to evict your tenant by force, or try to get them to leave by cutting off their electricity, heat or water, changing their locks or taking their possessions. These “self-help” evictions are all illegal in most countries and you cannot do anything without a court order.
Step 4: Create a paper trail This is important
It’s useful to have your documentation in order, including a copy of the lease, written notices you have sent to the tenant concerning any problems, and any other proof to support your claim, like bounced rent checks or photos of property damage.
Send Notice to pay rent
Send Formal Notice to Terminate Rent
Send Notice to quit for Non-payment
Step 5: Give them fair notice
Let the tenant know in writing that you are planning to evict them if they don't pay their rent or correct a violation by a certain date. How much time you must give them varies from state to state. Suggestion: If you are evicting a month-to-month tenant without cause, make sure you are giving the advance notice required by local government, which is often in-between 20 to 90 days.
Step 6: Go to court
If the tenant hasn't addressed the problem within the time frame you mentioned, file an eviction notice with the local court. If the tenant does not reply within the number of days defined by the local court of law, you will win by default. If the tenant challenges the eviction procedure, this case may go to a hearing.
Send Formal Eviction Notice will be filed in Court
Step 7: Post a formal Eviction Notice
If you are in the situation you win the case, a representative of the court will post a notice on the tenant's door which is giving them a date they have to be moved out the premises, at which time the tenant and their possessions will be forcibly removed from the premises by the court representative if they haven’t vacated on their own when the deadline comes.
Important to mention in the Formal Eviction Notice:
- mention a deadline (date) to “pay rent or move out”;
- mention the amount owed (including all fees);
- you are typically required to post this notice within a certain number of days before filing the eviction paperwork with your local court;
- this document should be taped to their front door, and sent via Certified Mail service provider that can give you a Return receipt;
- make it easy on yourself – use a state-specific eviction form template;
- after all this, it's their turn to respond.
Send 7-day Eviction Notice letter
What happens if you might lose the case?
The negative side is, if the tenant wins the lawsuit, you will have to let them stay and also pay their legal costs of fighting the eviction, in most cases. So be sure to follow the law and leave a paper trail as mentioned above, before starting proceedings! Please note that if you take matters into your own hands, you will be on the wrong side of the law and will get yourself in big trouble.
To prevent yourself from all this, make sure you are following our guidelines and start leaving a paper trail by for example downloading our templates. We wish you good luck and truly hope we helped to save some of your time.