Evicting a tenant isn’t an easy process. If you want to have your rental unit back, you will have to follow a strict legal procedure. Your country or state probably has its own specific rules for evicting, and you will have to familiarize yourself with those.
Otherwise, you could be forced to renew the process and can even face a penalty. If you want to stay on the safe side, here are some mistakes you should avoid making when trying to evict a tenant.
Not Giving Proper Notice
When you decide to file an eviction, the first thing you will need to do is present the tenant with a notice to quit. This will inform the tenant that you are initiating eviction proceedings and will provide them with a valid explanation for doing so.
Your reason will determine how far in advance you must notify your tenant. The time limit is usually regulated by the law in your state, so you must stick to it unless you want to start the process all over again.
Accepting Partial Payments
When you accept a partial rent payment rather than the entire amount, you may be giving up certain rights that could cause conflicts in the eviction process. The lawyers at https://www.samlaw.net/practice-areas/landlord-tenant-law/evictions/ recommend finding a resolution to any eviction dispute as early as possible. This could save you a lot of money and time.
Turning Off Utilities
No matter how upset you are with your tenant, there are some things you just can’t do as a landlord. For example, you can’t try to evict them by turning off their utilities. This will most likely be deemed constructive eviction, which is illegal.
It’s also considered harassment, and the tenant can file and win a separate lawsuit against you for this. You can either try to settle with them and convince them to leave or evict them by winning your eviction case in court.
Withholding Security Deposit
While rent payments that you receive are considered rightfully yours, the security deposits are not. You will need to hold in a separate account and return it to your tenant when they leave unless you have a valid reason not to. You can only withhold security deposits if you have proof of property damage done by the tenant.
This will need to be documented and presented to them along with the written eviction notice, so they would be aware of it. If you fail to do so, you risk the judge ordering you to return the tenant’s money despite the damage they have done.
Eviction can be a stressful process, but fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent a messy situation in the first place. You can screen potential tenants by looking for evictions on their records.
Always sign a residential lease agreement that includes each party’s obligations and the terms of the eviction process. If eviction becomes inevitable, you can make your life a lot easier by not making some of these common mistakes.