Evicting Bad Tenants: How to Avoid Legal Headaches

tenant with boxes

In the property rental business, bad tenants are the plague for many landowners. Sure, they have good relationships with them at times. But property business is a business, and missed rental payments are not ideal, especially when there are hopeful renters out there who can commit regular payments. Sometimes, evicting bad tenants is the best and the only course of action.

Evicting a delinquent tenant can be pretty challenging and could lead to legal troubles if you’re not too careful. Legal cases can be physical, mentally, and financially draining, which is an experience you can avoid.

If you’re not too sure how to go about evicting your non-paying tenants, here are some pointers you can follow:

Review relevant eviction laws and lease agreement

In the U.S., eviction laws differ from state to state, so you need to review them if you’re planning to send an eviction notice to the concerned tenant. You need to go over the lease agreement to make sure you have already considered every possible condition before pushing through with the eviction.

Also, keep in mind that you’re not supposed to hand in the actual rental notice in person. If your property is in New York, for example, a process server should be the one to serve the rent notice to the tenant.

Talk to them directly

tenants talking to ownerYou can also try talking with your problematic tenants and see if you can reason with them before you formally send the eviction notice. Sometimes, they have legitimate reasons for not making the required rental payments. Often, meeting them and discussing the matter in a public place like a coffee shop can help make the conversation easier and more civil.

But if they are still not cooperative or if you found several violations on your lease agreement, that’s the time you can choose to go the legal route and send the notice for rent.

File your eviction and prepare for the court hearing

When the notice has been served, the tenant has 14 days to make the necessary payment. When that lapses, you can now begin the eviction process by filing the petition at your local courthouse. After that, it’s best to prepare for a court hearing and ready all relevant documents like the lease agreement, payment records, and written notice provided to your tenant, among others.

If the court approves in your favor, that’s when the delinquent tenant should vacate your property in 48 hours to one week or so.

Any way you look at it, ejecting a tenant is not always easy. But as long as you do it legally, there should be nothing to worry about. As you’re running a business, you have the right to ask for regular rental payments and find better tenants who you can trust and rely on more.

Treat the eviction process as a learning experience and a chance to know how to operate a property business better. At least, you can screen for better prospective tenants now and what to consider when making future lease agreements.

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