How to Evict a Tenant

Learn the proper way to Evict a Tenant at

When you research how to evict a tenant, remember that eviction is a legal procedure. Remember to protect yourself by documenting every step you take during tenant eviction. It is good business practice to automatically notify a tenant immediately when they are in arrears on their rental payment or have violated the terms of your lease agreement. Keep a copy of any letters or notices sent in the process of evicting tenants.

Learning how to evict a tenant includes giving notice to the tenant by certified mail with return receipt requested. Your tenant eviction notice is considered a legal notice of eviction in some states and should generally contain the basic information required by the laws of the state in which the property is located. When evicting a tenant, use a notice wherein you set out your position and your requirements to protect you and use if you have to go to court. If you want the tenant to vacate the premises, be sure to include the date by which they must vacate. Visit this page for a sample eviction template.

Information on how to evict a tenant should include the notice required by law whether you are dealing with a problem tenant, the end of the lease or you simply plan on using the property for another purpose. You must notify your tenant of tenant eviction before you can start an eviction action in court. When evicting a tenant, you need to include the following with the notice at a minimum: the address of the property; the date of the lease or rental agreement; the landlord’s name and address; the name of all the tenants being served, along with the phrase “any unknown persons residing on the property”.

To determine how to evict a tenant when the tenant refuses to pay rent because of a maintenance issue, you need to check the local laws that pertain to rental payment withholding. In some states, it is permissible for a tenant to withhold rental payments until repairs of conditions that create dangerous conditions on the property which makes tenant eviction impossible.

The most important part of learning how to evict a tenant, is to make sure that anything you put in writing conforms with the laws of the state in which the property is located. In some states, a tenant eviction notice alone may suffice, however, laws vary from state to state and sometimes within your state if the property is rent controlled. It is helpful to contact the office of the State Attorney General of the state where the property is located and obtain copies of the Land Lord and Tenant Act for that state for the laws on evicting a tenant.

If you send a Notice of Eviction and receive notification from the post office that the notice has not been delivered because the tenant did not accept or sign the certified notice, the return receipt is usually sufficient for tenant eviction. You may have to take your tenant to court and if that is the case, you can get advice on how to evict a tenant from the community of real estate management experts at Tenant eviction must be accomplished in accordance with the provisions of the court that has jurisdiction. Usually, you will pay a filing fee to the Court and in some jurisdictions, a fee to the agency that personally serves the Notice to Appear in court for the hearing for evicting a tenant. In some states, you can send the notice evicting tenants by certified mail in lieu of personal service.

While you are waiting for a tenant eviction court date, you must NOT do any of the following:

  1. change the locks
  2. remove the tenant’s personal property
  3. lock the tenant out
  4. physically remove the tenant or confront the tenant in any way
  5. shut off the utilities
  6. enter the premises whether the tenant is present or not

Information on how to evict a tenant includes what to do if the tenant does not appear for the eviction hearing. If you obtain an Order of Eviction from the Court, there will be a specific date by which the tenant must vacate the premises. If the tenant does not vacate, an officer of the court, usually a sheriff’s deputy or police officer will serve the notice on the tenant. It is advisable for you to meet the officer at the property with a locksmith so that you can change the lock at that time. The officer will assist with evicting a tenant and, in the event the tenant is not present, will search for any animals that will need to be removed by animal control officers. If the tenant leaves furniture or personal property, you can remove it. Many states require that you store the tenant’s property for a period of time. If the tenant wants to redeem the property within the legal time frame, the tenant must reimburse the landlord for moving and storage expenses. If the tenant fails to redeem the property, you can sell it. Part of how to evict a tenant includes asking the court for a judgment for property damage and repairs that are over and above normal wear and tear but you usually have to provide some evidence of the damage. If you find damages when you enter the premises after an eviction, be sure to take photographs. It is also a good idea to take photos of the condition of any personal property that is left behind by the tenant.

When you study how to evict a tenant, understand that evictions can be emotionally charged and unpleasant experiences. It is recommended that you keep careful records of telephone or personal conversations and put anything you want to communicate to your tenant in writing. If in doubt about anything concerning how to evict a tenant, it is recommended that you get the advice of an attorney familiar with real estate law. The tenant screening process offered by will greatly reduce the probability that you will have this issue with a tenant.

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