Ever property manager prefers a low-key tenant who pays rent on time. However, tenant behavior can be unpredictable, which sometimes forces landlords to have to deal with tenants they don't care for, but who haven't gone far enough awry of any laws to make for an easy eviction case. If you are dealing with troublesome tenants or simply want to protect yourself in the future, read the information below to get a better handle on how to respond to potential tenant problems.
Know What Category Applies
If you own a property, live in it and also rent out a room, the person who rents the space is technically known as a lodger and can be evicted with a 30 day notice. It's a good idea to have a signed lease describing this and all other applicable rules and laws.
If you own the property but do not live in the dwelling and instead rent it out, then your situation meets the classic definition of a landlord and tenant relationship.
If you are renting and have someone else temporarily living in a portion of the property, there is a burden of proof to show that the other tenant is not considered a roommate. If you are living in a roommate situation, it's easier to move out than to try and evict another roommate.
Have a Valid Reason
When filing to get rid of tenants, it's important to ensure you're doing so for the right reasons. Continually delinquent rent, damage to property and messiness to the point of a liability issue are all valid reasons.
It's important to note that getting rid of tenants in hopes of renting out your property for more money may not be considered a valid reason in court. For example, in the spring of 2014, the city of San Francisco sued several landlords for allegedly evicting long-term renters in order to rent units to vacationers and other short-term renters.
Hopefully, you were able to include provisions that describe grounds for eviction into the lease document. If any item described by the lease as a tenant obligation isn't lived up to, you can proceed to the warning process and eventually serve eviction papers if the matter is not taken care of to appropriate standards.
Don't make the lease one that renews automatically. Putting a reasonable time frame on leases gives you the opportunity to decide, along with the tenant, if you want to continue the relationship.
Inspect the property visually every six to 10 weeks and schedule an interior inspection every six months, if possible. This gives you a reasonable amount of face time with the people living in your dwelling and provides opportunities to clear up any misunderstandings about each party's obligations.
Understand the Eviction Process
There are three types of evictions. While the terminology may vary in different states and jurisdictions, they follow termination notices that are grouped into: notices to pay rent or quit, cure or quit notices, and unconditional quit notices. The first two can be resolved by the tenant, removing the threat of eviction. The third is a notice that the landlord no longer wishes to rent to the current occupants. The term unconditional means the tenant cannot remedy the situation and must leave. There are usually conditions that preclude an unconditional notice to quit.
Situations that can be classified as justifiable reasons for issuing a notice include: being chronically late with rent payments, seriously damaging the property or engaging in illegal activities on the property. Few judges would rule against an eviction for someone arrested for dealing drugs from the home. If you need to file an eviction notice, it's important to know how. You will need to be prepared to follow with an unlawful retainer filing.
Once you understand your rights and obligations, you can feel confident in moving ahead with renting out your property and dealing with concerns that arise down the line.
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