The Eviction Process

It has been six months since you said these words, “I’m so happy! I just filled my apartment with a tenant.”  Now you have come to the realization that you probably should have screened them a little better.  You now have a huge problem… they are not paying your rent!  What do you do now?  You begin the eviction process.  There are several steps you will have to take in order to remove someone from your property. Some of the key steps you will have to take are.

1.       Make sure you are evicting your tenants for the right reasons.  The Fair Housing Act of 1968 states that you will not discriminate against anyone on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, familial status, pregnant women, handicap, and people securing custody of children under the age of 18. (http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/fair_housing_equal_opp/FHLaws)

 

2.       Be sure to check the laws on the county, as well as state level. A lot of counties have specific rules that must be followed.  You can find these rules under the landlord and tenant sections of their civil code.  A common rule to know is that you cannot be retaliating against someone. Reasons to evict someone are refusal to vacate at the end of a lease term, nonpayment of rent, or violating any condition of the original lease agreement.

 

3.       All states will have a time frame for you to post a written notice for your tenant.  Most of the time, you’re going to be looking at between two weeks and thirty days.  You must state the reason for the eviction and the date they must leave by.  You will also need to include an option giving them a way to restore their good standing and avoid the eviction. Some states do not require an option if the eviction is the result of one or more lease agreement violations. Once again, make sure to check your state and county laws.

 

4.       The next step is to get the law involved.  It’s never fun when you have to go to this next step, but it is definitely recommended.  You will have to go to your local court and start an Unlawful Detainer or Dispossess Lawsuit.  You will need the following items when you go to court:

 

a.       Lease Agreement

b.      Copy of Rent checks paid

c.       Copy of Rent invoices

d.      Written Notice

e.      Any evidence you have

 

5.       You have two choices in serving your tenant.  The first is to have someone serve him in person.  It may be difficult as they know it is coming at this point.  Another way to serve them is to send the notice through certified mail and have it posted on the property.

 

6.       If your tenants do not leave after the judgment is placed against them, you will have to file a Writ of Possession.  After that your local authority is eligible to enforce the eviction.

 

 

Being a landlord certainly has its ups and downs.  One day you may be so happy because you think you have made a good choice in placing a tenant.  The next day you may be pulling your hair out over the loss of time, money, and effort spent into removing that same tenant.  Make sure you are screening your tenants properly.  We ALWAYS recommend running an eviction search to make sure they have not been evicted before.  Remember the Idiom: ‘Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice… Shame on me.’

 

Has this happened to any of you?  Is their something else we should be aware of?

 

Let us know,

Accurate Credit Bureau

 

 

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