Owning rental property can be lucrative, but it also comes with its own set of risks. Two of the most significant risks that you may face include dealing with tenants who do not pay their rent and tenants who damage the property. If you are thinking about evicting a tenant due to one or both of these issues, keep reading.
Review the Lease
The first thing you should do is review the lease to determine if you have a justified reason for evicting the tenant. The lease may dictate specific steps you must take before beginning the eviction process, such as providing the tenant with notice or billing the tenant for damages that he or she has caused. The lease will also help determine your best course of action from this point.
Discuss the Matter With the Tenant
An eviction can be time-consuming and expensive. Although it may seem easy enough to remove the tenant from the property, you may still face the expense of lost rental income and property repairs. Ideally, you will be able to reach an agreement with the tenant that is in both of your best interests, such as setting up a payment plan for the repair costs. However, eviction should still be an option that you consider if the tenant has violated the lease. This is especially true if you believe the tenant will continue to violate the lease in the future.
Understand the Eviction Process in Your State
Each state has unique eviction laws and processes. For example, you may not be able to start the eviction process in some states until you give a written notice or until the tenant is at least two or three weeks late on rent payments. You must follow the laws regarding eviction carefully to avoid being the target of legal action by the tenant if you violate his or her rights.
Seek Legal Guidance
There are various steps in the eviction process in most states. This may include posting notices, filing forms with the court, and more. This process can be time-consuming and confusing if you are not familiar with it. Consider hiring a lawyer to assist in this process and to ensure that your legal rights are protected.
While evicting a tenant can be expensive and stressful, it’s an inevitable gauntlet for every landlord. Thoroughly vetting new tenants by reviewing their income level, work history and tenant history can help reduce your risk of having to deal with this type of issue in the future.