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The Reasons You Can (and Can’t) Evict a Tenant

Eviction Notice in an EnvelopeKnowing when and how to evict a tenant is one of the most crucial aspects of being a successful landlord. If you’re unfamiliar with the eviction process or are unsure when (and when not) to evict a renter, continue reading! We’ll go through the most common reasons landlords evict tenants, as well as the stages involved in the eviction process, in this blog post.

Understanding Just Cause

One of the very first things all Aiea property managers ought to know is that eviction is a legal process that demands a court order to remove a tenant from your property. Simply changing the locks or throwing the renter’s belongings on the curb cannot be done. These two actions would violate your tenant’s rights.

To expel a tenant, you must have “just cause.” Simply put, just cause means that you have a lawful basis to evict the tenant, including non-payment of rent, property damage, or violation of the lease terms. Without “just cause”, you cannot evict a tenant legally.

Reasons You Can Evict

Nonpayment of rent is one of the most prevalent reasons landlords evict tenants. If your tenant does not pay their rental fees, you can give them formal notice that they have a specific amount of days to pay or leave the property, as the state legally requires. You can begin the eviction process if the tenant does not act accordingly. Be sure that you comply with the stipulations of the lease agreement and any state and local laws that may apply.

Damage to the property is another typical ground for eviction. You can give your tenant a formal notice to repair the damage or vacate if they have caused serious damage to the property beyond usual wear and tear. If the tenant continues to disobey, you may file for eviction.

Breaking other terms in the lease agreement provides more reasons for evicting a renter. For instance, if your renter has a pet and your lease prohibits pets, you can serve them with a written notice to quit the property or remove the animal. Refusal on the tenant’s part to cooperate means you may legally file for eviction. The same is true for all other lease terms.

Reasons You Can’t Evict

There are also situations where you cannot evict a tenant even if they have done something worthy of eviction. As an example, a tenant cannot be evicted simply because they desired certain repairs to the property or have become irritable over the condition of the unit. Additionally, you are prohibited from evicting a renter on the basis of their race, color, religion, national origin, sex, familial situation, or disability. These shielded classes cannot lawfully be used as a reason for eviction, and attempting to do so may result in a discrimination lawsuit.

The Eviction Process

If you find yourself in the unfortunate circumstance of having to evict a renter, there are a few procedures you must follow. To begin, you must serve a written notice on the tenant specifying the basis for the eviction and the date by which they must depart the premises. You must then file an eviction petition with the court and have the renter served. If the renter fails to appear at their scheduled court date, you may win a default judgment in your favor. Lastly, if the renter refuses to leave, you can have the lawful authority in your community evict them.

Although forcibly removing a tenant is never a nice experience, sometimes it is unavoidable. You’ll be prepared to face this tough circumstance if you understand why you can (and can’t) evict a renter, as well as the various processes in the eviction procedure.

Seeking the advice of an expert in property management is the best thing if you are faced with possible eviction. Contact Real Property Management Alliance to speak to a local rental property professional today at 808-445-9500.

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.