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Tenant Eviction: The Do’s and Don’ts

Eviction notice on door of house with brass door knob. Fictitious address, ID, signature and 555 phone number for fictional usage.Being a successful landlord necessitates a variety of skills, one of which is knowing when and how to evict a tenant. Overall, understanding why you can and cannot evict a tenant lets you be a legal and responsible landlord whilst also protecting tenant rights and upholding a peaceful landlord-tenant relationship.

Understanding Just Cause

One thing all property owners should know right away is that eviction is a legal process that requires a court order to remove the tenant from your property. Understanding the legal grounds for eviction allows you to comply with local, state, and federal regulations that govern landlord-tenant relationships. Without enough legal reason, evicting a renter might result in legal consequences such as fines or lawsuits.

To evict a tenant, you must have what is known as “just cause.” Just cause eviction statutes require that you have a legal justification to evict the tenant, such as nonpayment of rent, property damage, or violation of the lease terms. You cannot evict a tenant unless you have just cause.

Reasons You Can Evict

Nonpayment of rent is one of the most prevalent reasons landlords evict tenants. If your renter fails to pay their rent on time, you can tell them in writing that they have a certain number of days to pay or leave the land, which is what the state law requires. If the renter doesn’t follow the rules, you can file to get rid of them. Just make sure to follow the rules of your lease and any state or local laws that might apply.

Damage to property is another common reason to kick someone out. If your tenant has done major damage to the property that goes beyond normal wear and tear, you can give them a written notice telling them to fix the damage or leave the property. If the renter doesn’t follow the rules, you can file to get rid of them.

A roommate can also be kicked out if they break other parts of their lease. If your contract says that pets aren’t allowed, and your tenant has one, you can give them a written notice to get rid of the pet or leave the property. If the renter doesn’t follow the rules, you can file to get rid of them. All other lease terms are the same.

Reasons You Cannot Evict

Even if a renter has done something that would seem to warrant eviction, there are a few more reasons why you can’t evict. For example, you cannot remove a tenant because they have requested that you make repairs to the property or have complained about the rental unit’s circumstances. Furthermore, you cannot evict a tenant because of their race, color, religion, national origin, gender, familial situation, or disability. These protected classifications cannot lawfully be used as the reason for an eviction, and attempting to do so may result in a discrimination lawsuit.

Carrying Out an Eviction

To ensure a seamless, legal tenant eviction, follow the proper steps. To begin the eviction procedure, the tenant must receive a well worded written notice stating the justifiable reasons for eviction and a clear and unambiguous date for vacating the premises. To start the eviction procedure, file an eviction petition with the right court and serve the renter. You can get a default judgment if the tenant doesn’t show up to court. If the tenant won’t go, your jurisdiction may be able to evict them.

Evicting a renter is difficult yet necessary in property management. By understanding the reasons for permissible and impermissible tenant eviction and the stages of the eviction process, you can reduce legal risks and create a fair and considerate residential environment for all stakeholders.


If you find yourself in a precarious eviction predicament, it would be prudent to seek guidance from a seasoned property management specialist for invaluable insights and recommendations. Looking to connect with a rental property expert in your area? Reach out to your nearby Real Property Management office for prompt assistance. Contact us now to speak with a knowledgeable local professional who can provide you with the guidance you need. Don’t hesitate – get in touch today!

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