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Achieving a Successful Eviction

An Envelope with an “Eviction Notice” StampMost Chelsea property owners find evictions to be time-consuming and detrimental to monthly cash flows, so it is good to avoid them if you can. But if you are not able to settle your dispute directly with your tenant, it might be a good idea to get the eviction process started. Here are some ways to ensure that your eviction is a successful one.

Eviction is actually not the forcing of a tenant of the leased property. Rather, an eviction is a legal process by which a landlord or property owner regains possession of (or full legal rights to) the property. When you lease a property to a tenant, the lease documents legally assign both rights and responsibilities to you and your tenant. It is a legal contract. In order for that contract to be voided, the tenant has to agree to willingly vacate the property, or a corresponding legal process will be required.

The primary step of any eviction process is to understand the local Landlord/Tenant laws. While some federal laws apply to all situations, there are also different state and even local laws that you need to know. If you don’t follow all of the relevant laws, there is a chance that your eviction will fail, and you will need to start all over. For example, you will need to know how much advance notice you are required to give your tenant to remedy the lease violation, how long the grace period is for late payments, how many days you should give your tenant to vacate the property, and so on.

Knowing the law and how it applies to you, you can then move on to the next step which is to give your tenant a Pay or Quit or Notice of Lease Violation. This document is the official notice that also explains to your tenant that they are in violation of the lease. It also has to include instructions for the tenant to be in compliance with the lease again. Check to see if this notice should be sent by certified mail or any other required delivery method and that whatever stated actions or remedies follow all time periods required by law.

But what do you do in case your tenant does not respond to the notice or if they are unable or unwilling to return to compliance with their lease terms? A landlord– you– would then be within your rights to document the legal grounds for eviction and file a Forcible Detainer with the local court. Depending on your rental property’s location, the required documents could include both an Eviction Complaint and a Summons, both of which outline your case for eviction and inform the tenant of the action filed against them. You must file your form with the court and serve them to your tenant, either in person or by using the delivery method required by law.

Once you have filed a Forcible Detainer, the court will consider your case for eviction and issue a ruling. If the judge rules in your favor, they may also include instructions for the forcible removal of the tenant from the property, if required. If you do not have a judgment from the court, you are not allowed to evict a tenant who is unwilling to vacate the property.

Although the judgment is the legal end of the eviction process, for landlords, the final step is overseeing the removal of the tenant and their belongings from the property. In most states, landlords can ask for assistance from the local police, constable, or sheriff’s department to remove a tenant. Intimidation or harassment of a tenant is illegal in every state, and even a landlord with an eviction judgment in hand cannot do this. There are different laws in each state about how to handle the removal of a tenant and their personal belongings, so make sure to follow your area laws when you do so. A tenant could sue you, even after they have been legally evicted if you violated any of their rights. This could cause delays or even the overturning of your eviction judgment.

A successful eviction is a legal eviction that is handled carefully and is properly documented from beginning to end. But evictions are also very sensitive matters that require a lot of time as well as detailed knowledge of tenant-landlord laws. Why not let the Chelsea property management pros at Real Property Management Victory handle your eviction for you instead? Contact us online or call 205-793-0700 to learn more.

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