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

Eviction Notice in an EnvelopeBeing a successful landlord necessitates a variety of skills, one of which is knowing when and how to evict a renter. Read on if you’re unfamiliar with the eviction process and want to know when you can (and can’t) evict a renter. We’ll go through the main reasons landlords evict renters, as well as the processes involved in the eviction process, in this blog post.

Understanding Just Cause

Among the first things all Summerville property managers should know is that eviction is a legal process requiring a court order to eject a tenant from your property. You can’t just change the locks or throw a tenant’s possessions out the window. Both of these actions would violate the rights of your tenant.

You need “just cause” to evict a tenant. The just cause indicates you have a legal justification to evict the tenant, such as property damage, non-payment of rent, or a breach of the lease terms. You can’t evict a tenant unless you have “just cause”.

Reasons You Can Evict

A common reason why landlords evict tenants is due to nonpayment of rent. If your tenant somehow doesn’t pay their rent on time, you can give them formal notice that they have a certain number of days to pay or vacate the property, as required by state law. If the tenant fails to comply, you may lawfully file for eviction. Make it a priority to adhere to the conditions of the lease and all local and state laws.

Property damage is another causative factor for eviction. If property damage is beyond the usual wear and tear, you can issue a formal letter demanding repairs or leave the property. If the tenant continues to disobey, you may file for eviction.

A tenant may be evicted for breaking other terms in the contract of the lease as well. If your lease forbids pets, for example, and your renter has a pet, you may issue a formal letter to remove the pet or leave the property. Refusal on the tenant’s part to cooperate means you may legally file for eviction. This same procedure applies to all the terms written in the lease.

Reasons You Can’t Evict

Furthermore, there are some reasons why you cannot evict a renter, even though they have perpetrated an action that would merit eviction. For example, you cannot legally evict a tenant just because they asked for fixes to the property or objected to the rental unit’s condition. Also, it is unlawful to evict a tenant based on color, religion, race, familial situation, national origin, disability, or sex. 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 wind up in the unfortunate situation of needing to remove a renter, there are some actions you will need to perform. For starters, you will deliver a notice in writing to the tenant detailing the reason for the eviction and the deadline by which they must vacate the premises. After that, you’ll have to submit an eviction petition with the state court and the renter will be informed. You can get a default judgment if the renter fails to show up for their court date. Finally, if the tenant refuses to leave the property, you can have the legal authorities in your area remove them.

While evicting a tenant is never a pleasant experience, it is sometimes unavoidable. You’ll be better equipped to deal with this difficult circumstance if you know why you can (and can’t) evict a renter and the processes involved in the eviction process.

You may need to talk to a property management professional if you are at risk of being evicted. Contact Real Property Management Charleston to speak to a local rental property professional today at 843-900-4061.

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