How to Evict a Tenant: A Step-by-Step Guide

Strong tenant-landlord relationships require respect, communication, and honesty. It’s no secret that property managers would rather keep tenants that are respectful, reasonable, responsible and clean. Nevertheless, over time you will encounter a tenant that possesses none of the above traits, and you have no other option but to evict them.

Step One:
Be clear and concise. Usually, the reason for eviction can fall under two groupings. The first being when tenants fail to uphold the agreed contract terms. Breaking the rules, late or no rent payment, illegal activity and damaging the property are all examples of failing to honour most basic agreed contract terms for rental property. The second reason for eviction may be because the property owners want to do renovations, move in or to sell the property. There has to be an apparent reason communicated as to why you are evicting your tenants.

Step Two:
Keep composure. It always pays to speak with your tenants before you begin the eviction process. If you communicate privately and can come to an agreement, many of the hassles related to the eviction process will be eliminated. As mentioned in step one, explain your situation clearly and state why you cannot continue to rent the property to them. Remember, this is an informal off-record chat if the renter remains unreasonable, then the next step is a formal eviction letter.

Step Three:
Don’t be a superhero. No matter how infuriating the situation, do not enter your tenant’s property, move their belongings or change the locks to force them out. If you are evicting for a legitimate reason, the justice system will always be on your side if you have done things systematically and within the law. Remember, there are a lot of risks involved when you are renting out a property, staying on top of things requires you to use a clear-headed, systematic approach to all of your properties tenants.

Step Four:
Once it’s clear there is no other available option, you must serve your tenant with a notice in writing stating that they need to vacate the premises. Follow proper eviction rules and guidelines for your region. The tenants need to know why they are being evicted, have a move out date set as well as a date that all outstanding expenses must be settled. Type, sign, and date the form. Don’t forget that different boards and buildings may have various processes for removing tenants. It’s crucial you follow community guidelines and rules when evicting tenants to ensure you don’t encounter speed bumps down the line. Place the letter in your tenant’s letterbox, send via mail or deliver it in person. Remember, most tenant agreement acts require you to give 24 hours notice minimum before arriving at a tenants house.

Step Five:
In the rare case that the moveout date has passed and the property has not been vacated you will have to visit your local courthouse and file eviction papers. This process will entail a small fee, and an assigned clerk will schedule a hearing and will summon the tenant. Make sure you bring all relevant paperwork to present to the judge if you have followed the above steps this final step should ensure that your property will become vacant.

It’s no secret that being a property manager means you engage with all walks of life; everyone has met their fair share of frustrating tenants. This step by step guide is aimed to offer your tenants multiple options, notices, and warning as possible before having to go to the extreme of taking a tenant to court. In most cases, if you play by the book as mentioned at various stages throughout this guide you should have no problem evicting a problem tenant and moving forward with your property.

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