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How to evict bad tenants!

Whether it is because of late rent payments or because of damage to your property, sometimes it is sometimes necessary to evict tenants.  S.E.H. Consulting and Shuana D Crowden can assist you with the process.  If you have a 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom or an FBI (Four bedroom Investment) property the process is still the same.

There are several different types of notices that landlords can serve tenants, depending upon the reason for eviction.  An eviction notice must first be served properly and the tenant must have failed to comply, pay or vacate within the specified timeframe.  This must happen before the landlord can begin the eviction court process by serving you an “unlawful detainer” eviction lawsuit, called a Summons & Complaint.  This is not a complete list but most common notices to vacate are:

  1. 3-day notice to pay or vacate
  2. 10-day notice to comply with the terms of the rental agreement or vacate
  3. 3-day notice for waste or nuisance
  4. 20-day notice to terminate tenancy (a “no cause” notice)

These notices are indicators that the landlord is going to initiate an unlawful detainer action against a tenant if you do not respond within the time limit.  The landlord must attempt personal service of the eviction notice (give it to the tenant personally) or the landlord may leave it with another person of suitable age and discretion who resides there, or if no one is suitable age and discretion is there, post it on the door, provided it is also sent in the mail.  If the notice is posted on the door and sent in the mail, don’t count the day it was served in the timeframe.  Weekends are included in the notice days.  The landlord may personally deliver the notice to a tenant.  It does not have to be delivered by the sheriff or notarized in order to be valid. S.E.H Consulting can help you to move through that process so that it is not headache for you.  Let us assist you with managing your properties as well as tenant vacation rates so that the stress is transferred to a professional who is trained to handle managing your property.

There may be a brief period at the very beginning of the eviction in which tenants can negotiate directly with their landlord to stop the eviction.  It is very important that any agreement you come to with your tenant be in writing, signed and dated by both parties if possible.

In order to win in court against an eviction for non-payment of rent, the tenant must be able to establish that they do not owe the rent the landlord is trying to collect.  It is very important that the property owner and landlord keep accurate records of rental receipts that are preferably signed by the tenant and the landlord for each payment made.  A 3-day pay or vacate notice does not mean that the tenant has to vacate the premises within three days.  Eviction is a court process and the landlord cannot have you removed from the premises until a court order has been issued.  There are very few ways to stop an eviction for non-payment of rent, if you actually owe the money, besides paying your rent in full within the three-day timeframe.  Always avoid taking cash, but if you do, the law requires that a receipt for all cash payments be provided.  A landlord must accept the rent payment if it is made in full and paid within the 3-day timeframe, and will no longer be able to proceed with the eviction.  If the tenant makes a partial payment or pays after the timeframe the landlord may still be able to proceed with the eviction.  Some landlords won’t accept any money until after the court process is complete.  S.E.H Consulting and Shauna D Crowden Hunter can help you by collecting the rent for you, visiting the tenant and making sure they are complying with the terms of the rental agreement.

There are no exceptions in the law for people with young children, or people who have lost their jobs or have been met with other unexpected loss of income or personal tragedies.  The law does not allow tenants to withhold rent because of unmade repairs (except in limited cases), complaints against the landlord, or money the landlord owes the tenant.

The landlord may serve a 10-day notice to comply or vacate to a tenant who is violating or accused of violating a section of the rental agreement. The notice should list which section of the rental agreement is being violated, and give the tenant 10 days to come into compliance with that section. If the tenant is not complying after the 10-day timeframe, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process. The notice expires after 60 days.

It is important for tenants to respond to the 10-day notice in writing stating that they are or will be in compliance with the rental agreement. It is a good idea to include all written documentation possible to support the claim. For example, if your landlord sends you a 10-day notice to remove unauthorized pets from the unit, you can send the landlord a letter explaining the situation and documentation to show how you are in compliance.

Or, you may also decide to vacate the unit within the 10-day time frame instead of complying with the term of the lease. If you vacate, your landlord cannot bring an unlawful detainer action against you, and you will not have an eviction on your record, but you will be held responsible for the consequences associated with breaking your lease or vacating without giving proper notice.

If you disagree that your landlord’s claim that you were out of compliance, you can write a letter back to the landlord requesting they rescind the notice. It’s a good idea to back the letter up with evidence or documentation. For example, if you got a notice for a noise complaint, but had been out of town that week, you can provide proof that you were staying elsewhere during that time.

Call S.E.H. Consulting and setup a brief discussion regarding the types of properties you may have need to manage.  We can provide you with an assessment of your property that will give you an idea or some suggestions that would make owning rental property an easier or more efficient process.  Keep in mind that the more bedrooms you have, 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom or an FBI (Four-bedroom investment) property the process is the exact same. S.E.H. Consulting can work with you and any number of properties you may be vested in to make things easy.