Laws vary from state to state, but when you add up the costs and time down of an eviction, the results are the same. Evictions are expensive to all landlords everywhere.
Preventative medicine (tenant screening) is the best way to reduce evictions. Thorough screening including credit checks, criminal checks and eviction reports can greatly reduce the likelihood of an eviction by identifying risky traits and characteristics in the prospect.
Sometimes, landlords may take all the steps necessary to screen a tenant and still be forced to evict the tenant. This could be anything from rules violations to refusal to pay rent.
When a landlord wants a tenant to move out, certain procedures must be followed. There are four types of common evictions under the law, each requiring a certain type of notice:
For not paying rent. If the tenant is even one day behind in rent, the landlord can issue a three day notice to pay or move out. If the tenant pays all the rent due within three days, the landlord must accept it and cannot evict the tenant. A landlord is not required to accept a partial payment. Accepting a partial payment negates the eviction process.
For not complying with the terms of the rental agreement. If a tenant is not complying with the rental agreement (for example, keeping a cat when the agreement specifies "no pets"), the landlord can give a ten-day notice to comply or move out. If the tenant remedies the situation within that time, the landlord cannot continue the eviction process.
For creating a "waste or nuisance." If a tenant destroys the landlord's property; uses the premises for unlawful activity including gang or drug-related activities; damages the value of the property; interferes with other tenant's use of the property; the landlord can issue a three-day notice to move out. The tenant must move out after receiving this type of notice. There is no option to stay and correct the problem.
For no cause. Except in some larger cities, landlords can evict month-to-month tenants without having or stating a particular reason, as long as the eviction is not discriminatory or retaliatory.
If the landlord wants a tenant to move out and does not give a reason, the tenant must be given a 20-day notice to leave. The tenant must receive the notice at least 20 days before the next rent is due.
The tenant can only be required to move out only at the end of a rental period (the day before a rental payment is due.) Usually, a 20-day notice cannot be used if the tenant has signed a lease. Check the specific rental documents to determine if a lease can be ended this way.
If the rental is being converted to a condominium, the tenant must be given a 90-day notice under most state laws.
The eviction process is something that is certainly to be avoided but something that must be understood and implemented when necessary. One