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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 not familiar with the eviction process or want to learn when you can (and can’t) evict a renter. The top reasons landlords evict tenants, as well as the processes involved in the eviction process, will be discussed in this blog post.

Understanding Just Cause

Among the first things, all Houston Heights 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 measures would be in violation of the rights of your tenant.

It is necessary to have “just cause” to evict a tenant. Just cause implies you have a lawful reason to evict the tenant for things like property damage, violating the lease terms, or nonpayment of rent Apart from “just cause”, you cannot legally evict a tenant.

Reasons You Can Evict

Unpaid rent is among the most common causes for landlords to evict tenants. 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. You can then file for eviction if the renter does not comply. Make it a priority to adhere to the conditions of the lease and all local and state laws.

Destruction of the property is another common ground for eviction. If property damage is beyond the usual wear and tear, you can issue a formal letter demanding repairs or leave the property. You can then file for eviction if the renter does not comply.

Likewise, the violation of other lease terms grants reasons for evicting a tenant. As an example, if your lease prohibits pets but your tenant is keeping a pet, you can serve an official letter asking the renter to get rid of the pet or leave the property. If the tenant continues to disobey, you may file for eviction. This applies to all the other conditions of the contract of 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 instance, it is not lawful to remove a renter just because they requested repairs to the property or complained about the rental unit’s condition. Further, you are restricted from forcibly removing a renter on the grounds of sex, familial situation, color, race, religion, disability, or national origin. It is not legal to evict a renter who belongs to these inviolable categories and you can expect to be sued if you attempt to do so.

The Eviction Process

There are a few procedures to conduct if you are in the awkward position of having to evict a tenant. The first thing to do is give formal notification to the tenant explaining the purpose for the eviction and the timeframe by which they must leave the property. Second, you will register an eviction petition with the court so that the tenant will be served. You can get a default judgment if the renter fails to show up for their court date. Finally, if the tenant refuses to go, you can have the legal authority in your area evict them.

While evicting a renter is never a positive experience, sometimes it is inevitable. The more you know about why you can (and can’t) evict a tenant, as well as the steps in the eviction process, the easier it will be for you to deal with this unfortunate situation.

You may need to talk to a property management professional if you are at risk of being evicted. Contact Real Property Management Affiliates to speak to a local rental property professional today at 713-429-0411.

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