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

Eviction Notice in an EnvelopeThere are several factors that contribute to a landlord’s success; one of the most critical is knowing when and how to evict a tenant. 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

All Manhattan property managers need to understand that eviction is a legal process in which you must seek a court order to remove a renter from your property You can’t even change the locks or dump a tenant’s belongings outside. Both of these measures would be in violation of the rights of your tenant.

It is crucial to have “just cause” in order to evict a tenant. Basically just cause means that you have the legal right to evict a tenant for infractions like property damage, nonpayment, or non-compliance to the terms of the lease. 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 does not pay their rent on time as per the agreement, you can serve them official notice that they have a fixed number of days to pay or vacate the property, as legally mandated by the state. If the tenant does not obey, you can apply for eviction. Make it a point to abide by the terms of the lease and any state and local laws that may apply.

An additional typical cause for eviction is property damage by the renter. If your renter has caused serious damage to the property that exceeds normal wear and tear, you can serve them with a memorandum to remedy the damage or remove themselves from the premises. You may apply for eviction if your renter refuses to cooperate.

Violation of other terms in the lease gives just cause for eviction as well. For instance, if your renter has violated the “no pet” clause in the lease by keeping a pet, a letter of warning may be given requiring the removal of the animal or vacating the premises. If the tenant chooses to disrespect the warning, you may file for eviction. The same holds true for all other lease-contract terms.

Reasons You Can’t Evict

Additionally, there are a few reasons why you cannot evict a renter, even though they have committed an act that would justify eviction. For example, you cannot evict a renter simply because they demanded maintenance to the property or grumbled about the rental unit’s quality. Furthermore, you may not evict a tenant based on their religion, national origin, disability, sex, race, familial situation, or color. These designated groups cannot legally be used for a cause for eviction, and attempting to do so may end in discrimination litigation.

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 need to file an eviction petition with the court and the tenant will be notified. You may be awarded a default judgment if the tenant does not appear on the scheduled 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.

If you’re worried about being evicted, it’s a good idea to talk to a professional about your options. Contact Real Property Management Bozeman to speak to a local rental property professional today at 406-586-2226.

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.