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Achieving a Successful Eviction

An Envelope with an “Eviction Notice” StampEvictions are usually time-consuming and bad for monthly cash flows, so Kendall property owners have good reason to avoid them. But if settling your dispute directly with your tenant is not possible, you might have to begin the eviction process. Here are some tips to ensure that your eviction will be successful.

Unlike what the majority think, eviction is not the action of forcing a tenant of the leased property. Rather, an eviction is a legal process by which a landlord or property owner regains possession of (or full legal rights to) the property. When you lease a property to a tenant, the lease documents legally assign both rights and responsibilities to you and your tenant. It is a legal contract. In order to void that contract, either the tenant must voluntarily leave or a corresponding legal process has to be followed.

The eviction process begins with understanding the Landlord/Tenant laws in your area. While some federal laws apply to all situations, there are also different state and even local laws that you need to know. Failing to follow all the relevant laws might mean a higher likelihood that your eviction will fail, and you will have to start over. For example, you will need to know how much advance notice you are required to give your tenant to remedy the lease violation, how long the grace period is for late payments, how many days you should give your tenant to vacate the property, and so on.

Upon knowing how the law applies to you, the next step is to give your tenant a Pay or Quit or Notice of Lease Violation. This document will serve as your official notice to your tenant informing them that they are in violation of the lease. It also has to include instructions for the tenant to be in compliance with the lease again. Send the notice by certified mail or any other required delivery method. See to it that the stated actions or remedies follow all time periods required by law. What if the tenant doesn’t respond to the notice or shows that they are unable or unwilling to return to compliance with their lease terms? A landlord– you– would then be within your rights to document the legal grounds for eviction and file a Forcible Detainer with the local court. Depending on the location of your rental property, the required documents could include both an Eviction Complaint and a Summons. These documents outline your case for eviction as well as inform the tenant of the action filed against them. You must file your form with the court and serve them to your tenant, either in person or by using the delivery method required by law.

After the filing of a Forcible Detainer, the court will then consider your case for eviction and issue a ruling. If the judge rules in your favor, they may also include instructions for the forcible removal of the tenant from the property, if required. Without a judgment from the court, you can’t evict a tenant who is unwilling to vacate the property.

Although the judgment is the legal end of the eviction process, for landlords, the final step is overseeing the removal of the tenant and their belongings from the property. In most states, landlords can ask for assistance from the local police, constable, or sheriff’s department to remove a tenant. It is illegal for landlords to use intimidation or harassment on their tenants in any state, even when they have an eviction judgment. Every state has different laws about removing a tenant and their personal belongings so be sure to follow your local laws carefully. Violating a tenant’s rights, even after a legal eviction, can have you sued in return, possibly delaying or even overturning your eviction judgment.

A legal eviction that has been well documented and handled from start to end is a successful eviction. Evictions are a very delicate matter and require time and detailed knowledge of tenant-landlord laws. Why not let the Kendall property management pros at Real Property Management Dade handle your eviction for you instead? Contact us online or call 305-501-1511 to learn more.

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