What Are Your Rights When a Tenant Will Not Move Out of Your Home?
It’s a fear that many people feel when they decide to go into the rental property business: What happens if someone rents their property and then decides they don’t want to leave? After all, it’s yours, right? This is where things get tricky. While you are the owner of the property, they are the residents of the property. Before doing anything, you should know your rights under the law.
The Laws Differ By State
Laws regarding landlord-tenant relationships can vary depending on where you live. You should always check the laws of your state before taking any action. This guide will help you with the basics of your rights and how to handle the situation, but it is not the only thing you have to go through. You want to follow the specific laws in your state to make sure you do everything legally.
Using Respect to getting Tenants Out
Before taking any legal action, the best place to start is to be fair to tenants and try to reason with them. If you can get them off your rental property without going through a lengthy legal process, the results are always better. You should consider talking to them about the situation to see what is preventing them from leaving and see if you can come to an agreement. They catch more flies with honey, or so they say. Use this to your advantage and see what you can do as a way to defuse the situation and resolve it, if possible. Ultimately, this is the easiest way to get them out while making sure you leave your belongings in tip-top condition.
While this is the best method, it doesn’t always work and you should be prepared to take additional steps to get your home back. You don’t want the relationship to become strained if you have a good relationship with your tenants. Talk to them about the options and try to find a good solution that works for everyone, unless they don’t pay the rent. However, keep in mind that you should not take any action or commitment that could affect your rights as an owner.
What Is the First Step If Tenants Will Not Leave Your Home?
Regardless of the situation, before doing anything, he should consult the lease form that he has. The lease signed by you and your tenants can help you determine the best course of action. You can also define your options. You will likely have some clauses that can describe the action you can take if something happens, such as refusing to move out of the property. If you don’t have that kind of language in your lease, use the law because it takes precedence over anything in the lease anyway. The law and the lease must go hand in hand. Even if you have used the language, you should consult state and local laws to determine what you can do to get them off the property. Remember that you have options, but you must do everything legally. While they occupy the house, even if the lease has expired, you still need to take the correct legal steps to get them out. The law and the lease can help you determine your options so you can start working to remove them from the property.
What If There Is No Active Lease?
In most states, when you allow someone to move into the property without a lease, it is considered rent-at-will. This type of lease can be terminated at any time by the tenant or the owner. Since you don’t have a valid lease, it can be difficult to get them off the property if you ask them to leave. This type of situation is subject to state or local tenant laws. To determine the best course of action, you will need to consult the specific laws in your area.
What If the Lease Has Expired?
If you have a valid lease and it has expired but the tenants have not left, you can get them off the property fairly easily. However, if they continue to pay the rent, you may want to consider letting them stay thereby implementing a new lease. The only reason you might want to avoid it is if your tenants have suggested and refused a rent increase. If they refuse to pay a higher rent but also refuse to leave, you may have to choose an eviction according to your method. However, you may also want to talk to them about the schedule to move out of the house or even automatically raise the rent, if your lease allows it. Be sure to only do what is allowed in the lease in these types of situations, as well as the law in your state.
What If They Are Not Paying Rent?
One of the most common reasons landlords want to evict tenants from their rental property is that they are no longer paying rent as agreed. When tenants stop paying, either because they don’t have the money or are simply in a sore spot, they are violating their lease, assuming you have one in place. In this type of situation, it will be much easier to get them out. In most states, if they don’t pay, this breach of the lease can be used to initiate an eviction so you can regain control of the property and find new tenants. You have good reasons to evict them from the property if they don’t pay the rent, so use your rights to evict them from the home if that is what you want and need.
What If They Are Paying Rent?
There may come a time when you simply need someone to leave your property even though you are paying the rent and the lease is valid. You may want to renovate the property or even return to it. Unfortunately, in this case, your options are limited. Unless you have a clause in your lease that allows you to ask them to move in early with notice, you may have to wait for your lease to expire. If you have a valid lease and the tenants have not violated it, your only other option is to contact them to see if they are willing to move out of the property early due to your particular situation. If they refuse, you will simply have to wait for the lease to expire or they will not pay the rent to get them off the property.
Eviction Notices and Notices to Quit
Before the eviction process, there are several notices that you must serve the tenant according to the law. There are two main categories of eviction notices:
- Notice of eviction with reason
- Notice of Unreasonable Eviction
Within the eviction notice with reason category, there are three main types.
- The first type is called a rent stoppage notice. This is used when a tenant breaches the lease by failing to pay rent and can be used to remedy the situation before it becomes eviction.
- The second type is a remedy or notice of termination when a lease has been violated, such as bringing in an unauthorized pet or breaking another rule. Both provide a short period of time (three to five days depending on local law) to address the issue before proceeding with the eviction.
- The third type in this category is an unconditional termination notice that requires them to leave the property immediately without the opportunity to pay the rent or rectify the situation. This type of notice is generally used when a form has been created and tenants continue to violate the terms of the lease or do not pay rent. Tenants may still refuse to move out, resulting in the need to proceed with the eviction.
The other category of eviction notices is not a reason, which means that you do not have a specific reason for wanting to evict tenants from the property. With this notice, the law generally requires tenants to give 30, 60, or 90 days’ notice before proceeding with an eviction. You should check your local laws for more details.
Sometimes, no matter what you do, the only option you have is to evict. However, eviction is easier said than done. You will have to spend money to go through the eviction process. There are many steps associated with the eviction process, but they can vary from state to state. In some states, you must notify tenants of a possible eviction and give them the opportunity to pay the previous rent owed or vacate the property within a specified period of time. You also can’t just call or email them to let them know. You have to take the correct legal avenues and be able to show that you told them that.
If they do not vacate the property after the specified period of time, you must file a file with the local courts. This is the actual disclaimer you are requesting. However, it is not always automatically awarded to you as the owner. In some states, you still have to go to court with the tenant and meet with the judge to decide the case. The judge may or may not rule in your favor, depending on the circumstances. However, in most cases, if your tenants don’t pay, you’re more likely to win. However, this is not a guarantee. If you win the case, the judge will give the tenants a set amount of time to move out of the property and take all their belongings.
Even if you get a money judgment, in case you don’t pay your rent, you may never see it. This is often the case with evictions. The end goal is simply to get them off the property. If they don’t move out of the property by the date the judge establishes them, in many states, you can ask the sheriff to come and physically evict them from the property. This usually results in all your stuff ending up on the street side and you are arranging for a locksmith to come and change the locks. Evacuation is not the first option for many people because it can be unpleasant, but it is the last resort that will pay off.
Read the Situation
Every situation is different, which means that you may want to approach it in different ways. Just as there are different laws in different states that deal with this issue, there are also different tenants and methods that must be dealt with. This is a difficult problem, but you will have to deal with it at some point if you want to regain control of your property. Always follow the state and local laws that apply to your location, but also pay attention to specific situations to help you decide if there are other options you can use in your style. Doing so can help you save yourself some headaches and save some money too.
If you are currently experiencing this problem, be sure to always check your local laws before taking any action. This is a situation that no one would want to deal with, but it can also be very common in the rental property industry. Knowing your options can help you better prepare for the possibility. Once you know that it is a fairly common thing and you know how to deal with it, you can set yourself up for success.