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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 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 Bar Harbor 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 Simply changing the locks or throwing the renter’s belongings on the curb cannot be done. Both measures would be in violation of your tenant’s rights.

You need “just cause” to evict a tenant. The just cause indicates you have a legal justification to evict the tenant, such as property damage, non-payment of rent, or a breach of the lease terms. Without “just cause”, you cannot evict a tenant legally.

Reasons You Can Evict

Unpaid rent is one of the most common reasons landlords expel tenants. 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. You can begin the eviction process if the tenant does not act accordingly. 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. You can give your tenant a written notice to repair the damage or vacate if they have caused significant damage to the property beyond usual wear and tear. 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 an animal and your lease does not allow animals, you can serve a formal notice to leave the property or remove the animal. You can apply for eviction if the tenant refuses to comply. The same is true for all other lease terms.

Reasons You Can’t Evict

Moreover, there are several reasons why you cannot evict a tenant, despite the fact that they have acted in such a way that would necessitate eviction. For example, you cannot evict a renter simply because they demanded maintenance to the property or grumbled about the rental unit’s quality. Additionally, you are prohibited from evicting a renter on the basis of their race, color, religion, national origin, sex, familial situation, or disability. These safeguarded groups cannot legally be used as a reason for eviction, and trying to do so may result in a discrimination lawsuit.

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. 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. You must then file an eviction petition with the court and have the renter served. You can get a default judgment if the renter fails to show up for their 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. Eviction is a painful procedure, and knowing why you can (and can’t) do it will help you deal with the hardship of these situations.

If you’re worried about being evicted, it’s a good idea to talk to a professional about your options. Contact Real Property Management Acadia to speak to a local rental property professional today at 207-561-7482.

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