Becoming a property manager and running a property management company can be very demanding. Property manager responsibilities include advertising rental property, screening tenants, preparing lease agreements, handling repairs, and maintaining a high occupancy rate. However, one of the most critical responsibilities involved in being a property manager is handling evictions on behalf of rental property owners. Eviction is simply the legal procedure that anyone in rental property management must follow in order to have a renter move out.
Every property manager needs to learn how to evict a tenant in the right way. In this guide, we’ll cover:
- The Most Common Reasons for Evicting a Tenant
- The 6 Steps to Evicting a Tenant
- How Long It Takes to Evict a Tenant
- The 3 Types of Eviction Notices
- How to Evict a Tenant in:
- New York
The Most Common Reasons for Evicting a Tenant
- Tenant not paying rent – One of the terms of the lease agreement is that the tenant is required to pay rent by a specific date. If a tenant habitually defaults on their rent, the property manager can evict a tenant for nonpayment.
- Disturbing the neighbors – Some people have a tendency to interfere with the peace and quiet of other tenants by playing loud music or being abusive. If such a troublesome tenant refuses to change despite warnings, the property manager has a right to begin eviction proceedings.
- Damage to property – If the tenant causes damage to a rental property, the property manager can file for an eviction. However, this does not apply to normal wear and tear such as stains on the floor or peeling of paint.
- Unapproved subletting – Some lease agreements don’t allow tenants to sublease their rental properties to anyone else. If a renter puts such a home on Airbnb, they can be evicted.
- Improper use – When tenants use a residential lease for commercial purposes, the property manager could evict them for improper use.
- Not vacating at the end of a lease – A lease agreement allows a tenant to live in a rental property for a specific period of time. If the renter refuses to move out at the end of the lease, the property manager can file for an eviction.
The 6 Steps to Evicting a Tenant
1. Learn the eviction laws in your state: As you’ll see in the last section of this blog, eviction laws can differ from state to state. So be sure to read up on the rights of the owner as well as tenant rights.
2. Make sure you have a legal reason for the eviction: We listed the most common reasons for eviction above. Be sure that you have a legal reason so that the process will go smoothly. Check the lease agreement as well to be sure.
3. Send an eviction notice: Local laws will dictate what type of notice you have to send, how long you have to give the tenant to vacate the rental property as well as how the notice should be delivered. See the section on the types of notices below.
4. File for eviction: If the tenant doesn’t vacate the rental property or take steps to remedy the issue (if possible), then you will have to take the issue to court.
5. Attend the court hearing: Be sure to show up and bring documented proof of your reason for eviction.
6. Evict the tenant: If the judge rules in your favor, you will have the legal right to evict the tenant. Be sure to check with local laws to know how this should be done.
How Long Does It Take to Evict a Tenant?
Though the eviction process varies from one place to another, many states require property managers to give a 30 or 60-day notice to renters before they begin the eviction process. From there, it can take anywhere between another 2 weeks to 3 months. And if the tenant files a counterclaim, it could take even longer.
3 Types of Eviction Notices
You cannot talk about how to evict a tenant without mentioning eviction notices. Here are 3 types of eviction notices:
- Cure or quit notices – These notices are sent after a renter has violated a term of the lease agreement such as no subletting clause or no-pets clause. In most cases, the tenant is given a specific period of time to ‘cure’ or correct the issue. If they fail to do so, there is the possibility of an eviction.
- Pay rent or quit notices – Property managers use this notice when the tenant fails to pay rent. The renter is usually given 3-5 days to clear the rent or ‘quit’ (move out).
- Unconditional quit notices – Such notices order the renter to vacate the rental property without the opportunity to correct a rental agreement violation. This notice is given when the tenant has seriously damaged the rental, repeatedly violated a lease term, or engaged in illegal activity within the premises.
The Eviction Process by State
Let us learn about how to evict a tenant in a few different states:
How to Evict a Tenant in New York
In New York, property managers can begin eviction proceedings when rent is not paid, a lease expires or terms of the lease are violated. However, the property managers must first go to court, win the case, and then pay a fee to get a law enforcement officer to evict a tenant.
Eviction notices can be served to the tenant in the following ways:
- Personal service – The best way to serve tenants is by having the notice handed to them personally.
- Substituted service – The notice can be served on a ‘responsible’ individual that works or lives in the renter’s house.
- Conspicuous service – If no one is home, the property manager can leave the notice under the door. However, this method should only be used if the documents cannot be served by personal or substituted service.
In New York, it is considered a misdemeanor for a property manager to evict a tenant by:
- Padlocking the doors
- Changing the locks
- Removing the door of the house
- Removing the tenant’s furniture or personal property
- Turning off water or electricity
- Threatening a tenant to keep them out of the rental property
How to Evict a Tenant in California
When dealing with tenants, property managers in California are required to give written notice before terminating the tenancy. The reason for the termination of a lease will determine the kind of notice needed:
- 3-day notice to pay the outstanding rent
- 3-day notice to cure
- 3-day unconditional quit notice
If the tenant fails to act within the set time period, California rental laws dictate that the property manager can file an eviction lawsuit.
When it comes to termination without cause, lease termination will depend on whether the tenancy is fixed-term or month-to-month. For fixed-term tenancies, the property manager cannot terminate the tenancy without cause until the end of the period. For month-to-month agreements, the property manager can give a 30-day eviction notice if the tenant has lived in the unit for less than one year.
Just like in New York, California property managers must go through the courts, win the lawsuit, and use a sheriff to perform the actual eviction.
How to Evict a Tenant in Florida
Florida property managers can give their tenants one of the following notices for termination of tenancy with a cause:
- 3-day notice to pay rent or quit
- 7-day notice to cure
- 7-day unconditional quit notice
When it comes to termination without cause, there is a 15-day written notice for month-to-month leases. However, the landlord must wait until the end of the lease before terminating a tenancy without cause.
According to Florida rental laws, it is illegal for property managers to personally eject the tenant from a rental unit. After the property manager has won the lawsuit, it is a constable or sheriff that has the right to remove the renter from the property. This is the correct method of how to evict a tenant.
Eviction is inevitable when managing a rental property. Every property manager, therefore, needs to learn how to evict a tenant from a rental property within the eviction laws. Knowing how to legally evict a tenant will help you avoid any lawsuits which will cost you lots of time and money.
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