One of the more intricate details of owning Bonaire rental properties is comprehending the idea of unlawful detainer. A tenant who continues to live in a rental property even after having no legal right to do so is what, by definition, an unlawful detainer means. When an unlawful detainer situation happens, rental property owners can then use it as the legal basis to begin the eviction process. Although, evicting a tenant based on unlawful detainer would need a court case, and in some instances, a jury trial. We’ll go over the following in the next sections: the basics of unlawful detainer, some examples of an unlawful detainer situation, and what to do when it happens.
A Legal Basis for Eviction
For almost all rental property owners, the idea of unlawful detainer will usually become relevant if you must evict a tenant. While it is not the only legal basis for eviction, unlawful detainer does give the landlords the means to sue for a tenant’s removal. There are certain rules and regulations in every state that must be cautiously followed when evicting a tenant as it is a sensitive topic. Once a tenant has possession of the property, a landlord cannot easily, for any reason, ask them to leave. This involves violating the lease, not paying rent, or even if you cancel the lease. So prior to making your case to the appropriate local courts, it’s important to thoroughly document the situation and properly know your legal basis for eviction.
There are several times which unlawful detainer can be applicable. To learn more about the three top common ones, keep reading.
Example 1: The tenant refuses to leave after the lease ends.
One of the most popular reasons you can use unlawful detainer to evict a tenant is if that tenant refuses to move out even after the lease has expired. You cannot, legally, make a tenant move out once their lease ends. You may be sued by your tenant if you do anything illegal, like changing the locks or calling the sheriff. Suppose you have a tenant who refuses to move out. In that case, you should document the scenario and file a petition with the local court. You must also be sure to provide your tenants with the court documents. From that point, you are required to follow the eviction process given by the court system to get a judge’s ruling before proceeding with the rest of the eviction process.
Example 2: The tenant stops paying rent.
In the event that a tenant stops paying their rent, this could be grounds to use unlawful detainer to evict that tenant. There are several reasons why a tenant does not pay their rent. However, this is still a common occurrence. Some tenants may either be waiting for their paychecks or have simply forgotten. But if a tenant- despite your multiple requests and reminders- did not pay their rent, you may need to resort to eviction. If that happens, be sure to thoroughly follow any grace period provided in your lease and give your tenant one more chance to pay. If you’re not going to do this, your petition may not be successful in court
Example 3: The tenant refuses to leave after the landlord terminates the lease.
Unlawful detainer may happen if your tenant does not move out even after you have terminated your lease with them. From a tenant violating one or more terms to other reasons, there are multiple reasons why a landlord may terminate a lease. If you must terminate a lease, and your tenant will not leave, you can use the legal basis of unlawful detainer to petition the court and have them move out. Mainly, be sure to document everything and follow the legal process step by step. A circumstance of unlawful detainer is not an excuse to breach a tenant’s rights.
You will usually get a writ that gives your tenant one more chance to leave your rental property voluntarily, once you have the court’s judgment. This writ, in most states, is delivered to your tenant by local law enforcement and not directly by you. Having a judgment and a writ in hand, you can then recruit the assistance of law enforcement to remove your tenant and regain possession of your property.
Evictions are a time-consuming legal process that can easily become a serious struggle. However, it is a common aspect of owning rental properties. If you are in need of assistance with a tenant who is violating their lease or will not leave, why not give Real Property Management Vesta a call? Our professionals can assist you to achieve the eviction process safely and legally and get your property back as quickly as possible. To speak with a Bonaire property manager, contact us online or call at 478-257-7055 today!
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