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5 Legal Reasons to Evict a Tenant

While you may not always like the people renting your apartment, evictions should be legal. It's not as simple as evicting someone because he was being messy, loud, or has refused to let you into the rental. Keep in mind that tenants have rights. If you're wondering what these lawful reasons for evictions are, read this blog post. 

Why Evict a Tenant? 5 Reasons

1. Violation of the rental or lease agreement

The lease is a legal agreement between you and a tenant. There are different terms in a lease agreement such as rental payment, deposits, repairs and maintenance, and illegal activity. Evictions often occur because a tenant violates a lease clause. For example, if you have a "no pets allowed" clause, and your tenant has an unauthorized pet, you can start the eviction process. 

2. Property damage

Property damage is every landlord's nightmare. Broken appliances, holes in the walls, a leaky roof because of skylights that were installed (without your knowledge) -- these situations can be extremely stressful. When filing an eviction, make sure that the damage isn't just normal wear and tear -- it must be intentional or the result of gross negligence. 

3. Tenant didn't move out at the end of the lease

Some tenants choose to remain in the rental beyond the term of the lease. The worst possible thing that could happen is when you promised to rent out the property to someone else. If this isn't your case now, you can prevent this from happening by asking your tenant about his plans two months before the lease ends. 

4. Illegal acts committed

An activity is considered illegal if it puts the lives of other tenants in danger or prevents them from enjoying their stay in the rental. This illegal activity can be related to crime or drugs. The best way to prevent illegal activity right from the start is to screen all tenants thoroughly. Periodic inspections are also extremely helpful (make sure that they're announced). Telltale signs of illegal behavior include unusual odors coming from the unit, excessive traffic, and bright indoor lighting. 

Related: 7 Ways to Avoid High-Risk Tenants

5. Nonpayment of rent

Failure to pay the rent is a common reason to evict a tenant. Some states also allow evictions because of habitual late rental payments. Remember that your tenants have a basic responsibility of paying the rent and doing it on time. If they don't do it, they are violating the lease agreement. 

Related: Get Paid On Time: Rent Collection Tips for New Landlords

Final Thoughts

Before making a decision to evict a tenant, be sure to review local and state eviction laws. Also, consider speaking with your tenant to resolve the issue. Don't forget to document. Documentation helps protect your rights as a landlord. 

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