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Tenants, Evictions, and Unlawful Detainer, Oh My!

Pompano Eviction Notice On DoorUnderstanding the idea of unlawful detainer is one of the more complex aspects of owning Pompano rental properties. An unlawful detainer, by definition, refers to a tenant who still would live in a rental property even after having no legal right to do so. When an unlawful detainer situation happens, rental property owners can then use it as the legal basis to begin the eviction process. Still, evicting a tenant based on unlawful detainer would merit a court case and, sometimes, a jury trial. In the next sections, we’ll tackle the basics of lawful detainer as well as cite some instances of an unlawful detainer situation. We’ll also tell you what to do when it happens.

A Legal Basis for Eviction

For the majority of rental property owners, the concept of unlawful detainer will usually become relevant if you must evict a tenant. While unlawful detainer is not the only legal basis for eviction, it should not give landlords the right 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. A landlord cannot simply kick a tenant out for any reason once he or she has possession of the property. This involves not paying rent, violating the lease, or even if you cancel the lease. Instead, it’s essential to carefully document the situation and know your legal basis for eviction before making your case to the appropriate local courts.

There are a bunch of situations in which unlawful detainer can be relevant. To better learn more about the three most common ones, keep reading.

Example 1: The tenant refuses to leave after the lease ends.

One of the top common reasons you can use an unlawful detainer to remove a tenant is if the tenant does not agree to move out even after the lease has expired. You are not able, legally, to pressure a tenant to 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 will need to follow the eviction process given by the court system to get a judge’s ruling before continuing with the rest of the eviction process.

Example 2: The tenant stops paying rent.

Another frequent cause to apply unlawful detainer to evict a tenant is when they stop paying their rent. There are several reasons why a tenant does not pay their rent. However, this is still a common occurrence. A handful of the tenants’ paychecks could still be pending, or they forget. However, if you have a tenant who has not paid their rent after many reminders and requests, you may need to consider 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. Your petition may not win in court if you don’t do this.

Example 3: The tenant refuses to leave after the landlord terminates the lease.

Unlawful detainer may occur if your tenant refuses to move out even after you have terminated your lease with them. Whether due to the tenant violating one or more terms or for other reasons, there are multiple reasons why a landlord may terminate a lease. If your tenant refuses to leave and you must terminate the lease, you can resort to using the legal basis of unlawful detainer to petition the court to order them to move out. Mainly, be sure to document everything and follow the legal process step by step. Even a situation of unlawful detainer is not an alibi to breach a tenant’s rights.

When you get the judgment from the court, you will typically receive a writ that gives your tenant one more time to move out of your rental property voluntarily. In most states, this writ is sent to your tenant by local law enforcement, not by you directly. With a judgment and a writ accessible, you can then call up law enforcement to help ask your tenant to leave and get your property back.

Even though they are a common part of owning rental property, evictions are a time-consuming legal process that can easily become a serious hassle. 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 United a call? Getting your property back as quickly as possible is something our professionals can help you with. They can help you carry out the eviction process safely and legally. To speak with a Pompano property manager, contact us online or call at 973-747-5629 today!

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