How to deal with tenant disputes and evictions

How to deal with tenant disputes and evictions

Some of the trickiest things you can deal with as landlords are disputes and evictions. Tenant disputes and evictions are a great source of stress for everyone involved in the process. As a landlord, the tiniest mistake could potentially end up delaying the eviction. In addition, this could negatively impact your revenue stream. Read this article to learn how to deal with tenant disputes and evictions.

Although evictions seem harsh, they are a part of the rental property business. Being a great landlord, unfortunately, will not make you immune to having bad tenants. Even after a rigorous tenant screening exercise, sometimes your tenant just won’t be able to pay rentals. And if your tenant can’t pay the rent, then you have to remove them from your property.

Understand eviction laws

To start with, eviction laws differ from country to country. As such it is important for you to research the laws that are relevant to you. It is also vital for you to consider these laws as you draw up the tenancy agreement. The tenancy or lease agreement is a legally binding document of great significance. Thus it is best to engage the services of a lawyer to come up with a comprehensive and iron-clad agreement.

Landlord and tenant act

The landlord and tenant act gives greater information on the legal aspects of the disputes and eviction process.

Do not take matters into your own hands

Regardless of the circumstances surrounding your eviction, you simply cannot do any of the following:

  • Physically remove the tenant’s possessions from the property
  • Forcibly and physically remove the tenant from the property
  • Shut off essential utilities
  • Carry out any act of harassment towards the tenant
  • Change the locks or lock the tenant out

Follow these simple rules for the courts to be on your side if it comes to that. Any small mistake might influence a judge to rule against you.

Forget friendships

It is inevitable for landlords and tenants to develop a certain degree of fondness towards each other. However, evictions tend to sour landlord-tenant relationships. This is one of the reasons why it is never a good idea to rent to close friends. Regardless of the relationship, remember an eviction is purely a business decision.

Have a valid reason for the eviction

You must always have a valid and lawful reason to carry out an eviction. Generally, the ensuing grounds are adequate to carry out an eviction.

  • Breaching the terms of the tenancy agreement
  • Causing notable damage to the property
  • Failing to pay rent
  • Breaking health and safety regulations

It is important for you to remember that you will need to provide documented evidence or proof of any claim against your tenant.

Formal notice of eviction

Once you have established that you have a basis for eviction you must follow the law to the letter. One of the more important steps is to give sufficient notice of eviction. A notice of eviction will give your tenant an ultimatum, an explanation for the eviction, and how they can avoid the eviction.

The eviction notice

  • An eviction notice must contain the full amount owed
  • It should also include the payment deadline or date to move out
  • In addition, it must be delivered within a legally stipulated time frame

Evicting the tenant

The first step is to file your paperwork with the courts. The courts will then examine the case and possibly grant an eviction. Once granted, the eviction will be carried out in a specified time frame. If the tenant still refuses to leave then you can involve law enforcement agents to carry out the eviction.


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