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  • Writer's pictureKeith Wood

5 Reasons Tenants are Evicted; When to Evict your Tenant.

Eviction is probably the worst part of being a landlord. It’s time-consuming, stressful, and often expensive. You’ll have a vacant property - eventually, and there’s no telling what kind of damage you might be walking into once you get your tenants out.

It’s important to remember that eviction isn’t a quick process, and if you get even one step wrong, you won’t be able to proceed. The first step is knowing if your tenant is doing anything that is cause for eviction.

Not Paying the Rent

This one is probably the most common reason for eviction. Your tenant hasn’t paid the rent in a certain amount of time, and you’ve given them all the chances and notifications that you’re willing to do. If you decide to evict, you have to give the tenant written notice and the opportunity to pay their rent. Remember, if you’re in a dispute with your tenant, they can place their rent in an escrow account. This doesn’t count as non-payment.

Violating the Lease

Every lease is a little different, depending on what you allow and what you don’t. When a tenant violates it in a big way or consistently, you may decide to evict. Lease violations can be almost anything, but common reasons include:

PetsNoise/DisturbanceUnapproved occupantsRenting out the property to someone else (also known as subletting)Using the property as a business that generates noise and traffic

It’s important that you know exactly what’s in your lease. Like any other problem with a tenant, you have to give them an opportunity to correct the problem before you can evict.

Property Damage

Property damage can occur in one of a few ways. Typically this won’t be accidental damage that could happen to anyone. Instead, you’ll be dealing with neglect of the property or unauthorized or unapproved changes. Those changes might be a lease violation or they may cause other, expensive, damage.

Illegal Activity

The most common illegal activity that can cause you to evict a tenant is drug-dealing. Whether they were caught with drugs in the property or they were caught making and selling it, it doesn’t matter. You should have a section in your lease that states you can and will terminate the agreement for illegal activity.


A holdover is someone who stays in the property even though the lease has ended and you aren’t renewing it. You’ll have to give your tenant proper notification that you aren’t going to renew their lease. If they refuse to leave, they’re considered squatters. To get them out, you’ll likely have to evict them.

The eviction process is slow and tedious. It’s filled with rules about notification and deadlines you have to meet. You can’t just turn off a tenant’s utilities to force them out, and you can’t change the locks before they’ve been evicted.

If it all sounds a little stressful, work with a property management company. At ERA American Real Estate, we have procedures in place to deal with tenants who need to be evicted. We know the law and will follow it to the letter so you can get your property back and find a better tenant. Don’t go it alone.

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