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Achieving a Successful Eviction

An Envelope with an “Eviction Notice” StampEvictions can be very time-consuming and detrimental to Frederick property owners‘ monthly cash flows. But if your dispute cannot be settled directly with your tenant, you might need to look at starting the eviction process. The following are ways to ensure that your eviction is successful.

Contrary to what most people think, eviction is not the action of forcing a tenant out of the leased property. Rather, an eviction is a legal process by which a landlord or property owner regains possession of (or full legal rights to) the property. When you lease a property to a tenant, the lease documents legally assign both rights and responsibilities to you and your tenant. It is a legal contract. In order to void that contract, your tenant has to agree to willingly vacate the property, or a corresponding legal process will be needed.

The first step of any eviction process is clearly understanding the Landlord/Tenant laws in your area. While some federal laws apply to all situations, there are also different state and even local laws that you need to know. There could be a chance that your eviction will fail if you do not follow all of the relevant rules. You would then have to start all over. For example, you will need to know how much advance notice you are required to give your tenant to remedy the lease violation, how long the grace period is for late payments, how many days you should give your tenant to vacate the property, and so on.

Once you know how the law applies to your specific circumstance, the next step would be to give your tenant a Pay or Quit or Notice of Lease Violation. Aside from informing your tenant that they are in violation of the lease, this document also serves as their official notice. Instructions that the tenant can follow to comply with the lease terms should also be included. If required, you have to send the notice by certified mail or other required delivery methods. You also have to ensure that any stated actions or remedies follow all time periods required by law.

But what do you do in case your tenant does not respond to the notice or if they are unable or unwilling to return to compliance with their lease terms? In this case, you can document your legal grounds for eviction and file a Forcible Detainer with the local court. Check on the required documents for the area where your rental property is located as it may include both an Eviction Complaint and a Summons, both of which outline your case for eviction and inform the tenant of the action filed against them. You must file your form with the court and serve them to your tenant, either in person or by using the delivery method required by law.

Once you have filed a Forcible Detainer, the court will consider your case for eviction and issue a ruling. If the judge rules in your favor, they may also include instructions for the forcible removal of the tenant from the property, if required. If you do not have a judgment from the court, you are not allowed to evict a tenant who is unwilling to vacate the property.

Although the judgment is the legal end of the eviction process, for landlords, the final step is overseeing the removal of the tenant and their belongings from the property. In many states, the local police, constable, or sheriff’s department can assist landlords in the removal of a tenant. Even with an eviction judgment, it is illegal in every state for a landlord to intimidate or harass a tenant. Make sure to follow your local laws when removing a tenant and their personal belongings as each state has different laws about this. A tenant could sue you, even after they have been legally evicted if you violated any of their rights. This could cause delays or even the overturning of your eviction judgment.

A successful eviction is a legal eviction that is well-handled and fully documented from start to finish. However, evictions are also very delicate matters that often require time and detailed knowledge of tenant-landlord laws. Why not let the Frederick property management pros at Real Property Management Prime handle your eviction for you instead? Contact us online or call 410-415-1736 to learn more.

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