What most of us are concerned about is covering our monthly rent so we don’t receive that dreaded eviction notice, but even if you are a good tenant, it’s important to know what the eviction process is about, and which types of situations would constitute a notice of termination of your lease.
Let’s face it, an eviction is not pleasant. It is not pleasant for the tenant or the landlord, but it may be necessary depending on the circumstance.
In this guide, we learn when eviction notices are issued, how evictions work, and we explore some questions you might have about the procedure involved in the termination of a lease.
What is an Eviction?
An eviction is defined as the legal process of terminating a lease and removing a tenant from the property being rented.
Tenants cannot be evicted unless they receive a notice of termination (otherwise known as an eviction notice).
*Eviction laws differ between each state and local municipalities, so we encourage you to learn of your local eviction proceedings and how state law applies to your situation. For the purpose of this guide, we explore the basics and general facts surrounding rental evictions. *
How Does an Eviction Work?
When you rent an apartment, you and the landlord abide by the rental laws presented in the lease agreement. Tenants can only be evicted when one or more of the lease regulations/rental laws is broken, you have damaged the property, rent is not paid, or illegal activities are performed at the property. The landlord will issue a notice which includes a warning to remedy the situation (eg. pay the rent), or to vacate the rental. If you are participating in illegal activity, landlords can request an immediate eviction without issuing a warning. You will receive a notice of immediate termination of the lease, and you’ll be required to vacate the property.
In a different scenario, you’ve brought a pet home despite the lease stating that no pets are allowed in the apartment complex. In this circumstance, the landlord may first issue a notice to the tenant to remediate the situation by rehoming the pet. If the tenant refuses, they are in contravention of the lease and may be evicted.
Evictions are also pursued by landlords who wish to take control of a property. When a property that is rented is sold to a different owner and the new landlord wishes to take possession of the rental, they have the right to issue a notice of eviction, unless otherwise stated in the terms of an active lease.
The Process of an Eviction
While evictions generally follow a similar process, remember that it can differ based on the state you live in.
For example, in Texas, the landlord must give the tenant a 3-day notice to leave the property unless otherwise stated in the lease agreement. The landlord is also not required to give tenants time to pay the late rent or address the reason for breaking the lease. In New York, if a tenant is late with the rent, they must receive a 14-day notice. Tenants have the option to pay the rent within the 14 day period or vacate the property.
Evictions are pursued when tenants have broken their lease. Landlords will investigate the matter in question (late payment, property damage, etc.) and issue the tenant with a notice of termination. This notice also provides the tenant the chance to remediate the situation which includes a few days or weeks such as repairing property damage. If the tenant still doesn’t address the requirement, they can be evicted.
In cases of financial loss, landlords may also pursue an eviction lawsuit to recuperate rent, property damage, and even court costs from the tenant.
Who Can Be Evicted from an Apartment or Rental Property?
When you cannot pay your rent, you fail to repair property damage, or you violate the terms of the lease, you can be evicted from your rental. That’s why it’s always a good idea to read your lease and to understand the terms and conditions. That way you can protect your tenancy and you can establish a rewarding tenant and landlord relationship for the duration of your lease.