Being a landlord can be a prosperous venture, especially if you can do more than cover costs and make an income on the property you lease. Once the property is paid for, the lease money becomes straight profit. As with any other moneymaking venture, there are risks involved in being a landlord, one of which is the possibility of unruly or nonpaying tenants. If you are a landlord, or planning to become one, you should learn about the process of eviction.
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Call or stop by your local courthouse to learn about the rules regarding eviction in the particular area you own your property in. There are different stipulations for different areas, so even if you rent a property in another city or state, the rules may not be the same. Ask about the steps leading up to an eviction letter. For instance, in some cases you will have to provide a Notice to Quit document which will inform the tenant that you are terminating her lease and it will list the violation for which the lease is being terminated.
Consider the time frame that must be provided in your eviction letter. Your local courthouse will inform you of the amount of time necessary to give a tenant to vacate your property. In some cases, you may be able to provide the tenant with as few as five days notice, while in other cases, 30 days notice is required.
Come up with an action plan before you compose your letter. Decide how far you are willing to take this eviction process. For example, if the tenant ignores your letter, you must decide whether you are willing to get the police and the courts involved. Knowing your game plan ahead of time will prevent you from making idle threats and not being taken seriously by your tenant.
Compose your letter in a professional manner. Make sure you include the date on the letter. Inform the tenant it is a notice of eviction and list the violation that has caused the eviction. For example, you could state that the eviction is a result of being 60 days delinquent on rent. Refer to the lease agreement the tenant signed agreeing to pay rent. Request that the property be vacated within an allotted amount of days. Inform her of the next action you will take, for example, if you plan to have the authorities involved if she does not leave, say so. Type your name and sign the notice.
Have the notice hand-delivered to the tenant. If you have it delivered via the mail he could claim that it was never received or he could refuse delivery if it is sent by certified mail. Having it hand-delivered will provide you with a witness that the letter was received.
Tips and warnings
- Seek legal advice if your notice is ignored and you plan to take further action.