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Tenants, Evictions, and Unlawful Detainer, Oh My!

Saint Charles Eviction Notice On DoorComprehending the concept of unlawful detainer is one of the more complicated aspects of owning Saint Charles rental properties. An unlawful detainer, by definition, is a tenant who would still stay in a rental property even after having no legal right to do so. Rental property owners can use an unlawful detainer situation as a legal basis to begin the eviction process. Although, evicting a tenant based on unlawful detainer would need a court case, and in some instances, a jury trial. In what follows, we’ll explore the basics of lawful detainer as well as some examples of unlawful detainer and what to do when situations like that occur.

A Legal Basis for Eviction

For the majority of rental property owners, the concept of unlawful detainer will usually become relevant if you must evict a tenant. While unlawful detainer is not the only legal basis for eviction, it should not give landlords the right to sue for a tenant’s removal. There are specific rules and regulations in each state that must be carefully followed when evicting a tenant as it is a delicate matter. Once a tenant has possession of the property, a landlord cannot easily, for any reason, kick them out. This covers not paying rent, violating the lease, or even if you cancel the lease. Rather, it’s crucial to thoroughly document the matter and know your legal basis for eviction before making your case to the appropriate local courts.

There are a certain number of situations in which unlawful detainer can become applicable. Keep reading and learn more about the three most common ones

Example 1: The tenant refuses to leave after the lease ends.

One of the top common reasons you can use an unlawful detainer to remove a tenant is if the tenant does not agree to move out even after the lease has expired. You are not able, legally, to force a tenant to move out once their lease ends. If you alter the locks, call the sheriff, or do any other attempts that are illegal, it could be used against you, and you could be sued by your tenant instead. What you can do, if you have a tenant who refuses to move out, is to document the situation and file a petition with the local court. You must also be sure to provide your tenants with the court documents. From there, before you can continue with the rest of the eviction process, you will need to follow the eviction process given by the court system to get a judge’s ruling.

Example 2: The tenant stops paying rent.

When a tenant stops paying their rent, this could be a reason to use unlawful detainer to evict that tenant. Nonpayment of rent is a common thing and has different causes. A handful of the tenants’ paychecks could still be pending, or they forget. However, if you have a tenant who has not paid their rent after many reminders and requests, you may need to consider eviction. Make sure to precisely follow any grace period stated in your lease and give your tenant one more chance to pay when that happens. Your petition may not win in court if you don’t do this.

Example 3: The tenant refuses to leave after the landlord terminates the lease.

A tenant who does not move out even after they have terminated their lease with you could be an unlawful detainer. There are a lot of reasons why a landlord may terminate a lease, whether due to the tenant violating one or more terms or for other reasons. If you have to terminate a lease, and your tenant will not move out, you can resort to the legal basis of unlawful detainer to petition the court and have them move out. Above all, follow the legal process step by step and make certain to document everything. A circumstance of unlawful detainer is not an excuse to breach a tenant’s rights.

When you have the judgment from the court, you will commonly get a writ that gives your tenant one more chance to leave your rental property voluntarily. In almost all states, this writ is sent to your tenant by local law enforcement, not by you directly. With a judgment and a writ accessible, you can then call up law enforcement to help ask your tenant to leave and get your property back.

Even though they are a common part of owning rental property, evictions are a time-consuming legal process that can easily become a serious hassle. For assistance with a tenant who is in violation of their lease or refuses to leave, give Real Property Management Endeavor a call so we can better help you. We can get your property back fast. Our professionals will guide you with the eviction process in a safe manner as well as legally get your property back in your ownership. To speak with a Saint Charles property manager, contact us online or call at 636-244-5959 today!

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