Skip to Content

The Reasons You Can (and Can’t) Evict a Tenant

Eviction Notice in an EnvelopeKnowing when and how to evict a tenant is one of many factors that go into being an effective landlord. If you’re not sure how to evict a tenant or when you can (and can’t) do so, keep reading! We’ll explore the most common reasons landlords evict tenants in this blog post, as well as the stages involved in the eviction process.

Understanding Just Cause

Eviction is a legal process in which you must seek a court order to remove a renter from your property, as every Cleveland Park property manager must understand. You can’t just change the locks or throw a tenant’s things out the window. Both of these measures would be in violation of the rights of your tenant.

It is necessary to have “just cause” to evict a tenant. Just cause implies you have a lawful reason to evict the tenant for things like property damage, violating the lease terms, or nonpayment of rent You cannot remove a tenant unless there is just cause.

Reasons You Can Evict

Nonpayment of rent is one of the most prevalent reasons landlords evict tenants. If your tenant doesn’t pay their rent as agreed, you can give them written notice that they have a set amount of days to pay or vacate the property, as mandated by state statute. If the tenant does not obey, you can apply for eviction. Make it a priority to adhere to the conditions of the lease and all local and state laws.

Damage to the property is another typical ground for eviction. If your renter has caused serious damage to the property that exceeds normal wear and tear, you can serve them with a memorandum to remedy the damage or remove themselves from the premises. Refusal of the tenant to comply means you may file for eviction.

Additionally, you may evict a renter for violating other lease provisions. For instance, if your renter has violated the “no pet” clause in the lease by keeping a pet, a letter of warning may be given requiring the removal of the animal or vacating the premises. If the tenant chooses to disrespect the warning, you may file for eviction. This is true for all other terms of the lease.

Reasons You Can’t Evict

Also, there are a few factors why you cannot evict a tenant, regardless if they have committed an act that would compel eviction. As an example, a tenant cannot be evicted simply because they desired certain repairs to the property or have become irritable over the condition of the unit. Also, it is unlawful to evict a tenant based on color, religion, race, familial situation, national origin, disability, or sex. It is not legal to evict a renter who belongs to these inviolable categories and you can expect to be sued if you attempt to do so.

The Eviction Process

If you discover yourself in the awful situation of needing to evict a tenant, there are a few simple measures you must take. To begin, you must serve a written notice on the tenant specifying the basis for the eviction and the date by which they must depart the premises. Second, you will register an eviction petition with the court so that the tenant will be served. A default judgment might be obtained in your favor if the renter does not appear at their court date. Lastly, if the renter resists eviction, you can get the legal authority in your region to evict them.

Though evicting a tenant is not a nice experience, there are times when it is simply necessary. You’ll be better equipped to deal with this difficult circumstance if you know why you can (and can’t) evict a renter and the processes involved in the eviction process.

If you’re in danger of being evicted, it’s a good idea to seek the counsel of a property management consultant. Contact Real Property Management Washington DC to speak to a local rental property professional today at 202-813-9993.

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.

The Neighborly Done Right Promise

The Neighborly Done Right Promise ® delivered by Real Property Management, a proud Neighborly company

When it comes to finding the right property manager for your investment property, you want to know that they stand behind their work and get the job done right – the first time. At Real Property Management we have the expertise, technology, and systems to manage your property the right way. We work hard to optimize your return on investment while preserving your asset and giving you peace of mind. Our highly trained and skilled team works hard so you can be sure your property's management will be Done Right.

Canada excluded. Services performed by independently owned and operated franchises.

See Full Details