Let’s face it, being a landlord comes with its fair share of headaches. And sometimes, even after you thought you did your best in choosing the right tenant (Read more about that here), things go awry and you find yourself evicting a tenant.
Certainly, evicting a tenant is a landmine any landlord would want to avoid stepping on. However, when you’re a landlord, you must be prepared for handling the worst.
But before we jump into today’s post on the eviction process, let’s quickly define the term. Whenever you’re evicting a tenant, you’re basically expelling or banishing that person from your rental property.
So, if you’re currently at a point where you feel eviction is your final resort, then today’s blog post was made for you.
Without further ado, it’s time for some Real Talk!
#1. When Evicting a Tenant, Know The Eviction Laws
In America, eviction laws vary from state to state. However, in The Bahamas, there’s a Landlord and Tenant Act (No.2) in the Statute of Law.
This act details recovering rent, handling expired leases, and so on. Not to mention, it’s available in PDF format online. Check it out here!
With a proper grasp of these laws, it becomes easier to draft your lease agreement or refine your current one. And if you’re still uncomfortable drafting the lease agreement yourself, it’s best to hire a lawyer to handle it for you.
#2. When Evicting a Tenant, Have a Valid Reason
Ever heard the saying ‘No body, no crime’? Well, the same applies when evicting a tenant. You need documented proof of any claim against your tenant in order to validate the eviction.
Common reasons for starting the eviction process include:
- Illegal activity (selling drugs on property)
- Expiration of lease agreement
- Lease agreement violations
- Property damage
- Nonpayment of rent
Whichever the reason may be, ensure you have sufficient proof to take the matter up with the courts.
#3. Try Reasoning with The Tenant
It’s understandable if you’re not the type of person who wants to take the matter to court. The thought of dealing with an eviction case may be overwhelming for you.
Likewise, you may be doubting the law being on your side or even the legally-binding strength of your lease agreement. This leaves you with the option of reasoning.
If you have a decent enough relationship with your tenant, talk to them about your concerns. It’s advised that you meet the tenant in a public setting away from your rental.
Be understanding of their situation, yet remain stern about your reason for eviction. It’s a 50-50 chance that they’ll appreciate your approach and leave the property willingly.
On the other hand, they may outright refuse while denying everything. In this case, (although tempting) DO NOT resort to taking matters into your own hands. Instead, move on to step 4.
#4. Give a Formal Eviction Notice
When crafting your eviction notice, it should include the following:
- The date by which the tenant must pay rent or move out
- The monetary amount that is owed by the tenant to the landlord
When presenting this eviction notice to the tenant, you should:
- Give it to the tenant a certain number of days before you file eviction paperwork with your local court.
- Post the notice on the tenant’s front door, email it, even WhatsApp the notice. (Send it through enough mediums to strengthen evidence that advance notice was given in a timely manner.)
Admittedly, handing out eviction notices isn’t ideal for any landlord. Nonetheless, when it comes to securing your finances, the state of your property, and the safety of your other tenants, you do whatever is necessary (legally speaking).
If the tenant has not paid in-full or moved out by date provided on the notice, then you may proceed with filing the eviction with the courts.
The Final Say
Without a doubt, being a landlord holds many responsibilities. And when it comes to evicting a tenant, it takes reasoning, persistence, and patience to get the job done.
Be sure read PART 2 of this post to learn how finalize the eviction process.
This concludes today’s Real Talk session. If you enjoyed it, feel free to share and connect with us on social media using the links down below.
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Thank you all for reading and we’ll see you soon for more Real Talk!