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Eviction Definition

Eviction is a process used by a landlord to remove a tenant from possession of a rented property. Many times, evictions occur when a tenant has breached a fundamental term of the lease or rental agreement by staying too long or failing to pay rent. Depending on the state, there are different rules about how much time a landlord needs to give a tenant notice that they are being evicted. It is essential for both a tenant and the landlord to be clear about their lease agreement to avoid any misunderstandings that could lead to an eviction.

When Can You Evict a Tenant?

Evicting a tenant is very serious, and landlords should consider their options carefully before starting the process to evict a tenant. Each state has different laws regarding which circumstances are acceptable to evict a tenant. Some of the most common eviction notices are:

Cure or Quit Notices

Cure or Quit Notices are given by landlords after a tenant violates a term or condition in the lease related to having pets or making excessive noise. Usually, a tenant will have a specified period of time to fix the situation without being formally evicted.

Pay Rent or Quit Notices

Pay Rent or Quit Notices are given to tenants by a landlord when the tenant does not pay their rent. In some states, it is acceptable to give a tenant three to five days to pay rent or move out and quit the lease.

Unconditional Quit Notices

Unconditional Quit Notices are the most severe of the three. They require the tenant to vacate the premises with no chance to pay their rent or correct something they violated in their lease. States have different rules about Unconditional Quit Notices. Typically, landlords can issue an Unconditional Quit Notice when the tenant has:

  • Been late with rent more than once.
  • Seriously damaged the property.
  • Repeatedly violated a significant portion of their lease agreement.
  • Engaged in any illegal activity on the premises.

There are certain circumstances where a tenant will refuse to follow the landlord's instructions to fix a lease violation or leave the property. When this occurs, it is quite common to have an unlawful detainer lawsuit that involves serving a tenant formally with a court summons and a complaint requiring an eviction.

Can You Send a Tenant a Notice for Termination Without Cause?

States are careful to protect the rights of a tenant that is leasing a property. Depending on the state, landlords usually use a 30-Day or 60-Day Notice to Vacate to end a month-to-month lease even if the tenant has not done anything wrong. Typically, if a landlord has a 12-month lease with a tenant, then it is impossible to terminate the lease early without just cause.

What Rights Do Tenants Have?

It is possible for a tenant to assemble a defense to an eviction charge. It is unfortunate when this happens because it can extend the eviction process to last weeks or even months. Tenants can raise issues with how the landlord went about the eviction process if they made procedural errors. Tenants can also state that a rental unit was uninhabitable or claim they have been overcharged with repairs. When these kinds of defenses occur, it can make the landlord look culpable and prolong the eviction process considerably.

Will an Eviction Negatively Impact My Eligibility to Rent in the Future?

Being evicted from an apartment or office is very serious. It is something that will negatively impact individuals with rentals in the future because they will have a negative reference on their record. Make sure to avoid being evicted by paying rent on time and following the terms of the lease. If a dispute arises with a landlord, attempt to negotiate with them to avoid a formal eviction process.

Eviction Glossary Definition

Eviction occurs when a landlord notifies a tenant that they need to leave their property due to a particular violation the tenant has committed. Evictions can happen because of a tenant not paying, excessive noise, or even illegal activities a tenant is conducting on the property. It is imperative for landlords to follow the required eviction procedures for the state where their property is to avoid delays in evicting a tenant.