As you know, an eviction is the legal process by which you, the landlord, can remove a tenant from one of your rental properties. Evictions happen for a number of reasons – most often justified by egregious actions – and have their place. But at a time such as this, compassion and empathy might be more important than dollars and cents.
Common Reasons for Evicting Tenants
Evictions are complicated, but they’re generally common practice in situations where a tenant isn’t following the basic rules that were agreed upon and/or are legal practice in the state in which he’s residing.
Common reasons for evicting a tenant include:
- Non-payment. The very relationship between a tenant and landlord is predicated on the fact that the landlord provides a safe place to live, while the tenant provides monetary compensation in return for the housing. If a tenant doesn’t pay rent, they’re in violation of the lease agreement.
- Habitual late payment. Perhaps a tenant pays rent, but it’s always two or three weeks late. Or sometimes he misses a payment one month and has to make two payments the next month. A late payment here or there is annoying, but not criminal. Habitual late payment could be grounds for eviction.
- Property damage. A tenant cannot knowingly and intentionally damage property. If a landlord discovers damage in excess of normal wear and tear, it could justify an eviction in the eyes of the state.
- Disruption. A tenant who is disrupting neighbors and creating a disturbance in the area should be served a Notice to Quit. If the tenant refuses to obey and the behavior continues, a landlord can file for eviction.
- Holdover. If a tenant refuses to leave after the lease ends, this is known as a holdover. The landlord can file for an eviction to force the tenant to leave the premises.
If a tenant receives an eviction notice, it’s almost always the direct result of one of these five causes. However, it’s possible that other issues come into play.
Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Evict Your Tenants
Evictions have always been a sensitive topic for tenants and landlords. No landlord ever wants to look like a jerk, but there are times when a tenant’s actions require some sort of response.
That time is not now.
Here are some reasons why you shouldn’t evict your tenants:
- People Are Hurting
A global pandemic affects every single American in one way or another. Whether it’s losing a job, seeing income reduced, getting sick, having a loved one get sick, seeing friends and family pass away, or suffering from severe anxiety, every single person suffers.
Few things have the potential to push someone over the edge quite like losing their housing – especially when they may not have the financial resources or stability to find somewhere else to live.
According to Houston property management company, Green Residential, evictions are always a last resort – especially now. You should work with tenants to figure out the best plan moving forward.
- There Are Moratoriums on Evictions
In almost all parts of the country, there are federal eviction moratoriums through the end of 2020. That means it’s technically illegal to pursue an eviction for non-payment. Choosing to force a tenant out or threatening eviction could land you in hot water.
- Evictions are Messy
There’s no such thing as a clean and simple eviction. After all, you wouldn’t have to forcefully evict someone if they were content to leave on their own accord. If your goal is to manage the situation in a way that protects both your interests and the well-being of your tenants, an eviction is probably the last resort.
- You’ll Look (and Feel) Like the ‘Bad Guy’
You might be perfectly justified in evicting someone, but there’s no two ways around it: If you evict someone right now, you’re going to look and feel like the “bad guy.” And that’s an image that people won’t soon forget.
Even after the pandemic comes and goes, you’ll be known as the landlord who kicked people while they were down. (Right or wrong, that’s the image that will be affixed to you.)
- Be a Smart Landlord
Being a landlord isn’t for people with weak stomachs. As the Covid-19 pandemic has shown, rent is never guaranteed. Life happens and there are always circumstances beyond your sphere of influence. And while you can’t always control what happens “out there,” you can control how you respond.
Now is not a time for evictions – no matter how justified they may seem. Now is a time for compassion, empathy, and humanity.
Keep being AllDayChic!