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Achieving a Successful Eviction

An Envelope with an “Eviction Notice” StampEvictions are usually time-consuming and bad for monthly cash flows, so North Austin property owners have good reason to avoid them. But if you have failed many times in settling your dispute directly with your tenant, it could be a signal to start the eviction process. Here are some tips for a successful eviction.

Unlike what most people think, eviction is not forcing a tenant off of the leased property. Rather, an eviction is a legal process by which a landlord or property owner regains possession of (or full legal rights to) the property. When you lease a property to a tenant, the lease documents legally assign both rights and responsibilities to you and your tenant. It is a legal contract. To make that contract void, your tenant must willingly leave the property, otherwise, a legal process has to be followed.

The first step of any eviction process is clearly understanding the Landlord/Tenant laws in your area. While some federal laws apply to all situations, there are also different state and even local laws that you need to know. Failing to follow all the relevant laws might mean a higher likelihood that your eviction will fail, and you will have to start over. For example, you will need to know how much advance notice you are required to give your tenant to remedy the lease violation, how long the grace period is for late payments, how many days you should give your tenant to vacate the property, and so on.

When you know how the law applies to you, the next step is to give your tenant a Pay or Quit or Notice of Lease Violation. This document will serve as your official notice to your tenant informing them that they are in violation of the lease. It should also contain all instructions the tenant can follow to once again be compliant with the lease terms. Send the notice by certified mail or any other required delivery method. See to it that the stated actions or remedies follow all time periods required by law. What if the tenant doesn’t respond to the notice or shows that they are unable or unwilling to return to compliance with their lease terms? In this case, you can document your legal grounds for eviction and file a Forcible Detainer with the local court. Check on the required documents for the area where your rental property is located as it may include both an Eviction Complaint and a Summons, both of which outline your case for eviction and inform the tenant of the action filed against them. You must file your form with the court and serve them to your tenant, either in person or by using the delivery method required by law.

After you have filed a Forcible Detainer, the court will consider your case for eviction and issue a ruling. If the judge rules in your favor, they may also include instructions for the forcible removal of the tenant from the property, if required. You must not evict a tenant who is unwilling to vacate the property without a judgment from the court.

Although the judgment is the legal end of the eviction process, for landlords, the final step is overseeing the removal of the tenant and their belongings from the property. In many states, the local police, constable, or sheriff’s department can assist landlords in the removal of a tenant. Remember that it is illegal in all states for a landlord to intimidate or harass a tenant, even with the presence of an eviction judgment. Make sure to follow your local laws when removing a tenant and their personal belongings as each state has different laws about this. Violating a tenant’s rights, even after a legal eviction, can have you sued in return, possibly delaying or even overturning your eviction judgment.

A successful eviction is a legal eviction that is well-handled and fully documented from start to finish. But evictions can be very delicate, usually requiring time and detailed knowledge of tenant-landlord laws. Why not let the North Austin property management pros at Real Property Management Longhorn handle your eviction for you instead? Contact us online or call 512-580-3099 to learn more.

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