Evicting a tenant is a situation that no landlord wants to find themselves in, but it can be a necessary step in certain situations. There are several reasons for a landlord or property manager to evict a tenant, but they generally all relate to breaches of the lease agreement.
In the instance that there is an issue with the lease agreement and a settlement cannot be reached, and the tenant will not vacate the property, unfortunately, eviction is the next step. Each state will have its own legislative requirements relating to eviction, and its important to be aware of these requirements, particularly in light of current moratoriums on eviction that exist in certain states, regarding COVID-19.
Landlords are required to have a valid legal reason to evict a tenant or tenants. Situations that constitute a breach of lease agreements and warrant an eviction include consistently late payments of rent, failure to pay rent after reminder notices have been issued, the property being used for illegal purposes, malicious damage, being a nuisance to neighbours or any other breach of the obligations contained in the lease agreement.
It is worth noting that tenants may have grounds to appeal an eviction notice in some circumstances.
Before an eviction can take place, there is a specific procedure to be followed regarding delivering notices to the tenant and allowing them the opportunity to correct the issues of concern. The types of notice required and the response times will vary from state to state, and response times may be dependent upon the reason given for eviction.
For example, breaches of lease agreement generally require 14 days notice while landlords who sell the property and require the tenant to vacate are usually required to give tenants at least 30 days notice.
Once the correct procedures and notices have been carried out, a termination notice needs to be provided to the tenant.
A termination notice is required to:
- Be delivered in writing.
- Be signed and dated by the property manager or landlord/property owner.
- Be appropriately addressed to the tenant with their correct name.
- Provide the date when the lease agreement will be terminated and the date the tenant is required to vacate the property.
- If relevant, give the reason for the notice of eviction.
- Keep a copy of this notice as proof of evicting the tenants.
The detailed action required to evict tenants is in place to protect all parties, and when evicting a tenant, following these steps will limit the case being taken to court or tenancy tribunal.
It’s important to remember that having an appropriate landlord insurance policy can help protect against the sometimes costly proceedings that can occur when evicting tenants. For example, the Eagle Protect policy will pay for loss of rent if your tenant refuses to vacate the property after being served an order of eviction from a court or tribunal. We will also cover reasonable legal expenses incurred – with prior written consent – in minimising your loss of rent due to tenant default or the legal eviction of a tenant.