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Achieving a Successful Eviction

An Envelope with an “Eviction Notice” StampEvictions can be very time-consuming and detrimental to Owasso property owners‘ monthly cash flows. But if settling your dispute directly with your tenant is not possible, you might have to begin the eviction process. The following are ways to ensure that your eviction is successful.

Unlike what the majority think, eviction is not the action of forcing a tenant 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 have the contract voided, the tenant must voluntarily leave, or else a legal process will be required.

The eviction process begins with 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. Not following all of the relevant laws could be a reason that your eviction will fail. 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.

Once you know how the law applies to your specific circumstance, the next step would be to give your tenant a Pay or Quit or Notice of Lease Violation. Aside from informing your tenant that they are in violation of the lease, this document also serves as their official notice. Make sure that you include instructions for the tenant to be in compliance with the lease terms again. Some states require this to be sent via certified mail or might require a different delivery method. See to it that any stated actions or remedies follow all time periods required by law as well.

What if, despite the notice, the tenant does not respond or is still unwilling to return to compliance with their lease terms? Then your next step is to document all legal grounds for eviction and file a Forcible Detainer with the local court. Depending on where your rental property is, the required documents may include both an Eviction Complaint and a Summons. Both 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.

Once 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. Remember that you cannot evict a tenant who is unwilling to vacate the property if you do not have 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 most states, landlords can call on the local police, constable, or sheriff’s department to assist in removing a tenant. Even with an eviction judgment, it is illegal in every state for a landlord to intimidate or harass a tenant. Different states have different laws for handling tenant removal as well as their personal belongings so be sure to follow the laws in your area. Violation of a tenant’s rights, even after legally evicting them can cause them to sue you and potentially delay or even overturn your eviction judgment.

A successful eviction is a legal eviction handled carefully and clearly documented from start to finish. However, evictions are also very delicate matters that often require time and detailed knowledge of tenant-landlord laws. Why not let the Owasso property management pros at Real Property Management Tulsa handle your eviction for you instead? Contact us online or call 918-532-7020 to learn more.

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