How to Lawfully Evict a Tenant

Many property owners at one time or the other, either have unwanted renters in their house or heard about a case where a tenant refused to leave. This happens all over the world and to all kinds of people – from people renting out an extra property to more sophisticated property managers. It seems that no matter how nice one behaves towards their tenants, conflicts are bound to arise. Yet how do you take possession of your property without having your tenant sue you when the tenancy goes south? What can are your rights and what are theirs?

First, please be mindful that if you interfere with a property you rented out, you could be liable for three times the amount of damages that was incurred or an equivalent of $200- whichever is greater. Worse still, they can often re-enter your property and regain possession after you pay these damages. Consequently, you need to ensure that you are following the absolutely right guidelines.

In this article, we will discuss a step by step guide on how to evict your tenant legally. There are certain conditions under which you can decide to evict your tenant if he or she has breached the terms of your contract or they have refused to pay rent. Always bear in mind that an eviction will ruin the relationship between both of you; it should only be considered as a last resort.

Reason with Your Tenant

Regardless of what the tenant has done to deserve eviction, you should attempt an amicable resolution. This is important in order to preserve your relationship. Endeavour to talk to them and try to reason it out. Be stern but calm; and if you are lucky, the tenant will remedy the problem or leave of their own volition. Additionally, if you feel that the tenant will likely win in court, exhaust all available options before considering an eviction by order of the Court.

Draft a Formal Eviction Notice

Once you have attempted an amicable settlement with the tenant and they remain unreasonable, you should draft a formal notice to quit. In Michigan, this must be complete with an ultimatum and other requirements specific to your tenant’s situation. Bear in mind that eviction notice requirements may differ from one state to the other.

File Your Eviction Notice in Court

Once you have served the tenant the eviction notice and they have refused to vacate your property, you may go ahead to file a formal eviction notice with the Court. You might be required to show the Court proof of service before you can file the eviction notice.  If you want to collect past due rent or damage to the property, you can seek that as well.

Attend the Hearing Fixed by the Court

Once you file the notice in Court, an eviction hearing would be set. Bear in mind that the Court will require that you tender all evidence of your past agreements and dealings and other evidence. You should come along with receipts, bounced checks, tenancy agreements, and any witnesses you will need.

Ensure That There Are Violations of Process That the Client Can Claim

The Court will likely rule in your favor as long as you have fulfilled all conditions precedent to getting a court eviction. Afterwards, the tenant is given an ultimatum (usually a couple of days or up to a week) before the Sherriff can enforce the ruling on your property. If the tenant chooses to remain, their belongings could end up on the curb. This is not a pretty process but it is effective and it gets the job done.

Recover the Money Owed You

Once you reach this step, you have successfully completed the first phase of the process. At this instant you may want to recover the arrears of rent the tenant owes you. There are a couple of ways to do that: You could garnishee a payment that is incoming to them- either from their employer, their bank or even the government. You could also decide to institute an action for debt recovery if there are additional damages which need to be recovered. Weigh your options thoroughly and choose which best works for you.

Once you have gotten all these out of the way, your property is free for a new tenant. In the future, ensure that you’re careful while choosing a tenant and do a thorough background check to ensure that they can keep up with paying your rent. This will help you avoid all the hassles and stress you might go through when trying to evict a tenant that has breached your agreement.

While this process is not set in stone in every situation, it will guide you to know what steps to take when you have a stubborn tenant occupying your home. It is still very important to consult the services of a lawyer to avoid doing anything that might complicate these matters in the future.

Contact our Firm

Sometimes, divorce, family, estate, and bankruptcy matters are difficult to navigate. Fortunately, they do not have to be with the assistance of a compassionate, knowledgeable attorney who is willing to guide you every step of the way. If you need a seasoned firm to help you with any divorce, family or estate-related matter, please do not hesitate to contact Collis & Griffor today to schedule a consultation.

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