Skip to Content

Tenant Eviction: The Do’s and Don’ts

Eviction notice on door of house with brass door knob. Fictitious address, ID, signature and 555 phone number for fictional usage.Being a successful landlord demands a lot of different skills, which includes knowing when and how to kick out a roommate. Overall, knowing why you can and can’t evict a tenant lets you be a responsible and legal landlord while also protecting the rights of the tenant and keeping the relationship between the landlord and renter peaceful.

Understanding Just Cause

All property owners should be conscious that eviction is a legal procedure that necessitates a court order in order to kick a renter from your property. You can abide by local, state, and federal laws that control landlord-tenant interactions by being aware of the legitimate reasons for eviction. Evicting a renter without adequate legal justification may result in penalties like fines or legal action.

To evict a tenant, you must have what is known as “just cause.” Just cause eviction statutes require that you have a legal justification to evict the tenant, such as nonpayment of rent, property damage, or violation of the lease terms. You cannot evict a tenant unless you have just cause.

Reasons You Can Evict

Nonpayment of rent is one of the most prevalent reasons landlords evict tenants. You can formally notify your tenant that they have a certain amount of days to pay their rent or leave the rental property if they don’t do so on time, as required by state law, if they don’t pay their rent on time. In the event that the tenant disobeys, you may file for eviction. Just be careful to abide by any applicable state and local regulations as well as the terms of your lease.

Theft of property is another frequent justification for eviction. You can give your tenant a formal notice forcing them to repair the damage or vacate the property if they have seriously damaged the property beyond normal wear and tear. In the event that the tenant disobeys, you may file for eviction.

Other lease violations are another justification for evicting a renter. You can give your tenant official notice to remove the pet or vacate the property if your lease forbids pets and they have one. In the event that the tenant disobeys, you may file for eviction. All other Lease terms shall be of like effect.

Reasons You Cannot Evict

Even if a renter has done something that would seem to warrant eviction, there are a few more reasons why you can’t evict. For example, you cannot remove a tenant because they have requested that you make repairs to the property or have complained about the rental unit’s circumstances. Furthermore, you cannot evict a tenant because of their race, color, religion, national origin, gender, familial situation, or disability. These protected classifications cannot lawfully be used as the reason for an eviction, and attempting to do so may result in a discrimination lawsuit.

Carrying Out an Eviction

There are a few steps you must take if you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of having to evict a tenant. You must first provide the renter a written notice outlining the reasons behind the eviction and the deadline by which they must leave the rental property. The next step is to serve the renter with a court-filed eviction petition. You might be able to obtain a default judgment in your favor if the tenant misses their court date. Finally, if the tenant still won’t leave the property, you could have the local law enforcement take them out.

Even though evicting a tenant is never simple, it is occasionally essential. Understanding the reasons why you can (and cannot) evict a renter as well as the steps involved in the eviction procedure will help you minimize legal risks and encourage an amicable and equitable living situation for everyone involved.


You might wish to seek help from a property management specialist if you are in danger of being evicted. Speak with a local rental property expert right away by getting in touch with your neighborhood Real Property Management office!

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.

The Neighborly Done Right Promise

The Neighborly Done Right Promise ® delivered by Real Property Management, a proud Neighborly company

When it comes to finding the right property manager for your investment property, you want to know that they stand behind their work and get the job done right – the first time. At Real Property Management we have the expertise, technology, and systems to manage your property the right way. We work hard to optimize your return on investment while preserving your asset and giving you peace of mind. Our highly trained and skilled team works hard so you can be sure your property's management will be Done Right.

Canada excluded. Services performed by independently owned and operated franchises.

See Full Details