Skip to Content

Tenants, Evictions, and Unlawful Detainer, Oh My!

Eagan Eviction Notice On DoorA more intricate aspect of owning Eagan rental properties is understanding the concept of unlawful detainer. To define the term “unlawful detainer”, it is a tenant who continues to live in a rental property even after having no legal right to do so. If an unlawful detainer situation happens, rental property owners can then use it as a legal basis to start the eviction process. But evicting a tenant because of unlawful detainer requires a court case and, in some cases, a jury trial. In what follows, we will go over the basics of lawful detainer as well as some sample situations of unlawful detainer- and what to do when it happens.

A Legal Basis for Eviction

For most rental property owners, the concept of unlawful detainer will only become real if there is a need to evict a tenant. While it is not the only legal basis for eviction, unlawful detainer does give the landlords the means to sue for a tenant’s removal. Evicting a tenant, which is always a delicate situation, needs to carefully follow specific rules and regulations set in place in every state. A landlord cannot simply ask a tenant to leave, for any reason, once he or she has possession of the property. This covers violating the lease, not paying rent, or even if you cancel the lease. So prior to making your case to the appropriate local courts, it’s important to thoroughly document the situation and properly know your legal basis for eviction.

There are a couple of cases in which unlawful detainer can be applied to. To learn more about the three top common ones, keep reading.

Example 1: The tenant refuses to leave after the lease ends.

One of the most popular reasons you can use unlawful detainer to evict a tenant is if that tenant refuses to move out even after the lease has expired. You cannot, legally, force a tenant to move out once their lease ends. If you change the locks, call the sheriff, or do any other attempts that are illegal, you could be sued by your tenant instead. Instead, in the event you have a tenant who refuses to move out, you should document the situation and file a petition with the local court. On your end, you must make sure that the court documents are accessible to your tenants. From there, you will need to follow the eviction process provided by the court system to get a judge’s ruling before proceeding with the rest of the eviction process.

Example 2: The tenant stops paying rent.

Another usual reason to use unlawful detainer to evict a tenant is if they cease paying their rent. A tenant who does not pay rent is a common occurrence and has several main causes. Some tenants may either be waiting for their paychecks or have simply forgotten. However, you may need to resort to eviction if ever your tenant does not pay their rent after you have provided multiple reminders and requests. Be certain to accurately follow any grace period written in your lease and give your tenant one more chance to pay. If you’re not going to do this, your petition may not be successful in court

Example 3: The tenant refuses to leave after the landlord terminates the lease.

A tenant who does not move out even after they have terminated their lease with you could be an unlawful detainer. There are so many reasons why a landlord would terminate a lease. Some reasons could be a tenant violating one or more terms, or there could be other reasons. If your tenant will not leave and you need to terminate the lease, you can use the legal basis of unlawful detainer to petition the court to authorize them to move out. Most of all, you should follow the legal process step by step and be sure to document everything. Yet, the event of unlawful detainer is no reason to violate a tenant’s rights.

When you receive the judgment from the court, you will generally get a writ that gives your tenant one more opportunity to move out of your rental property voluntarily. You will not be the one to deliver the writ to your tenant. In most states, this will be given by the local law enforcement. You can then employ the aid of law enforcement to remove your tenant and regain possession of your property with a judgment and writ in hand.

Evictions are a time-consuming legal process that can easily become a serious struggle. However, it is a common aspect of owning rental properties. Why not give Real Property Management Fidelis a call if you need any help with a tenant who has violated their lease or refuses to leave? Our professionals can provide you with guidance so you can carry out the eviction process carefully and legally and get your property back as fast as possible. To speak with an Eagan property manager, contact us online or call at 844-365-RENT today!

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