As a landlord you’ll find that, occasionally, evicting a tenant becomes a necessity. By reading the steps below, you’ll have a better idea of how to legally evict tenants.
1. Learn the Landlord and Tenant Act
If you decide you can evict and want to move forward, get very familiar with the Landlord and Tenant Act of your state, which explains the legal process for evicting a tenant. To win your case, you’ll need to follow the eviction procedure to the letter. If you skip a step, the judge may decide in the tenant’s favor and the tenant may have the right to sue you in civil court.
You can get a copy of the Landlord and Tenant Act from your state attorney general’s website. If your state does not post these acts online, get a printed version at a local court office or better yet, hire an attorney.
2. Give Notice
Many states require you to give the tenant written notice before you even start filing for an eviction. You may also have to give the tenant time to correct the problem before you can file. Indiana law allows, landlord must typically provide 10 days’ notice to pay rent or move before they can file to evict. … However, for other lease violations, Indiana allows landlords to file unconditional quit notices immediately.
When writing the notice, include the date of delivery, the timeframe the tenant has to correct the problem, and the date you will file the eviction. Deliver the notice via certified mail in order to ensure delivery date and time.
3. File Your Eviction
Armed with knowledge of the law and having given your tenant a chance, you’re finally ready to start the eviction process by filing for a court hearing. If your state required that you give notice, file the eviction the morning after the waiting period expires.
Common Reasons Eviction May Be Required
The most common one is the nonpayment of rent, but other reasons include:
- Violating the terms of the lease or rental agreement (for example, having a pet when the agreement has a no-pets clause, making excessive noise that disturbs neighbors and other tenants)
- Causing serious damage to the rental premises
- Carrying on illegal activities, like dealing drugs.
Lastly, do not attempt to evict the tenant yourself and avoid the following:
- Allowing utility companies to cut off service by failing to pay the bill
- Changing the locks
- Removing the tenant’s property from the rental unit
- Threatening the tenant
- Ordering the tenant to leave
Be sure to consult your attorney as this post doesn’t constitute legal advice.