Top 5 Valid Reasons to Evict Tenants
Being a landlord has its struggles. But it seems like the remedy to a landlord’s struggles–eviction–is a big battle in itself. Even though you are the owner of the property, you cannot remove a tenant for just any reason, such as they didn’t send you a birthday card or you don’t like the football team they root for.
You can evict a tenant for only legitimate reasons that are spelled out in your state’s landlord-tenant law. Every state has local governments, too, so you should always check local law to determine if any ordinances apply in your area. Here are five common reasons you can evict a tenant:
- Illegal Use of Property
You can evict a tenant if they are doing business wrongly on the property they rented from you. This could involve using the place for either legal business or illegal activity.
The residential house or place you have rented to the tenant is likely zoned individually for private use, not for business or industrial use. If the tenant tries to operate a business out of that unit, they are using the property illegally.
- Lease Violations
For instance, a tenant who operated a hair or nail salon out of their unit would be violating their lease agreement and other business restrictions, including local zoning ordinances. They are building liability for themselves and you because the property is not given for business use and does not fit the proper form or safety codes for such. If a client were injured, the customer would venture to come after the tenant, and after you, the landlord, for any damages.
If you have this problem you should evict a tenant for attempting to operate a legal business out of the private property. Needless to say, you also can remove a tenant for illegal activities. Tenants who endeavor to distribute any drugs, even medicinal drugs, or other illicit substances can be evicted from the property.
You must serve the tenant with a warning to quit, notifying them that you will be moving to evict because they have illegally used the property.
- Health or Safety Violations
As a landlord, it is right that you can evict a tenant if your property has a known health or security breach that must be fixed. There may be a dangerous or unhealthy situation, and if the problem cannot be remedied while the tenant is staying on the premises, you can file to evict them. An illustration of this type of health violation would be a home that has to be treated for severe lead hazards.
There will be a task for you when you go to evict, and it is essential that you provide the tenant with Eviction Notices to leave far in advance of the expected date of eviction. The period varies by state. You will see in New Jersey that notice must be given at least 90 days before you can file for eviction. Relocation compensation must often be provided to tenants who are being evicted under these conditions, and the removal will not occur until the tenants have been relocated.
- The Unit Is Being Taken off the Market
If you take your property off the rental market for the foreseeable future, you can register to evict the tenants. Each state has rules concerning the process for this type of eviction.
In the state of New Jersey a landlord must inform all tenants of the plan to withdraw the property from the market by giving them with a Notice to Quit at least 1.5 years in advance and cannot remove the property until all tenants’ leases have expired.
- Owner Move-In
If you, the landlord, plan to live in a rental unit, you can file to evict the tenant. Also, if you currently live in the business, you can seek to remove the tenant if you have a close family member who plans to move into the unit.
Rules vary by state. Many states require that you plan on living in the unit for at least three years. You often cannot evict a tenant to move in if they have lived in the property for more than 10 years or are disabled. In some states, you must wait until the end of the school year to evict a tenant with children.