Evictions 101: A Guide for Landlords


Unfortunately, eviction is an inevitable part of being a real estate investor. Especially as you grow your portfolio, it’s important to know what to expect should you ever need to evict a tenant from one of your rental properties.

As a landlord, you should know your rights amidst an eviction. Although eviction laws vary from state to state, there are a few typical terms of the eviction process you should expect regardless of your location.

You can’t begin the eviction process until you’ve notified your tenant that you’re ending their tenancy. You must give them proper notice. Then, you can file the legal paperwork to initiate the eviction process. Typically, it costs around $150 to file the lawsuit, depending on the city you live in.

There are three reasons why you can file an eviction:

1) Pay Rent or Quit Notice. This notice gives a tenant who is behind on rent two options: pay up or get out!

2) Cure or Quit Notice. This is when the tenant has acted in violation of the rental agreement. This notice gives them the option to either fix their wrongdoing, or leave the premises. An example would be acting out the terms of the lease such as having a pet that you are not aware of or making excessive noise.

3) Unconditional Quit Notice. This orders the tenant to move out when they have repeatedly violated the lease agreement. This typically applies when you’ve discussed a matter with the tenant multiple times, but is still an issue. This can be for noise, damage, or other offenses.

And remember, it’s important to be knowledgeable about the state you’re investing in. Certain states are more protective of landlords in their legislation. You should take the time to research how lease agreements, evictions, and security deposits are handled in any state you’re considering becoming a landlord. The implications of these laws can be substantial, so you won’t want to overlook this step.

For instance, what would happen if your tenant were to stop paying rent? Of course, you would want to evict them so that you could continue collecting passive income. Since you own the property, you would think that you would hold the power to make this happen quickly, but some states actually favor tenants more than landlords.

When I'm looking for a place to invest, I ensure that the legislation has no tolerance for renters who don’t pay their agreed upon rental amount. I only invest in states where the eviction process is quick and painless for the landlord.

If you’re working with a great property management team, which you should be, they will handle the eviction process on your behalf. Sometimes people ask if you need a lawyer for this process, but my property management teams have always handled evictions beautifully.