Whether you are a creditor trying to figure out a way to get former homeowners out of the foreclosed upon property or a landlord wanting to remove bad tenants from your rental unit, you may be wondering how you can get the stubborn tenants off of your property in a way that is compliant with the law. Landlords typically go the eviction route, but what do lenders do when the stubborn residents are not mere tenants, but former borrowers? Fortunately, Alabama provides three ways for landlords and tenants alike to remove a person from their property without much hassle or headache.
Lawsuits for the Removal of Residents
In Alabama, there are three ways in which a person can use the law to regain control of his or her property. Though our Birmingham real estate lawyers at Cloud Willis & Ellis can do a better job of explaining each method in depth in person, this post explains those methods in brief:
- Eviction: Eviction is applicable when there is a landlord/tenant lease agreement in place. Unfortunately for the landlord, the tenant has the right to remain on the premises unless the lease is up and the tenant and landlord did not agree to renew it, and/or unless the tenant has violated the terms of the lease. The most common violation is failure to pay rent, but may also include a number of other violations, such as having a pet on the property despite a written agreement forbidding pets. If a landlord opts to evict a tenant instead of ejecting him or her, he or she must give the tenant a chance to remedy the issue for which the landlord wants to evict him or her. A lender cannot evict a prior homeowner for refusing to leave a foreclosed property.
- Ejectment: An ejectment applies in situations where the person residing on the property does not have a lease agreement with the owner to be on the property. An ejectment action typically arises when the person living on the premises believes that he or she has the right to be there, such as in foreclosure cases. The homeowner feels that because he or she once owned the property, and/or because he or she invested a significant amount of money in the property, he or she is still entitled to reside in it. Ejectment actions need to be filed in the Circuit Court and typically take much longer to resolve than evictions or unlawful detainers/forcible entry.
- Unlawful Detainer/Forcible Entry: This last cause of action arises when the owner of a property wants to remove a person who was invited onto the property and/or granted permission to live on the property for an indefinite period of time but who has overstayed his or her welcome. Unlawful detainer cases typically arise when a child refuses to leave his or her parent’s house after turning 18 and being asked to move out. Alternatively, unlawful detainer cases may arise when a guest is invited to stay on the property by the homeowner but, when asked to leave, refuses to do so. Forcible entry cases, on the other hand, arise when a person resides on another’s property despite lack of an invitation. These usually occur when a squatter has taken up residence on a foreclosed property.
Discuss Your Options With a Real Estate Lawyer
At Cloud Willis & Ellis, we help property owners exercise their rights on a daily basis. If someone is living on your property without your consent, or if you wish to remove somebody from your property in a legal manner, contact our real estate attorneys today.