As the owner of a residential or commercial property, you have the right to evict tenants if they fail to comply with their obligations in the rental agreement, whether by failing to pay rent or by breaking other rules set out in the agreement. You must, however, abide by your legal obligations specified in the agreement, too, as well as respecting the general rights of tenants not to be bullied by greedy or aggressive landlords. With collecting a judgment, when someone owes you money, mistakes on your part can get the debtor out of the obligation to pay you; likewise, with evictions cases, the meaner you are to the tenant, the more likely they are to take you to court, and the more likely the judge is to decide the tenant can stay. If you want your tenants out but they refuse to leave, don’t get mad; instead, contact an Alabama eviction attorney and follow the rules about evicting tenants legally.
Valid Reasons to Evict a Tenant
Landlords may not evict tenants prior to the end of a lease, except for the following reasons:
- The tenant has failed to pay rent for one or more months
- The tenant broke one of the terms of the lease (for example, by subletting a room in the apartment or keeping a pet in a building where pets are prohibited)
- The tenant committed a violent crime on the property or possessed illegal drugs in the rented unit
- The client lied on the rental application
Notifying Tenants That You Plan to Evict Them
When you plan to evict a tenant, you must notify them in writing seven days before the day they must leave. If the eviction is because of nonpayment of rent, the eviction notice should say that the tenant must pay the money they owe within seven days of the date of the notice; if they do not pay, they must leave. Likewise, if the eviction is for breaking a term of the lease, the client must remedy the violation within seven days of the notice date, or else you will evict them. If non-paying tenants pay up and lease-violating tenants get rid of their prohibited boarders, pets, fire hazard decorations, or whatever the cause of the violation was, they have the right to stay until the end of the lease term. If the eviction is because of criminal activity or a fraudulent rental application, then your decision to evict is not up for negotiation.
If the Tenant Doesn’t Leave
If the tenant does not remedy the violation and does not move out, you must file an eviction lawsuit. You cannot force the tenant out; only law enforcement can do that. If seven days go by, but the tenant is still on your property, you need an eviction lawyer.
Let Us Help You Today
Eviction is a more delicate process, legally speaking, than it might seem. Contact the Alabama eviction attorneys at Cloud Willis & Ellis for a consultation to find out how to evict tenants without overstepping your legal boundaries.