Things You Should Not Do When Evicting a Tenant
An eviction notice needs to be served while adhering to several rules and regulations. Moreover, eviction rules vary from city to city and across states, as well as based on whether it’s a residential or commercial building.
However, there are some general dos and don'ts that you must understand and abide by. As this is a long-winded process, failure to comply with the guidelines could result in penalties and strong tenant defense claims.
Read on as we highlight five mistakes you must avoid when serving your tenant with an eviction notice.
Practicing Self-Help Eviction
Attempting to evict a tenant without pursuing the appropriate legal course of action will enable your tenant to pursue legal action against you. Self-help eviction includes using intimidation, fear, and coercion to force a tenant out of a property. Here are some more actions that are considered self-help eviction:
· Cutting of utilities or changing door locks.
· Emptying your tenant's space and leaving their belongings outside.
· Harassing the tenant and forcing them to move out.
Another common mistake many landlords make is not filing paperwork and documenting the eviction procedure. Additionally, you must have the original lease agreement, copy of the notice to cease, notice to quit, bank statements, rent payment receipts, and other relevant paperwork to back up your eviction notice.
Freezing Out the Tenant
As the landlord, you have a right to evict the tenant for many reasons, but freezing them out is not an option. Whether your tenant has practiced illegal activity inside your property or has caused intentional damage, you must go through the proper legal channels to evict them.
Abruptly locking or freezing your tenant out is considered retaliatory action, and you might get sued for doing so. Moreover, if you violate housing laws and regulations, your tenant becomes entitled to remedial action, including monetary compensation.
Serving without Evidence
We can't emphasize this enough. You certainly don't want to end up losing your eviction claim due to not being able to prove your tenant's wrongdoing.
Along with pictures of property damage or CCTV footage, you must gather valid complaints from the neighborhood or other tenants.
If you’re evicting a tenant due to them defaulting on payments, you’ll be asked to provide the court with corresponding references to prove the unpaid rent.
Practicing Discriminatory Eviction
You cannot evict a tenant based on caste, race, family status, income group, gender, or physical disability. This rule is stringent and falls under federal law. It’s one of the most noteworthy pieces of legislation from the 1960s Civil Rights movement.
Moreover, the HUD is the chief enforcer, and the FHA offers extra protection to families with children. In short, you may have several eviction rights, but the law also protects tenants from retaliation, discrimination, arbitrary rent increments, and illegal evictions.
Avail Expert Eviction Help in Beverly Hills, CA
Eviction proceedings are never easy and can be very stressful. Avail our eviction help services to avoid illegal eviction penalties and counterclaims. Our landlord-tenant lawyers are experienced, well-versed, and capable of handling all kinds of eviction cases.
Learn more about our services or contact us today to get started.