Although you may have made every reasonable effort under the sun to make a non-compliant tenant comply with rental regulations and/or simply cough up their share of the rent, state laws dictate that you must follow proper eviction procedures for removing the tenant and the tenant's possessions from the rental property. In a simple breakdown, here is how to properly evict a tenant.

  • Determine valid reasons under local laws for evicting the tenant, such as failure to pay rent, repeated violations or the breach of a lease clause.
  • Give the tenant adequate written notice that you are terminating his or her tenancy, following state and local eviction procedures.
  • File a lawsuit to evict the tenant if the tenant does not move or correct violations after receiving a termination notice.

Here are some additional tips:

  • Avoid taking illegal actions against a tenant, including "self-help" eviction measures like changing the tenant's locks, removing the tenant's possessions, or taking retaliatory actions against the tenant.
  • Comply exactly with local and state eviction procedures to avoid costly delays or mistakes in the eviction process.
  • Be prepared that the tenant may bring a defense against your eviction lawsuit, possibly increasing the time of the eviction process.
  • Consult with local rental housing authorities or a knowledgeable real estate attorney about proper eviction procedures.

Remember, landlords who know their legal rights and comply with local landlord-tenant laws stand the best chance of successfully evicting a tenant. Good luck!