With the real estate market once again on firm ground, more people are taking the leap and purchasing real property. For some, this purchase will be a home to call their own, while for others it will be a commercial property located in any up-and-coming district.
Still others, however, will purchase rental property in the aim of ultimately turning their investment into a steady revenue stream. Given this objective and the significant expenditure made in its pursuit, it only makes sense that the owners of duplexes and apartment complexes will want to do everything in their power to protect their investments.
While this means making sure the property is well maintained, it also means ensuring that its rental units are occupied by tenants who pay their rent on time, remain law abiding and abstain from damaging actions.
In the event a problem arises with a tenant, it's important for the investor -- technically the landlord -- to understand that while they have the right to pursue eviction, the state has set forth certain legal obligations they must follow in respect to this process. Indeed, the failure to do so may jeopardize the entire endeavor.
First and foremost, landlords should understand that they can only seek to have a person removed before the end of their lease for cause, meaning there must be a valid legal reason for eviction.
Even if cause is present, it doesn't mean that a landlord can simply remove all the tenant's belongings and put a padlock on the door. Indeed, the first step is to terminate the tenancy and this is accomplished by providing the occupant with notice.
State law dictates that the type of notice provided to tenants is dictated by the underlying reason for the eviction:
- 14-day notice: If the tenant has failed to pay rent, damaged the rental unit beyond ordinary wear and tear, committed a violent act or otherwise threatened others (i.e., fellow tenants, other people on the premises, the landlord, etc.) they must be given notice indicating that they have 14 days to rectify the problem. The notice must indicate that the failure to do this in the designated timeframe will result in the termination of the tenancy and the filing of an eviction lawsuit.
- 30-day notice: If the tenant has committed any other manner of lease violation, they must be given notice indicating that they have 30 days to rectify the problem. The notice must indicate that the failure to do this in the designated timeframe will result in the termination of the tenancy and the filing of an eviction lawsuit.
- 3-day notice: If the tenant has committed some manner of drug crime on the premises, they must be given notice indicating that they have 3 days notice. The notice must indicate that the drug-related activity will result in the termination of the tenancy and the filing of an eviction lawsuit.
We'll continue this discussion in a future post. In the meantime, if you have questions about a landlord-tenant dispute, or require assistance with the purchase of commercial or rental property, consider speaking with a skilled legal professional.