Valid Reasons for Evicting a Tenant

With these trying times due to the Covid-19 pandemic some tenants have not been as diligent when it comes to making rent payments as they once were. This has caused some property owners to ask what they can do if their rental property is not being taken care of and if money is flying out of their own pocket. Can they evict them? What are other valid reasons for eviction? In general, these serve as valid reasons for wanting to evict a tenant, and can spark the eviction process:

1.Chronic failure to pay rent

 Your property is made available as part of an exchange; your tenants pay you rent every month so they can continue living there. If they stop paying rent, or if you continually face problems with collection, it could be grounds for an eviction. Note that a single missed or late payment probably isn’t a good foundation to evict your tenant. In most cases, it’s better to have a conversation about the issue and try to work out a solution. Only if the issue is recurring, with no effort made to rectify the situation, should eviction be your go-to option.


2.Deliberately violating the lease agreement

 Most good tenants will do their best to stay within the parameters specified in the lease. If they step out of line, a polite conversation or request is usually enough to deter the behavior. However, if a tenant seems to deliberately or excessively violate the terms of your lease, such as misusing the property or having pets when none are allowed, an eviction may be on the table.


3.Significant damage to your property

 Tenants will inevitably cause some wear and tear to your property, whether they mean to or not. However, some tenants, through intention or negligence, may cause serious damage to your property. If these incidents are repeated without the tenant offering to compensate you for the damage, you should have grounds for an eviction.


4.Significant health or safety hazards

It’s important to keep your property in a condition compliant with good health and safety standards. If your tenant violates that, repeatedly, you may be all but forced to evict them. This usually involves unsafe or illegal conduct.


5.Chronic violations of noise or occupancy ordinances

 Some tenants may violate ordinances that make life difficult for you, put you in a bad legal situation, or otherwise negatively impact the neighborhood. For example, if they’re frequently hosting loud parties into the early hours of the morning or if they violate occupancy ordinances in your local area, you may be able to evict them.


Bad Reasons for Evicting a Tenant

These reasons, are invalid motivations to evict someone. Trying to evict someone for one of these reasons could lead to legal action against you:

Some tenants will be a thorn in your side without breaking the law, or make life difficult for you in a frustrating—but entirely legal—way. In these situations, you’ll be tempted to evict the tenant as a way of punishing them, or as a way to prevent future, similar behavior. This is considered retaliation and is not an acceptable motivation for eviction. For example, if they make a report to the health department that creates hours of work for you, that’s well within their rights. Attempting to evict a tenant after this could be problematic for you.

Any eviction that could be interpreted as discriminatory may also be disallowed in court. There are many possible forms of discrimination, including discriminating against someone based on their ethnicity, their race, their abilities (or disabilities), or whether they have children. Though it’s unlikely you’ll be directly motivated to evict someone based on prejudice, it’s important that you realize this potential interpretation exists, and that you have a crystal-clear case demonstrating why your eviction is not motivated by discrimination.