It's entirely reasonable to have a healthy worry about conflict with your renters or renters that don't pay rent, which could result in the need for an eviction. The good news is that if you've partnered with the best property management Baltimore, Maryland has available, you have a resource to ensure that you don't turn to eviction unnecessarily.
Property managers can also be the best resource when legally removing a renter is the right move. Here's what rental property owners need to understand about the legal process and documentation when conflicts arise, and it's time to evict a renter.
Steps in the Eviction Process
While the exact location of a rental unit does determine the specific eviction laws a real estate investor must follow, the steps in the eviction process follow a reasonably similar pattern.
Clear and accurate documentation should begin from the first moment when a renter does something in violation of the lease, even if that item seems relatively benign and not worthy of any other action. The goal isn't to hold such documentation against renters who ultimately follow the lease except for that one aberration; the goal is to have the documentation from the start if that renter turns out to be someone who breaks the rules, harms property, or stops paying rent and needs to be removed.
Work with a property manager and an eviction attorney to follow these steps.
1. Establish The Legally-Allowed Reason for Eviction
Once you've realized that your rental relationship is no longer worth continuing through the remainder of the lease term, make sure that documentation is present and clear about your legal reason to evict.
Of course, personality differences or rudeness are not legal reasons to evict. However, even if you have a renter in your property that you would prefer never to interact with, you cannot remove them for anything other than lease violations like breaking pet policies, damaging the property, not paying rent, illegal activity on the property, or engaging in threatening behavior to other nearby neighbors or tenants.
2. Serve the Renter With a 30 Day Notice
Renters have rights during the eviction process. Helping them understand the seriousness of the situation with time to figure out their next steps or how to resolve the situation without eviction is a good next move—even if they are in clear violation of a lease.
A property manager will recommend using the legal 30-day notice or other eviction notice as it applies in your case. Work with them to understand your options for this step. While getting a renter to move out before the eviction may feel dissatisfying if they owed back rent, rest assured that saving yourself the court expense of eviction is often a valuable outcome. This is the time to offer your renter the opportunity to make a significant change or move out without getting a formal court eviction on their record.
3. File the Eviction With the Local Court Using an Eviction Lawyer
If renters refuse to vacate and don't resolve unpaid debts or damages, or behavior, your next step is to file your eviction with the local court.
What happens at this point could take a while (even months), or proceed at a quick clip, depending on the reason you're evicting and the laws in our area. There also could be a countersuit from the renter. However, if you have thorough documentation of the issues and you've upheld your side of the rental agreement, this may or may not occur.
4. Court Proceedings Occur and the Renter Moves Out
Once your court hearing occurs, you'll present documentation of the legally-allowed eviction reasons. If the suit resolves in your favor, a Sheriff can supervise the removal of the renter's belongings (if the renter doesn't move out voluntarily). This allows you to regain possession of the property, initiate any needed repairs and maintenance, and move forward with finding your next renters.
Property Management Companies Help With Eviction
The best thing about working with Renters Warehouse BW Metro is that we can help you avoid evictions long before they start. We help our property owner clients screen potential rental applicants carefully to feel confident about placing a renter with solid references and the ability to pay the rent.
While occasionally evictions still happen, we're still here for you—from determining whether the eviction is the right move and the timing to staying legally compliant and helping you work with a strong eviction lawyer! As the best property management company Baltimore offers, we are an experienced partner during the eviction process while easing concerns and reducing the costs of eviction. So reach out soon to learn more about our property management services!
We want rental property owners to be well equipped for the work of operating rental properties. Download a free copy of the "Rental Property Owner's Tenant Eviction Checklist!"