The only legal way to get a tenant out of a rental unit, is to file an eviction action against them. The act of "kicking them out" is an eviction. The lease agreement should explain the grounds for an eviction, but eviction clauses that violate state laws aren't enforceable by law.

Eviction Notice

The first step to an eviction is a written notice sent by the landlord to the tenant. The tenant has 14 or 30 days to respond, depending on state laws. The tenant can leave or fix the violations identified in the notice. The tenant doesn't always have the option to make corrections.

There are strict rules as to what constitutes a proper delivery of the notice. Posting it on the door may be enough, or state laws may require that the tenant be served by other means.

Legal Defenses

The landlord should be prepared for legal defenses raised by the tenant during the eviction proceeding. A judge can rule in favor of the tenant, and stop an eviction. For example, a landlord cannot retaliate against a tenant because they made a request for repairs. Landlord retaliation is a legal defense that can stop an eviction.

An eviction makes it hard for the tenant to rent other apartments in the future. A tenant facing eviction should do everything possible to rectify any issues, and leave if possible, so that it doesn't show up in their rental history.


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