The process of evicting a tenant from a rental unit is not easy. A property owner must follow all the legal steps, or they could end up in court themselves. The best property management company Atlanta, GA, offers helps to support property owners when working toward their financial goals, including handling the steps of the eviction process if it becomes necessary.
In this blog post, we'll go over the evidence investors need to evict a tenant legally and how they can avoid any potential issues throughout the process.
What Are the Consequences of Not Having Sufficient Evidence?
The consequences to a landlord of evicting a tenant without the proper evidence can be significant. A renter may sue the property owner for wrongful eviction, and the judge may order them to pay the renter's legal fees. In addition, property owners may lose future income from the rental property if the court deems it necessary to strip them from the right to rent their property. A wrongful eviction could also mean that a property owner may have difficulty finding a new tenant because of a bad reputation.
You may win the battle but lose the war if you try to evict a tenant without the proper evidence. Whether you're dealing with a bad tenant now or you're looking for your next resident, it's a good idea to work with a property manager to help you find and screen better-quality residents to avoid the eviction process.
Evidence Requires a Legal Reason to Evict
To avoid the consequences we mentioned above, rental property owners need a legal reason to evict. With that in mind, it's critical to collect evidence and documentation that verifies the issue and our attempts to follow the lease agreement and get your renter to comply. Property managers recommend collecting evidence around the following lease violation that applies to your situation.
A Tenant Stops Paying Rent
An owner can evict a tenant if they stop paying the monthly rent. However, you'll need to prove to the court that the tenant has stopped paying rent, along with documentation that you've tried to collect past-due rent without success.
A Tenant Pays the Rent Late More than Once
Renters who are late with their rent regularly can be legally evicted. However, before starting the eviction process, make sure you've made every effort to follow the lease and work with your renter to pay rent on time.
A Tenant Damages the Property
When a tenant is guilty of committing damage to the property, they can be evicted. Supporting evidence can include photos of broken windows and doors, cut electrical wiring, damaged walls, and more.
A Tenant is a Nuisance to the Neighborhood
If a renter becomes a nuisance to their neighbors, they can be removed from the property. A property owner can provide evidence by having witnesses sign an affidavit stating they have seen or heard the tenant causing a disturbance. Documented phone calls and emails from angry neighbors can also support your case.
A Tenant Won't Leave When the Lease Ends
When a resident decides to stay in the property without a new lease, they can be evicted. The judge can review the lease agreement and documented communications about your attempts to get a renewal and the renter's refusal to do so.
If you have doubts about whether you should start the eviction process or not, work with an eviction attorney or a full-service property management company to determine the best path.
What Documentation Will You Need to Evict?
A rental property should keep track of several things to show a judge during an eviction court hearing. An Atlanta property management group can help you collect:
- A copy of the signed lease agreement
- A copy of the notice to cease and a notice to quit
- Bank statements to show the renter hasn't paid their rent
- Any correspondence with the resident involving the lease violation
- Photos of tenant-caused property damage
- Records of complaints from other tenants
Residential property management companies can help document and collect details, so you don't miss an essential piece of information that may help prove your eviction case in court.
A Property Management Company Supports Property Owners During the Eviction Process
A property owner should always keep accurate records to protect rental properties and income. Good documentation can also come in handy if you need to show a judge during an eviction court hearing. If you're unsure whether you should start the eviction process or how to move forward, work with an Atlanta property management company and an eviction attorney to work through the case and successfully remove a renter. While we don't intend this information to substitute for sound legal advice, Compass Property Management has an experienced team of professionals to help you navigate an eviction and protect your investments. To learn more about our residential property management services, reach out soon!
To learn more about how to handle an eviction, download a free copy of the Tenant Eviction Checklist!