Difficult tenants don't have to stay in your rental for the remainder of their lease term. Still, property owners must understand the legal eviction process before trying to remove a resident. An eviction is a legal procedure through which a property owner can remove a renter from a rental unit due to lease breaches and other legal reasons.
While the best way to handle eviction is to avoid them with resources like a thorough tenant screening, sometimes a renter does need to go before the lease ends. However, investors can enlist the help of the best property management company Atlanta offers to navigate the process! In this post, we will discuss what an eviction is, how it works, and some actionable items you can take today to prevent an eviction from your rental property.
What Is Eviction?
In short, eviction is the lawful process of removing a tenant from a rental property. A property owner must have a valid reason for evicting the tenant, outlined in the lease agreement. In many cases, investors remove a resident for failure to pay rent or for breaking a provision in the lease.
However, there are other reasons a landlord may evict a tenant. Property managers and a real estate attorney can advise you about proceeding with eviction when a resident:
- Pays the rent late on multiple occasions
- Has "guests" living in residence, but they aren't listed on the lease
- Uses the property as a business in violation of the lease
- Disturbs neighbors
- Damages the property
- Conducts illegal activities on the property
If you're concerned about a resident's behavior or failure to follow the rules, work with a property management company to review the lease agreement and respond appropriately.
What Are the Steps of the Eviction Process?
Property owners must follow Georgia state law when removing a renter from a property. If the renter has violated the lease agreement or failed to pay rent, a property manager recommends sending the proper eviction notice and consulting an attorney to comply with the law.
To follow the eviction process, the best property management companies can walk you through these steps.
Notify the Renter
First, the property owner must give the tenant a 30-day notice to inform the tenant of their intention to evict them. While Georgia law allows an oral notice, this notice should be in writing and outline the reasons for eviction.
Several things could happen after the notice is served, including:
- The renter could pay the rent amount owed plus any late fees. In this case, the eviction doesn't need to proceed.
- The renter could immediately vacate the property. If they do, then the property can be made ready for the next tenant.
- The renter decides they don't want to leave the property.
If the renter decides they don't want to move out and they don't resolve the issues outlined in the eviction notice, a property owner can begin eviction proceedings in court.
File a Complain with the Court
The next step in the process involves the court. A property owner or representative will file paperwork with the court to officially evict the renter. Once the paperwork is filed, a date will be set for a hearing.
Attend the Eviction Hearing
The court will hold a hearing to decide if the tenant should be ordered to leave. At the hearing, a property owner must show that the tenant has violated the lease agreement and that it is in the landlord's best interest to evict the tenant. If the court decides in favor of the property owner, the court will order the tenant to leave. However, if the judge rules in favor of the renter, the tenant can stay.
Law Enforcement Removes the Renter
After the judgment is issued, the renter could vacate the property voluntarily. If not, the property owner can schedule a time for the sheriff or other law enforcement departments to ensure the renters leave.
Hire an Atlanta Property Manager to Help With the Eviction Process
While it's never enjoyable to evict a renter from a property, sometimes it may be necessary. Property managers have extensive knowledge of how to navigate the legal system. They can also work with your attorney to help ensure the eviction process goes smoothly.
Plus, hiring a property manager can help investors avoid eviction! Compass Property Management helps property owners reduce the potential for eviction by screening and placing quality renters. Our experience also makes us well-equipped to handle bad tenants or resident disputes. If you'd like to learn more about our professional property management services or are currently dealing with a challenging renter situation, reach out to speak with one of our skilled property management experts!
Learn more about the legal eviction process when downloading our free resource, the Tenant Eviction Checklist!