As defined by RentLaw.com, eviction is a legal proceeding through which a landlord seeks to reclaim his premises by removing a tenant from a building. Eviction rules vary by state or jurisdiction, and a tenant may receive financial compensation for costs paid due to unlawful eviction. Eviction may also be postponed due to hardships, such as loss of a job or illness of a family member. It is possible to evict someone without a lease. However, to help avoid complications, a landlord should always have a written agreement drawn up for rental property.
Lease Vs. No Lease
If tenants pay rent on a monthly basis but do not have a lease, they are considered by law to be a month-to-month tenant. They could be evicted in the same manner as tenants who have an agreed-upon lease. As the landlord, you would give the tenant a written notice indicating the need to pay rent or vacate the property within a specific period of time. The time line would be dependent on the laws of individual states.
Most states have a law indicating that if a tenant has been living on your property, you have to do a formal eviction; you cannot simply throw the person out. Even with a verbal agreement, tenants still have renter’s rights. Many localities require a landlord to prove a legally recognized reason for the eviction. These laws are referred to as “just cause eviction protection.”
For a tenant to be evicted, the landlord must go to court and file a writ to start the eviction process. It does not matter if there is a lease agreement; the process is the same. Once the writ has been filed, the landlord must wait for the notice to be served and then appear in court on the designated day for the eviction hearing. The landlord must prove the tenant did something wrong that justifies ending the rental agreement.
Reasons for Eviction
A pay rent or quit notice is typically given to the tenant when rent has not been paid in a timely manner. This process gives the renters a few days to pay the overdue rent or move out. An unconditional quit notice is appropriate if the tenant repeatedly violated a significant lease or rental agreement, has been late with rent on more than one occasion, has seriously damaged the premises or has engaged in serious illegal activity.