How to Request a Tenant to Vacate Property

By Dr. R. A. Benson

It is never a pleasant experience when a landlord feels that a tenant has violated the lease agreement and therefore must be removed from the property. The statutes and codes relating to landlord/tenant relations varies from state to state, however there is a uniformed procedure landlords can implement to properly request for a tenant to leave a rental property. It is best to try to handle the situation without involving the government and paying the court fees associated with an eviction.

Make sure there has been an actual violation of the lease agreement. There must be a clear violation of the lease agreement for a landlord to evict a tenant. The lease agreement is a legally binding contract and the contents of the agreement are regarded as the law surrounding the tenancy. The landlord has the right to ask the tenant to leave the property if the lease is broken.

Give the tenant written notice. A notice --- commonly called an eviction notice --- is issued to the tenant(s) occupying the property based on the violation of the lease agreement. There are two types of eviction notices a landlord can serve to a tenant he wishes to remove from a rental property. Non-Payment of Rent Notices require the tenant to pay missed rent or vacate the premises. An Unconditional or Conditional Quit or Vacate Notice either gives the tenant an opportunity to correct a situation to avoid eviction or it demands the tenant leave within a specified time frame. A landlord must issue a notice before seeking court assistance to remove the tenant.

File the appropriate court forms to move forward with the court-aided eviction proceedings. You will have to complete a summons and complaint form for what some states refer to as an 'Unlawful Detainer' (eviction) if the tenant refuses to honor the eviction notice and vacate in a timely fashion. These are standard documents you can obtain from the Clerk of Courts in the county of the property. The tenant will have about three days (depending on state) to respond to the complaint.

File an Order of Restitution against the tenant. An Order of Restitution is filed against the tenant if he fails to answer the complaint. This Order of Restitution gives the sheriff permission to remove the tenant from the property based on non-compliance with the lease agreement. You will have to await the court's decision regarding the case if the tenant answers the complaint and a hearing is scheduled. The court will order the tenant to evacuate the property by a specified date if he does not provide sufficient evidence to support his case.

About the Author

After obtaining his Doctorate of Divinity (1997), Robert A. Benson began writing articles, proposals and such for the Legions of Light Foundation (Executive Director/1998-Present). He has since published various books/articles on topics ranging from science to health/nutrition. Benson has been featured/interviewed by publications such as “Original Thought Magazine” and “The Chronicle Telegram.”

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