An eviction is a legal process to remove someone from residential or commercial property. In most situations an eviction requires the involvement of the courts. If a landlord wishes to evict a tenant, she must follow the very strict procedural rules of the state and, if in a rent controlled market, the city. Some common types of eviction notices are:
Regardless of why the landlord wants the tenant to leave, under most state laws, the landlord cannot physically throw the tenant out. The landlord is also prohibited from changing the locks while the tenant is out or other activities that will prevent the tenant from physically possessing the premises.
If a tenant will not leave the premises willingly, the landlord must go to court and file an unlawful detainer lawsuit. An unlawful detainer lawsuit is a speedy action and will determine whether the tenant is required to vacate the premises.
Many evictions can be prevented by selecting the right tenant from the start. Asking the tenant the right questions can help the landlord make an informed choice. Legally, a landlord may inquire about a tenant's:
There are some questions that are not permitted under the Fair Housing Act, and a landlord cannot base her decision on certain characteristics protected by the statute. For more information see Housing Discrimination.
A lease or rental agreement is a contract that sets the terms of the relationship between the landlord and tenant. These agreements vary in terms and time commitments. Some common types of leases are:
Generally, a landlord is required to keep the unit habitable for the tenant. A landlord is also generally liable for any repairs she agreed to under the terms of the lease, or verbally, or any repairs she undertook during the tenancy. A landlord must also maintain the premises so they comply with building code regulations.
Normally, a landlord can increase the amount of rent by any amount they wish. Many metropolitan areas, however, have enacted local rent control ordinances which place a limit on the amount a landlord can increase the rent. The rent control ordinances also limit the reasons for which a landlord may evict a tenant. Be certain to check with your local rent control board because rent control ordinances are very different depending on the locality.
A real estate attorney will be able to help you identify the law that applies to your landlord-tenant relationship and help you achieve a beneficial result. A real estate attorney will also be able to review the terms of a lease and help you discover what you will be bound to do under the lease. Additionally, a real estate lawyer can help you if there may be defects on the premise or if you must deal with an eviction.
Last Modified: 04-16-2018 11:23 PM PDTLaw Library Disclaimer
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