What to Do When a Tenant Refuses to Leave

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What to Do When a Tenant Refuses to Leave

Today, the number of renters in the United States is at its highest since 1965. While the number of households in the US grew, the number of owners stayed flat.

This is a consequence of the housing bust in the country. That said, it does mean that more people have the opportunity to increase their income by renting their homes.

Unfortunately, not all landlords are as lucky as one another. While some tenants are great, others you may not be able to get rid of quick enough. But, what if your tenant refuses to leave?

Here’s what to do if your tenant won’t vacate your home.

Consider Why You’d Like Them to Move

There are various reasons you may want to evict your tenant. Some of these include:

  • They haven’t paid the rent
  • They are conducting illegal activities in your property
  • They’re breaking their tenancy agreement
  • They damaged the property

You may also find that they’re paying their rent but you need them to move to undertake renovations. Additionally, you may find that the rent is too low and you want to increase it. Whatever the reason, it’s important you call them to give them as much notice as possible.

Give Written Notice to the Tenant

The next step is to give your tenant written notice. You have to detail the non-compliance in your letter. You must also tell them which obligations you need them to fulfill.

You may find that the tenant changes their behavior or repairs the damage caused. From there, it’s your choice whether you’d like to give them another chance or if you’d like them to leave anyway.

Cancel the Lease Agreement

If you’d like to undertake reparations or find more reliable tenants, you have to cancel the lease agreement. You will need to give them notice of intention of eviction through legal channels.

Make sure that you check that you’re above board with the law. Tenants will check the contract for the following to avoid damaging their credit score:

  • Breach of contract on your behalf
  • Early termination clause
  • Subletting terms

They may also offer to give up their security deposit. This could be a hassle-free solution if it covers all the necessary repairs.

If Your Tenant Refuses to Leave it Could Lead to a Court Hearing

If you can’t resolve the issue, you can apply for an eviction order. The court will deliver this notice to the tenants two weeks before the date of the hearing.

During this hearing, you and the tenant will have the opportunity to tell your sides of the story. If the tenant has a valid defense, the hearing will go to trial. If they don’t, the tenants will have to leave the property straight away.

Hire the Right Legal Services

As you can see, you have various options if your tenant refuses to leave your property. The key is to communicate with them as well as you can to avoid a hearing and trial.

That said, if legal action is your best option, you should hire a competent attorney to help you win your case.

If you’re in California and need legal advice, contact Derry Berry & Associates LLP today. We offer a variety of legal services including eviction and landlord assistance.