How Should You Initiate an Eviction Procedure?

Eviction—the legal procedure for forcibly removing a tenant from a landlord’s premises—is probably the least-liked aspect of the rental business. It is a costly, time-consuming, complicated process that frequently requires the services of an experienced lawyer and probably should be undertaken only as a last resort. Before initiating an eviction, you need to understand the process thoroughly to be sure the effort and expense will be worthwhile.

When an eviction becomes necessary, it is usually for one or more of the following reasons:

  • The tenant has not paid the rent;

  • The tenant is not complying with the provisions of their lease or rental agreement;

  • The tenant is engaging in illegal activity on your premises;

  • The tenant is creating a major nuisance; or

  • The tenant refuses to vacate the premises after their legal tenancy expires.

You may not evict tenants to retaliate against them for contacting government services like the Board of Health to enforce their rights or for other protected actions. Nor may you evict a tenant during the term of the lease because you would prefer to rent their unit to a friend, a relative, or someone willing to pay higher rent.