Should You Try to Evict the Tenant Yourself?

Occasionally, as any experienced landlord will attest, a tenant will do something so hideous that the landlord will try to bypass normal legal protections and take direct action to protect the property.

Don’t do anything like this. It is unlawful and dangerous to make threats, use intimidation, utility shutoffs, or attempt to physically remove a tenant. Today, almost every state prohibits these "self-help" evictions. If you use them, you are likely to find yourself on the other end of a lawsuit.

Even if your state does not have a law that prohibits self-help evictions, it is dangerous to evict your tenant alone, and it could get you into more legal trouble than you would if you went to court and asked for eviction in the first place. You don’t want to situation to escalate or turn ugly. The use of a neutral law enforcement officer to execute a judge’s eviction order will prevent these potential problems from happening.