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Evicting a Tenant with No Lease

Looking for information on the process for evicting a tenant with no lease? Here's an article that will give you some useful information on the same.
Arjun Kulkarni
Last Updated: Jun 3, 2018
Sometimes we tend to, in good faith, let out our unused homes to people who seem to need them. And it is possible to imagine your discontent given that despite doing them a favor in good faith, they choose to betray your trust, so much so that the only way out of this is by evicting the tenant. But suppose there was no lease agreement between the two of you at the time of joining, is evicting a tenant going to be a terribly difficult job? Well, you can read on to know if it is.

The process of evicting a tenant is not all that hard, even if you didn't have the lease papers prepared. Eviction involves two major steps. The first step is where you in your capacity as the owner, serve the notice to the tenant to leave within the 30 - 45 day notice period as may be decided by the state laws. You serve the notice asking the tenant to leave, for the reasons mentioned in the letter and ask him to use the notice period to ensure that the tenant can find a new place for himself and transport his necessaries there. Local tenancy laws differ from state to state. You would want to look at the ones that you fall under to make a fast and legitimate claim over the eviction.

Usually, tenants do not really disobey court orders and when told to leave, they do so with little fuss. But there are others who don't and for whatever reasons, from the point of view of the landlord or the lease giver, are a hard nut to crack. And they too may take advantage of the fact that there is no lease agreement between the two parties and hence may choose to ignore the eviction notice.

In such a case, there is little that the land owner can do apart from going to the court and seeking their help. The process involves simply furnishing documents which prove to the court that the land being occupied is legally yours, and that you have served the eviction notice and waited for the stated time but to no avail. And then the court will ensure that your tenant is evicted without too much hassle and the land is back under your control.

You can't really expect to make a successful case by putting 'I don't like this tenant' under the reasons for eviction. So, here are some of the common, accepted reasons for evicting a tenant.
  • Non-Payment of Rent: Non payment of rent is one of the most common causes of evicting a tenant. The main interest of the landlord is to ensure that all he receives the money owed to him by the lease giver on account of the fact that it is his land! So, if the tenant is not making timely payments for rent, it is reason enough to evict him.
  • Evicting a Co-Tenant: When a written or oral agreement happens between a landlord and a tenant, that tenant becomes a master tenant. Any other person that the master tenant brings in becomes the co-tenant. The co-tenant almost never has a lease. If the co-tenant is becoming a bother for the landlord, then they can evicted without having to evict the master tenant. The process still requires a 30-day filing period and filing fees.
  • Oral Agreement Violations: Other reasons for evicting a tenant include misuse of the land or engaging in criminal activity on the land, etc. If there has been a former agreement that any particular activity cannot be engaged by the tenant while using the land and the tenant flouts them, then the landowner can again appeal to the court in this case. The landlord can file to evict the tenant regardless of the tenant having a lease or not. Bringing credible proof of the tenant's illegal actions shouldn't be too hard and should be enough to win the case.
As a landowner looking to lease it out, there are certain things you have to be specific with while tenant screening. Evicting a tenant can often become a pretty lengthy case with claims and counter claims flying around at each other for years. Hence you ought to invest in a competent real estate attorney who can get the job done faster and cleaner.