As a landlord, it’s a good idea to understand when you can or cannot evict a tenant. Sometimes, you will want to get rid of a tenant if they don’t pay on time or if they consistently cause trouble for you. Other times, you may simply not like your tenant but not be sure if you can evict them.
You should know that evicting a tenant is serious. You can’t evict a tenant just because you have a disagreement or because they have made a complaint against you. You can, however, evict your tenant under some circumstances, such as if they have broken the lease.
When can’t you evict a tenant?
There are some times when you cannot evict a tenant. For example, you cannot evict your tenant just because your tenant has reported you to the health department. If you do, then you could be accused of retaliatory eviction.
You cannot evict a tenant just because they take legal action against you after getting hurt on your property. You also cannot evict them because there is a maintenance problem that you have refused to repair. If the tenant calls a different repairperson to get the job done and then reduces their rent by the cost of the repair, you may need to have a discussion. However, this is not eviction-worthy in most cases.
There are additional times when you should not evict your tenant, such as if:
- You are trying to evict a tenant for having children
- You don’t like the sex or gender of a tenant
- You dislike the race of a specific tenant
- You don’t like having a tenant with a disability
There are many legal protections in place for those of different races, religions, familial statuses, disabilities, national origins, sexes and colors. Discriminatory evictions are against the law.
Do you have questions about evicting a tenant?
It’s normal to have questions about evicting a tenant. If you have a tenant who hasn’t paid or who has damaged your property, you may be able to evict them or ask them to leave. If you aren’t sure if you have the legal standing to do so, look into learning more about landlord-tenant law before you make a decision on what to do next.