Tenants have numerous rights under the law, and for good reason. The law seeks to protect tenants because they are the more vulnerable partner in a tenant/landlord relationship. In the event a landlord attempts to evict a tenant on unscrupulous grounds, the tenant could end up homeless.
To avoid a lengthy court process, landlords need to make sure they are attempting to evict a tenant for a lawful reason. There are several legal grounds for eviction, as well as guidelines that the landlord must follow.
Violating the lease agreement
Landlords have tenants sign a lease outlining what the occupant can and cannot do while living there. This contract may state no one else can live on the premises who is not on the lease. Some places also have a no-pets policy. In the event the tenant breaks this contract in any way, the landlord has a valid reason to pursue eviction. However, landlords also need to make sure they abide by the lease. A tenant could point out how the landlord has violated the agreement, and this makes the matter far more complicated.
Failing to pay rent
This is the most common reason why tenants face eviction. The tenant agrees to pay a set amount each month. Sometimes tenants will refuse to pay rent if the landlord has failed in some capacity, such as refusing to repair an essential appliance. In this case, nonpayment may be acceptable.
Abandoning the property
Evictions can also begin if the tenant apparently abandons the property indefinitely. The tenant can leave for any amount of time as long as he or she continues to pay rent. However, if the landlord does not receive the rent payment and the tenant has not been around for months, then eviction proceedings can begin immediately.