A Landlord’s Guide To Evictions

In the business of leasing or renting, the landlord of the property needs to have a good relationship with their tenants.  The tenants must be prompt in payments and should avoid acts which damage the property or compromise the safety of fellow tenants at the same time.  The landlord must also fulfill their responsibilities in the proper maintenance of the property.  This is the foundation of a good landlord-tenant relationship.

Unfortunately, it is unavoidable that, in some situations, the relationship between the tenant and the landlord will go sour.  When the problem between the landlord and the tenant can no longer be remedied, then tenant eviction becomes the only option

When to Evict

It is important for a landlord to realize that tenant eviction is not an option without any limitations.  Tenants are protected by law, and have the right to sue an abusive landlord.  The decision to evict needs to go through a proper process, with the needed documentation.  Hence, the landlord should have valid, legal grounds for evicting a tenant and these should be reflected in the eviction notice so the tenant fully understands them, whether they agree with them or not.

Giving the Notice

Assuming that the decision has been made to evict the tenant and that the proper documentation has been prepared, the landlord is obligated to notify the tenant beforehand that they are going to be evicted.  The notice may be mailed, hand-delivered or posted on the property depending on the terms of the lease.

In Missouri, if the tenant is being evicted for non-payment of rent, service of the summons is sufficient notice.  If the eviction is for some reason other than non-payment of rent, then the Missouri Statutes, as well as the lease, need to be consulted for the proper timing of the notice.

Inspecting the Property

The landlord should inspect the property after the tenant eviction.  This step should also be documented and the tenant should be given prior notice and the opportunity to attend.  The reason for this is to check for any property damage made by the tenant.  If damage has been noted, the landlord can withhold from the security deposit such funds as are necessary to repair the damage depending on the terms of the lease.

If the tenant does not voluntarily vacate the property, contact your attorney.  Self-help remedies can often result in more problems for the landlord than they are worth.