How to Evict a Difficult Tenant: Legal Considerations

No landlord looks forward to evicting a tenant, especially if they’re uncooperative and hard to work with. It can be a time-consuming and laborious process, and, if done incorrectly, it can carry serious legal consequences. If you’re looking to evict a difficult tenant, there are a few things to consider regarding your rights and legal obligations.

Things to Know Before starting Eviction Process

Before you begin the eviction process, you must be sure that you have the legal right to do so. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Are you sure that the tenant is breaking their lease agreement? Be sure to check the lease carefully.
  • Have you given the tenant sufficient notice? Informing the tenant in writing of the need to vacate is necessary.
  • Have you offered the tenant an opportunity to remedy the breach – such as paying late rent – before you start the eviction process?

If you have entered into a written agreement with the tenant, then it is important that you follow the terms of the lease agreement. Otherwise, the tenant may be able to claim breach of contract.

Types of Eviction

Another factor to consider is the type of eviction that is required. Typically, there are two types; an accelerated eviction and an eviction for cause.

  • In an accelerated eviction, the tenant has acted in a manner that renders the lease agreement voidable. In this instance, the landlord simply needs to provide written notice that the tenant must vacate the premises.
  • An eviction for cause occurs when the tenant has breached the terms of the lease agreement and the landlord must take formal action to have the tenant removed. A tenancy hearing must occur, and an eviction order must be obtained.

Guidelines for Evicting a Tenant

When you’re ready to start the eviction process, here are some tips to ensure you are able to complete it legally and efficiently:

  • Make sure you check the laws in your state as each jurisdiction has its own rules regarding tenancy and landlord-tenant law.
  • Have all the required documents ready in advance to ensure your rights are protected.
  • Carefully word the notice to vacate so that it is legally binding. Be sure to use proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
  • Make sure you stick to the timescale set by the courts to ensure that the eviction is enforced.
  • Consider hiring an experienced legal professional to guide you through the process, to ensure that your rights are fully protected.

How to Deal with Difficult Tenants

It is important to keep in mind that evicting a difficult tenant can be emotionally and financially draining. It is important to put in place measures to protect your rights and ensure that the eviction process goes as smoothly as possible.

For example, try to reach an agreement with the tenant about how they will vacate the premises. This can involve discussing a repayment plan or agreeing to a payment plan for any damages. You may also want to consider seeking legal advice from an experienced lawyer about your rights and obligations.

What to do After Evicting a Tenant

Once the eviction is complete, it is important to begin the process of recovering your losses. Some of the steps you will need to take include:

  • Obtaining a court order to turn over possession of the property.
  • Filing a claim in court for any rent or damages owed. You may also be able to pursue a claim for legal fees or other costs incurred during the eviction process.
  • Hiring a qualified and experienced lawyer to help you recover what is owed.
  • Consider taking out an insurance policy to cover potential losses in the future.


Evicting a difficult tenant can be challenging, especially if they are unwilling to cooperate. However, taking the legal route is the best way to ensure that your rights are respected and that you are compensated for any losses incurred. With all the proper paperwork in place, you can successfully evict a difficult tenant without running into any legal complications.

Keep in mind, however, that it is best practice to consult with an attorney well-versed in landlord-tenant law before initiating any sort of eviction process. With the right information and guidance, you can efficiently and legally evict a difficult tenant.

What are the responsibilities of the tenant when evicting a difficult tenant?

1. Follow all local, state, and federal laws when evicting a tenant.

2. Serve the tenant with an eviction notice and/or court summons in a timely manner.

3. Document all communication with the tenant and keep records of any damages or back-rent owed.

4. Have the local enforcement officers accompany you when carrying out the eviction if necessary.

5. Ensure that the tenant’s personal property is stored safely and securely until the eviction is complete.

6. Pay close attention to any time limits and deadlines associated with the eviction process.

7. Settle any financial disputes with the tenant in a timely manner.

What happens if the tenant refuses to leave after an eviction?

If a tenant refuses to leave after an eviction, the landlord may proceed to get a writ of possession from the court. This document will give the landlord the legal authority to have the tenant evicted by a sheriff or other law enforcement official. If the tenant continues refusing to leave, they may be charged with criminal trespass and subject to arrest.

What are the tenant’s rights after an eviction?

Tenants who are evicted have the right to appeal an eviction order in court, to receive their security deposit, if any, in accordance with state laws, and to receive a list of their landlord’s items in the rental unit if applicable. Additionally, tenants may have state-specific rights that can be determined by researching local laws.

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