self-managing landlord

Five Things to Avoid When You Are Evicting A Tenant

It’s no secret that evictions are at the top of the list when it comes to most self-managing landlords’ fears. The eviction process can be expensive, time consuming, and stressful depending on the circumstances surrounding the eviction. Especially when other factors are at play, such as the eviction moratorium during the COVID-19 pandemic, evicting a tenant is not as straightforward as new or self-managing landlords may think.


Below we share five mistakes that self-managing landlords should avoid when they are going through (or considering going through) the eviction process with a tenant.


Doing it on your own.

The most common mistake that is made when it comes to evicting a tenant is trying to handle the eviction alone. The eviction process can be complicated, and should be handled by an expert. It is worth the peace-of-mind to hire someone who is experienced and can ensure you are being fully compliant with local, state and federal laws.

When new landlords try to handle evictions on their own, they may try to take things into their own hands, or may unknowingly break laws in an effort to remove the tenant. Laws are constantly changing, especially when it comes to tenants and housing issues. Staying up-to-date on the laws is essential to protect yourself and the property.

By hiring an expert instead of trying to learn as you go, you will avoid making common mistakes and will have their expertise to keep things moving forward smoothly. Mistakes made due to simply not being aware of laws or guidelines surrounding evictions can result in fines or can have larger repercussion for the landlord.


Trying to “encourage” a move out by limiting access to the property.

Like we shared above, handling the eviction process on your own can be risky. This is often due to a lack of knowledge about how to handle the eviction process properly. If landlord has a tenant who has not been paying rent, has been violating the lease or has been damaging the property, they may ask the tenant to leave.

If a tenant refuses to leave the property after proper notice, it is important to not encourage or force the tenant’s move-out by limiting access to the property. This could look like blocking off doors or windows or changing locks or key codes while the tenant is away or in the property.

It is not legal to change the locks without the tenant’s knowledge while they are residing in the property. Despite seeming like a quick fix, taking actions like this could cause more issues for the landlord in the long-run.


Moving the tenant out yourself, or attempting to move them out.

In some cases, a landlord may feel that removing the tenant’s belongings is the fastest course of action to remove a tenant. This is not the case, and should not be done.

It is not legal to tamper with a tenant’s belongings, throw them away, or move them into a storage unit without the tenant’s knowledge or consent. It is essential that the landlord pursues the proper legal channels to resolve the issue, rather than attempting to resolve the issue on their own. Moving a tenant out in this manner can result in larger legal problems for the landlord, and can make the eviction process more complicated.


Trying to “encourage” a move out by making the property uninhabitable.

It’s important not to do anything that would change the condition of the property or make the property uninhabitable. For example, shutting off utilities to the property is not a good course of action. Not having access to water or electricity will make the property uninhabitable, and will cause more issues in the long-run.

It is absolutely in the landlord’s best interest to follow appropriate eviction processes. Even if a landlord is pursuing the eviction legally, taking additional steps to remove a tenant like we shared above will only complicate matters further, and could result in legal consequences for the landlord.


Not giving proper notice.

We are hesitant to give any specific details regarding the amount of notice required. This amount of notice required can changed based of a number of factors, and has changed several times throughout COVID-19. The only way to be sure that you are compliant is to consult a legal professional, or professional property management company regarding your current situation.

When a landlord wants a tenant to vacate their property, they must give the tenant proper notice. The reason for asking the tenant to leave, as well as other factors, can determine the amount of notice you are required to give the tenant, and whether or not you can ask them to leave at all. In some cases, you may be required to give them the opportunity to fix the issue before evicting them. For example, if you are renting out a home that is not pet-friendly and the tenant brings a pet into the unit, you may be required to give them the opportunity to rehome the pet before they must leave.

Because the type of notice can vary depending on the situation, location of the rental property, and in some cases, the length of time the tenant has been in the property, we highly recommend consulting a legal professional who can help determine the best and safest course of action.


Evictions should be taken seriously and handling an eviction in the proper way should be incredibly important to all landlords. Self-managing landlords are particularly at risk to run into these pitfalls, in many cases, because keeping up with ever-changing laws and regulations can be confusing and complicated. We always recommend reaching out for legal help, especially in the case of an eviction. If you are interested in learning more about how a property manager could help you move forward if you are currently trying to evict a tenant, you can reach out to us by visiting our contact page, here.

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