Vincent Esquire, Ltd

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Evictions - They're no fun, but they are necessary. 

There are two ways to perform evictions – legally and illegally.   The former is the least expensive and the best way to go.  The following is a quick summary of some of the most important topics regarding evictions and when to utilize the eviction process.

 

Although this is self-serving for our law firm, there are times when you absolutely need a lawyer to perform the eviction.   You can always represent yourself if YOU are the owner of your rental property.  However, if you have your real estate titled in an LLC or some other legal entity, then you will need an attorney to represent you in Court.   This always comes with a fee (ours is reasonable and we’re fun to work with), but in the long run you’re saving yourself a hassle and probably a good bit of stress. 

 

There are four occurrences that allow for evictions. 

 

  • Breach of the Lease

 

You should always have a written lease.When you do, you can expect certain behavior from your tenant and a tenant understands the expectations that you require for their living in your property. If your tenant breaches any of the terms of the written lease, then you can ask them to leave.If after giving them three-day notice to leave and they have not, you can file a complaint for eviction.If you have an oral lease, call a lawyer and get a written lease.Our humble suggestion is to NOT use one from the internet.You may have specific requirements for your property that won’t be on the internet form or there are items you’ve not considered and a lawyer can help memorialize both in your lease.

 

  • Expiration of the Lease

 

This is self-explanatory, but if the term of the lease expires, then you must give proper notice (according to your written lease) and let the tenant know you are not renewing their lease.

 

  • Drugs

 

If a tenant is using your property to make or sell drugs, that’s all the evidence you need to evict a tenant.Of course, calling the police first is a wise choice.

 

  • Breach of R.C. 5321

 

Ohio has defined certain expectations land owners can expect of tenants and if a tenant breaches these behaviors, a landlord must give thirty (30) days notice to remedy the behavior.  If they don’t, then you can evict.  Check out R.C. 5321.05 for more details. 

 

There are some unfortunate, but quite common, bloopers that landlords should steer clear of.  Here are a few:

 

  • Accepting cash for rent payment. 

 

Do not do it.  If someone doesn’t have a bank account or at least some means to pay you electronically into your bank account, then it will likely serve you well to wait for the next applicant.  For a good landlord/tenant relationship, there must be a simple mechanism to account for payment received.  Without it, a tenant can make a circus of an eviction hearing and your lawyer can’t do much about it other than try to prove that your tenant is telling fibs.  That’s not a good place to be as a landlord. 

 

  • Turning off the utilities.

Do not do it.  If your lease provides that the tenant pay the utilities and they have not, then utilize the eviction.  Unfortunately, those utilities will keep adding up, so you’re probably just delaying the inevitable.  Do NOT knowingly let the water be turned off or ask for the gas to be shut off.  That will cause you expensive problems later. 

 

  • Self-help does not help. 

 

Self-help is ironically titled.  It isn’t helpful.  It should be called self-harm.  When you try to take over your property without going through the legal channels, a tenant can bring the thunder against you for financial damages and attorney fees.  This mistake may cost you more than your property is even worth.  When a lease has been breached, take a deep breathe, call a lawyer, and move forward with the legal process.  Don’t lock the doors.  Don’t threaten your tenant with some sort of silly allegation and don’t try to scare them off.  Use the legal system and learn how to do it better next time.

 

  • 3 Days is 3 business days

 

Many landlords (and sometimes their lawyers) have a hard time relaxing on the required three day notice.   Many courts count the three day notice based on days when the court is open.  That means that if the court’s not open, then don’t count it.  So weekends – don’t count them.  Holidays – don’t count them.  That way, you’ll get through that simple requirement in the eviction process. 

 

This wasn’t thorough, we know.  We didn’t want to bore you and we didn’t want to write it all down.  This is just a quick summary of some of the considerations within the eviction process.  If you have more questions or have a need to discuss any real estate issue, please call us at (440) 907 0077 or send us an email at Office@VincentEsq.com

 

This is not legal advice for your individual situation and should not be applied as such.  You should consult with an attorney to discuss the specifics of your situation before taking any legal action.