How can I evict a tenant for breach of their lease?

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How can I evict a tenant for breach of their lease?

We drewup our own contract; my tenant was to have paid insurance and taxes. However she has been late on insurance which I had to cover. She is never on time with rent (my fault I gave her a 60 day grace period). She hired a heat and air contractor because lightening hit the old one. Insurance paid part but she would not finish paying him. He is putting a lien on property. This will hurt us and go on our credit. I have been told to pay him his $1,200 to keep lien off of house.What should I do?

Asked on August 10, 2011 Arkansas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Tenants may be evicted for breaching the provisions of her lease; if she is paying her rent late AS PER the lease, you may evict her for that, you will have to provide her notice first (probably a 30-day notice; check with your landlord tenant court for the rules) and an opportunity to "cure" the problem by ceasing to pay late. Unfortunately, if she is paying within the grace period you provided her in the lease, she has done nothing wrong and cannot be evicted for that. The fact that she has caused a lien to be put on your property may give you grounds to evict her, but that's not 100% clear--it may only provide grounds for you to sue her for the money, since if it's not actually a violation of her lease, it may not give you grounds to evict.

You should retain an attorney to help you. The attorney can review the lease, to see what grounds for eviction you do have; can sue the tenant, if appropriate, for any amounts she owes; and may be able to get the lien lifted, since the property owner did not authorize the work--it may be that if the tenant was the one who hired the contractor, the contractor's only recourse is against the tenant.


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