Renting out your property can be a rewarding experience. Most tenants pay their rent and follow the rules. But sometimes tenants don't—or can't—do what the lease requires of them. However, if you know what to look for, you can avoid the problems a destructive tenant can bring. Protecting your property from damage and evicting a destructive or nonpaying tenant often require the assistance of a lawyer.

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Damage to Your Property

When a bad tenant is destructive, you need to document the damage and get a lawyer. You only need enough documentation to establish how the property is being damaged. Different kinds of damage require different levels of proof and allow different kinds of corrective action. For instance, in some states, actual destruction of the walls and floor may be sufficient to warrant immediate eviction. Other, more minor damage, however, may lead to eviction only with repeated violations.

Preparations for Eviction

Evicting a bad tenant can be challenging; each state has a number of "tenant's rights" protections in place to prevent wrongful evictions. As soon as you realize that you may need to evict a tenant, you should speak to a lawyer to make sure you satisfy your state and local legal requirements. The eviction process for your state and city will specify such steps as how to provide due notice and establish sufficient protections for you and the tenant. It’s important that you follow these steps: If you improperly evict your tenant, you may reduce the amount of damages you can claim. You may also be liable for punitive damages.

If you think you have a bad tenant, it's usually a smart move to speak to a lawyer. We can help you find a lawyer so you can get the legal advice you need to move forward.

Get Started Ask a lawyer Ask a lawyer your landlord's rights questions. We'll get back to you within 24 hours.

Get Started Ask a lawyer Ask a lawyer your landlord's rights questions. We'll get back to you within 24 hours.