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Legal Issues When Evicting Your Tenant

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By : Shamon Kureshi    99 or more times read
There is no debate that vacancy rates are low and most local governments are responding to these vacancy rates with tighter legislation governing tenants and their relationships with landlords. When tenants are in breach of their tenancy agreements and the breach is restricted to non-payment of rent, the court has been taking a more lenient approach and providing tenants with longer time periods in which to vacate the premises.

Previously the courts tended to pay greater consideration to the number of months that the tenants had been in default, the amount of the rental arrears, and would often set varying vacancy dates reflecting these factors. I am not suggesting that the courts are neglecting to consider these factors or are turning a blind eye, but it is rather that the economics garner extra weight in setting vacancy dates.

To most landlords that I have met, the rules are extremely unfair. This may or may not be a reality but seems to be a universal comment that has been present for the dozen or so years that I have been involved with the process of evicting tenants through the courts. While a landlord may feel wronged by both the tenant and the court, the court will have a mandate to provide useful and equitable solutions to the population as a whole. The landlord will likely experience some form of financial strain, but the tenant after all - is being kicked out of their home and living quarters.

In my experience, the starting point for most courts is about two weeks from the date of service of the actual eviction order. It is a rare exception when the court will set the eviction date as being less than 14 days. If the tenants respond to the court action and give evidence that they are having a difficult time finding a place to more into, have kids, or if there are reasons such as injury or illness, the court will often increase the time that the tenants can stay. If the tenants are not granted enough time to find a new home, they are literally out on the street and the courts take this sort of problem very seriously and do their best to balance the interests of the landlord who would most likely want the property vacant and re-rentable instantly with the interests of the tenant who may have fallen on hard times.

Personally, although I do not always agree with the decisions of the Judges, I do think that they are taking a very responsible and reasoned approach in what is a very difficult situation for all. No one is winning here - the tenants are often in dire straights and have little if any options. The landlords will suffer on the bottom line if they are unable to collect the judgment amounts during the period in which the tenants remain without having made payment for the rent. Luckily for landlords, there will often be several persons waiting to rent the premises once the property is finally vacant.

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