How To Legally Evict A Tenant

 How To Legally Evict A Tenant

Renting real estate can be a profitable endeavor, but not every landlord and tenant relationship succeeds. Real estate law in Indiana authorizes landlords to initiate eviction actions for nonpayment of rent, lease violations, destruction of property, threats to destroy property, or criminal activity. 

 Eviction Process

 If your lease is silent or does not properly address the eviction process, then it’s imperative you seek legal advice from a Carmel real estate attorney to ensure you are complying with Indiana law.  After a tenant fails to pay rent, you may have to provide certain notices before you can file for eviction. For evictions resulting from reasons other than nonpayment of rent, notice timing may vary. Again if your lease is silent or does not properly address certain issues, you have to give a tenant that is a month-to-month tenancy 30-day written notice before terminating the lease. 

 Once notice has been served, a landlord will then file for eviction in the appropriate court. The landlord must provide notice to the tenant of the eviction proceeding.  At the hearing, the landlord must present evidence to justify the eviction and any damages the landlord is seeking. A real estate lawyer in Indiana can help ensure you have the necessary evidence to support the eviction and any claims for damages.  

 Tenants sometimes fail to appear at their hearings. When this happens, the landlord typically gets a summary judgment that enables a request for a Writ of Possession. The writ allows the landlord to initiate tenant removal with support from local law enforcement. 

 When a tenant attends a hearing, a judge could potentially agree with any defenses the tenant offers. Otherwise, a judge will probably establish a firm move-out date for the tenant. A tenant’s failure to comply with the court-ordered move-out date once again allows a landlord to seek a Writ of Possession. 

 Emergency Possession

 A landlord who can show probable cause that a tenant is actively destroying property or likely to do so might seek an emergency prejudgment possessory order. This petition could accelerate the timeline for eviction without forcing a landlord to await a hearing date. A real estate lawyer in Indiana might determine whether your case would qualify for emergency intervention. 

 Possible Tenant Defenses to Eviction

 Real estate law in Indiana provides some rights to tenants so that they can battle an unfair eviction. A tenant might show that they are current in their rent payments. A landlord discriminating against tenants because of their legally protected status or retaliating over complaints about property conditions might fail to evict and even incur damages.  Further, the tenant may be able to mitigate the landlord’s claim for damages, if the tenant can show that the landlord maintained the property in poor condition or refused to make certain repairs. It is important to have the condition of the property properly documents prior to the tenant taking possession. A checklist signed by the tenant acknowledging the property is in good condition or pictures or video are effective ways to establish the condition of the property, prior to the tenant taking possession.    

 Consult a Lawyer

 A landlord who ignores or sidesteps the legal eviction process could shift rights in favor of tenants and become exposed to financial liabilities. The advice of a real estate lawyer in Indiana can help a landlord protect property and finances. Call Webster & Garino at (317) 565-1818 today.


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