Eviction:

In certain circumstances a landlord can evict a tenant from the property prior to the end of the lease term. This is a legal process called Forcible Entry and Detainer, and it can only legally be done with a court order following a civil lawsuit. Regardless of the lease terms, a landlord is not allowed to evict a tenant by turning off the utilities, removing the tenant's property, or changing the locks without first obtaining a court order. It is important for landlords to realize that eviction is a process involves several steps, and it is never quick and simple. If the tenant is being evicted for not paying rent, he or she is entitled to notice and five days to pay. If the eviction is for some other breach of the lease, tenants are entitled to 10 days notice to find other living arrangements. If the tenant remains in the unit after this amount of time, the landlord must file a lawsuit in civil court. At that point the tenant is entitled to a trial to determine whether the lease was violated, and eviction is appropriate. If the judge makes this determination and enters an eviction order, only then can a tenant by physically removed from the property. However, this must always be done by a sheriff. It is illegal for a landlord to physically remove a tenant, even with a court order for eviction.

In certain circumstances a landlord can evict a tenant from the property prior to the end of the lease term. This is a legal process called Forcible Entry and Detainer, and it can only legally be done with a court order following a civil lawsuit. Regardless of the lease terms, a landlord is not allowed to evict a tenant by turning off the utilities, removing the tenant's property, or changing the locks without first obtaining a court order. It is important for landlords to realize that eviction is a process involves several steps, and it is never quick and simple. If the tenant is being evicted for not paying rent, he or she is entitled to notice and five days to pay. If the eviction is for some other breach of the lease, tenants are entitled to 10 days notice to find other living arrangements. If the tenant remains in the unit after this amount of time, the landlord must file a lawsuit in civil court. At that point the tenant is entitled to a trial to determine whether the lease was violated, and eviction is appropriate. If the judge makes this determination and enters an eviction order, only then can a tenant by physically removed from the property. However, this must always be done by a sheriff. It is illegal for a landlord to physically remove a tenant, even with a court order for eviction.

Both landlords and tenants should also be aware that eviction can be a double edged sword, and is not exclusively a tool of the landlord. The law allows tenants who are wrongfully evicted to terminate the lease, sue for damages, regain possession, withold rent, or any combination thereof. As was mentioned above, all leases contain an implied understanding that the tenant has the right to quiet enjoyment of the premises without interference from the landlord, or someone who claims to have a greater ownership interest than the landlord. So if, for instance, the landlord loses the property to foreclosure and the bank seeks to evict the tenant, the tenant can sue for breach.

Another implied condition of all leases is that the landlord maintain the habitability of the property throughout the life of the lease. This is tied to the implied covenant for quiet enjoyment, and means that all landlords must make any necessary repairs and provide services which are essential to the enjoyment of the property. When landlords fail to do this, it is considered a "constructive eviction", and the tenant then has the legal option of terminating the lease and suing for damages. However, before doing so, a tenant must notify the landlord of the conditions and give the landlord a fair opportunity to remedy the situation. Some jurisdictions allow tenants subjected to constructive eviction to remain on the property and withhold rent, while others require that a tenant vacate the premises before bring a lawsuit. Regardless of the jurisdictions, a tenant should always review the local landlord and tenant laws, and consult an attorney before withholding rent or bringing suit, as it can be a risky tactic if done improperly.