How to evict a tenant in California and Texas

The truth about being a landlord is, it’s likely at some point you will come across tenants that seemed nice and responsible at the beginning but turned out to be very bad at managing your property well. When you see this happening, no matter how good of a person you are, the urge to kick them out will be strong. After all who would want disrespectful people living in their property?

Self-help eviction refers to when a landlord retakes possession of a property without using the eviction process. It’s important to find out whether this type of eviction is legal in your state before using it. In Texas, it is legal.

So what should you know when you research how to evict a tenant?

Due to the law, the landlord must have valid reason to remove the tenant from his property. Such as:

•Failure to pay rent

•Violating the lease

•Staying beyond the agreed upon rental term

•Causing a nuisance

•Damaging the property

•Performing illegal activities inside the unit

•Using the property for an impermissible manner such as operating a business in a residential zone

You should also learn your state’s eviction laws. Incorporate the specific law points in your lease so you and your tenant know the rules from the very first start. 

If your lease is not based on your state’s law and you are not sure about your situation, spend some time doing research and learn more about it so you can win an eviction case, if evicting the tenant leads to a legal case.

Don’t take the problem into your own hands. Sometimes we want to take matters into our own hands, but in this case, the law won’t let you. So don’t do any of the following without a court order:

•Remove the tenants possessions from your property.
•Remove the tenant ( evict by force).
•Change the lock or lock out the tenant.
•Shut off necessary utilities( electric, gas, water, etc.).

how to evict a tenant

How to evict a tenant in California ?

Eviction in California requires that the landlord gives proper notice and if the tenant doesn’t voluntarily move out the landlord can evict the tenant. In order to evict the tenant, the landlord must file an Unlawful Detainer Lawsuit in Superior Court. You can open this lawsuit by filing the Complaint form at the courthouse. Once the Complaint form is successfully filed, a summons will be issued to the tenant and they will be required to respond in 5 days. But first you can try to give the tenant a formal notice of eviction. This can be a simple document or form that tells your tenant why they’re being evicted, and what they can do to avoid that eviction.

Tips for the eviction notice:

•Include a deadline (date) to pay the rent or move out

•It should include the amount owed (including all fees)

•Post the notice within the required number of days before filing the eviction paperwork with your local court.

•Tape the document to their front door, and also send it via certified mail or Return Receipt Requested with the United States Postal Service (USPS)

•Make it easy on yourself: use a state-specific eviction form template

If the tenant doesn’t act in the set amount of time, you can initiate a lawsuit by filing the Complaint form at the courthouse.
After that you should prepare for the court hearing, if the court judges the case in your favor, which is most likely,  you will be able to evict the tenant and collect past-due rent.

How to evict a tenant in Texas ?

If you are a landlord in Texas and want to evict a tenant due to delayed payment, we recommend you first reach out to your tenant and talk to them for a possible solution. If you have already tried that and now you have to evict them, then you should consider all these steps:

•You must give the tenant at least 3 days written notice before filing an eviction suit.

•The notice can be delivered by email, handed in person to someone in the house/apartment who is at least 16 year old or taped on the main entrance door.

•If the tenant is being evicted due to non-payment of rent, he/she can appeal but must pay the rent to the court within 5 days of the ruling.
After that you should prepare for the court hearing, if the court judges the case in your favour, which is most likely,  you will be able to evict the tenant and collect past-due rent.

How to Evict a Tenant in Florida ?

In Florida you can evict the tenant due to these following notices:

•If the tenant is late on rent, you can serve the tenant a three day notice to pay or quit. This gives the tenant three days to pay rent in full along with any penalties or vacate the property.

•If the tenant violates their lease, a non-compliance notice gives the tenant 7 days to either comply with the lease or vacate the property. If the same violation occurs within 12 months, the tenant may not have an option to remedy the violation. In these instances the tenant must vacate within 7 days without an option to cure.

In Florida there is no rent grace period. Rent is due on the due date and an eviction notice can be served if the tenant is one day late.

In the event of evicting the tenant you can post a notice on the tenant’s door and also send it via Certified Mail with a Return receipt Requested via USPS. If the breach is curable, you must wait for the specified number of days to give the tenant to fix the problem.
Complaint for eviction and damages is used when the landlord seeks to obtain damages such as back rent, cleaning costs, repair costs, etc. in addition to having the tenant evicted.
Complaint for eviction re-breach is used for when the landlord is seeking to evict a tenant for a breach other than non-payment of rent and not seeking damages. 
If the tenant responds to the summons, a hearing will be scheduled. If they do not respond to the summons or complaint, you can request a judgment from the court.

how to evict a tenant
After that you should prepare for the court hearing, if the court judges the case in your favour, which is most likely,  you will be able to evict the tenant and collect past-due rent.

In order not to have any unnecessary damages, the landlord must follow all the rules and procedures required from their state’s law when evicting a tenant, otherwise the eviction may be not valid. Evictions often occur very quickly, with the end result being that the tenant has lost his or her home. The rules help ensure the eviction is justified and that the tenant has enough time to find a new place to live.