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What can make an eviction unlawful?

On Behalf of | Jan 30, 2023 | Evictions

Over the years, you’ve entered the market as a real estate developer. You buy properties, turn them into nice homes and lease them out to tenants. For the most part, this goes smoothly, and it is mutually beneficial for all parties. You earn a steady income, and the tenants have a safe home for a fair price.

Unfortunately, there are instances when the relationship between landlord and tenant can break down. The tenant may become anti-social, they may damage the property or stop paying rent. This could lead you to evict them.

While you are entitled to evict tenants, you need to make sure you go through the appropriate legal channels. The following factors could make an eviction unlawful.

Self-help evictions

A “self-help eviction essentially involves a landlord taking the law into their own hands. You may be losing a lot of money through non-payment of rent, and this can be very hurtful to your bottom line. However, you still need to follow legal procedures when trying to evict a tenant. An application must be made to the relevant courts, and they have to approve the eviction. It is unlawful to change the locks and use other measures to encourage the tenant to leave without first seeking court approval.

Legitimate withholding of rent

While the non-payment of rent is typically a breach of contract that can give rise to eviction proceedings, there are some instances where tenants are entitled to withhold rent. For instance, if you were informed of the need for urgent repairs but have not gotten around to making these, then the tenant may have been entitled to withhold rent until this was resolved.

As a landlord, you have a host of rights, and there are a number of reasons why you can evict tenants. Nonetheless, this must be done within the confines of the law. Before launching eviction proceedings, it will benefit you to have legal guidance on your side.