Bad tenants sometimes cause problems long after they leave, usually through unpaid rent and damage to the property. Before he resolves those issues, however, a landlord must first evict his bad tenants so he can assess damages and re-rent the dwelling. Eviction proceedings seem long and arduous, but there are ways to speed up the process.
When bad tenants violate terms of their lease, the landlord can post a notice informing them that their right to tenancy has been revoked. This is called an unconditional quit or vacate notice. It gives the tenant a specific period of time, three days, for example, to surrender possession of the dwelling. The notice will specify that,\ if the tenants do not vacate the landlord will file eviction proceedings through the local court system. In some cases, bad tenants will vacate without the landlord having to take any extra steps.
Even if no violation has occurred, the landlord might want to evict bad tenants to avoid problems that have arisen over the course of their tenancy. For example, perhaps the landlord has received complaints from neighbors about the noise level. In this case, it is sometimes fastest to simply talk to the tenants. He can suggest that the arrangement has not worked out well for either party, then suggest that they find somewhere else to live. If both parties agree to break the lease, there are no time-consuming legal battles.
If you are the landlord, it is easier and faster to evict bad tenants when you have collected strong evidence that supports your lawsuit. If tenants damage your property, for example, photos of the destruction will help a court to reach a decision faster. You should also have a copy of your lease agreement as well as any addenda. Since you are the plaintif in an eviction lawsuit, you bear the burden of proof, so you must be able to prove your case by a preponderance of the evidence.
Bond for Immediate Possession
Some states, such as Texas, allow landlords to obtain a bond for immediate possession, which requires a cash bond or surety that shortens the eviction proceeding by a couple weeks. This will not allow you to evict bad tenants faster if they choose to post a counter-bond or if they exert their right to a trial. Furthermore, if your lawsuit is not successful, you could lose the value of the bond.
Some eviction lawsuits take longer to resolve because the landlord is seeking monetary damages as well as eviction. For example, a landlord might sue bad tenants to get them off the property and to recover unpaid rent as well. If you are more concerned with asserting possession of the dwelling than recouping your losses, you can choose to drop that portion of your lawsuit and proceed with only the eviction. There is no guarantee this will speed up the process, however.
Laura College is a former riding instructor, horse trainer and veterinary assistant. She has worked as a writer since 2004, producing articles and sales copy for corporations and nonprofits. College has also published articles in numerous publications, including "On the Bit," "Practical Horseman" and "American Quarter Horse Journal."