By looking at eviction records across all 50 states, new research finds that 2.7 million households receive eviction filings each year.
It's never ideal to go through the eviction process, but landlords might be forced to if bad tenants are costing them money. Under landlord-tenant law, there are eviction protection rules for tenants and landlords.
If you want to legally evict a bad tenant, this quick overview can help you get started.
Legal Eviction Reasons
Eviction protection laws for tenants state that renters cannot be evicted without a legal reason. The common reasons landlords want to evict tenants are:
- Failure to pay rent
- Violation of the lease agreement
- Health or safety violation
- Illegal activities
The first step of evictions in Montana is to provide tenants with a notice. This notice tells tenants that they are in danger of eviction by providing the legal eviction reason and how long the tenant has to comply before eviction begins.
Without this notice, the eviction won't be valid. In Montana, the landlord can give the tenant three days to pay, comply, or move out, depending on the reason for eviction.
Filing a Complaint
After providing a tenant with a notice, the landlord must then file a legal complaint with the correct justice court. Landlords can file this complaint only after the notice period has passed.
For an eviction to be successful, correct filings are necessary. You'll also need to pay the filing costs.
A property management company can help you find the right court and correctly file.
Serving the Tenant
Once you have filed a formal complaint, you'll serve the Summons and Complaint to the tenant, but landlords can't do this step themselves.
The state of Montana allows constables, sheriffs, deputies, or individuals who have nothing to do with the case and are at least 18 years old to serve the documents.
The Summons and Complaint must be delivered within five days before the court date. The documents will include important information, such as the time and date of the trial.
The tenant must file an answer to the court if they choose to defend themselves during the hearing. The answer has to include why the eviction shouldn't happen.
If the tenant fails to file an answer within 10 days from the day that they receive the documents, the landlord will win the judgment by default.
Gaining Possession of the Property
For the landlord to win the case, they have to back up their argument with evidence. The officer in charge of judiciary cases will make their ruling within five days after the hearing.
When a landlord wins the case, they will receive a Writ of possession from the court that informs the tenant they have to move out, or law enforcement officers will forcibly remove them.
With property possession, landlords can start making room for quality tenants.
Eviction Protection: Following the Legal Eviction Process
Eviction protection for landlords involves following the legal eviction process. By knowing the proper steps in Montana, a landlord has the best chance of a successful eviction.
If you don't understand how the eviction process works in your state, an experienced property management team can help. At PMI Realty Management NW, our property managers are dedicated to helping you with day-to-day tasks.
Contact us today if you have a bad tenant that you need to evict.