WHAT IS 'Eviction'

Eviction describes the process by which a landlord may legally remove a tenant from their rental property. Eviction may occur when rent has not been paid, when the terms of the rental agreement have been breached or in certain other situations as allowable by law.

In the United States, state law governs the eviction process. Some municipalities, particularly larger cities may also have their own process for eviction.  Generally, a landlord notifies tenants that they are being evicted through an eviction notice. This notice will often specify the number of days that tenants have to correct the problem that has led to the threat of eviction. For example, the tenant may have three days to pay rent in full before they must vacate the unit. If the tenant does not voluntary comply with the eviction notice, the issue must be resolved in court.

BREAKING DOWN 'Eviction'

Eviction can only take place if there is legally defined just cause. However, the definition of just cause varies by state and municipality. In many places, the tenant does not need to violate the terms of the lease to be evicted.

For example, a municipality may specify that if the landlord plans to substantially renovate a rental property or to live in it themselves, they may issue a notice of eviction to their the tenant. However, after completing the renovations or occupying the home for a period of time, the landlord may then choose to rent the property again. Landlords have been known to do this in areas where rental rates are on the rise. Through eviction, they’re able to bring in new tenants at significantly higher rents than the previous tenants paid.

Effects of Eviction

In 2017, most poor families in America who rented their homes spent over half of their monthly income on housing. At least 25 percent spent more than 70 percent of their income on rent and utilities. Personal finance experts recommend spending no more than roughly 30 percent of monthly income on housing. Spending more than this on housing costs can put a person with limited income at greater risk of eviction due to failure to pay rent.

When a person submits a rental application for a new home, the application will likely ask if they have ever been evicted before. Whether or not they answer truthfully, the landlord still may be able to discover a previous eviction. Evictions that end in court settlements show up in credit reports. Also, some landlords report their tenants to companies that provide reports and screenings of potential tenants.

Having a previous eviction may not completely disqualify a person from a lease. Some landlords may simply want to know more about the terms of the eviction. For example, if the landlord decided to sell an apartment as a condo and legally evicted the tenants to do so, that would be unlikely to negatively affect a landlord’s view of a potential tenant.

Eviction rates have risen sharply in the U.S. in recent years, prompting cries of an epidemic. In response to this, many tenants’ rights organizations have sprung up in the country’s major metropolitan areas.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Retaliatory Eviction

    A retaliatory eviction occurs when a landlord evicts a tenant ...
  2. Tenancy at Sufferance

    Tenancy at sufferance is a legal circumstance when a property ...
  3. Gross Lease

    A gross lease is a lease in which a flat rent fee encompasses ...
  4. Rent Regulation

    Rent regulation is a law that determines how much and how often ...
  5. Ground Lease

    A ground lease is an agreement that allows a tenant to develop ...
  6. Key Money

    Key money is a payment made as a deposit to secure housing or ...
Related Articles
  1. Managing Wealth

    4 Things Landlords Aren't Allowed To Do

    Whether you're a landlord or a tenant, you need to know the rules.
  2. Investing

    Top 6 Tips for Turning Your Home Into a Rental Property

    Learn what you need to do to turn your property into a rental property.
  3. Investing

    Top 4 Nightmares For Real Estate Investors

    Renting out your property is not without risks; the good news is, they don't have to keep you up at night.
  4. Investing

    Are You A Good Tenant?

    Landlords are looking for specific factors that are perceived to make up good tenants - do you fit the profile?
  5. Investing

    8 Lease Clauses You Need To Know

    If you're renting an apartment this year, beware of signing contracts with these tricky clauses.
  6. Investing

    Tips for renting out your home

    Renting out your home can be a great way to ride out a real estate slump - if you do it right.
  7. Insurance

    A Quick Guide To Landlord Insurance

    ...And why landlords need it, even if they also have homeowners insurance.
  8. Investing

    Why You May Want To Think Twice About Renting Out Your Home

    Short-term renting is not for everyone. Significant risks to opening up your home to strangers may outweigh the inflow of cash.
RELATED FAQS
  1. Do landlords set up escrow accounts for their tenants' security deposits?

    Learn when and why landlords place rental property security deposits in separate escrow accounts to make sure the money is ... Read Answer >>
  2. Is a waiver of subrogation clause better for a tenant or a landlord?

    Find out why a waiver of subrogation clause is important to include in a lease agreement, and understand how it affects landlords ... Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Monero

    Monero is a digital currency that offers a high level of anonymity for users and their online transactions.
  2. Risk Tolerance

    Risk tolerance is the degree of variability in investment returns that an individual is willing to withstand.
  3. Diversification

    Diversification is the strategy of investing in a variety of securities in order to lower the risk involved with putting ...
  4. Initial Coin Offering (ICO)

    An Initial Coin Offering (ICO) is an unregulated means by which funds are raised for a new cryptocurrency venture.
  5. Federal Funds Rate

    The federal funds rate is the interest rate at which a depository institution lends funds maintained at the Federal Reserve ...
  6. Ethereum

    Ethereum is a decentralized software platform that enables SmartContracts and Distributed Applications (ĐApps) to be built ...
Trading Center