When renting an apartment, don’t assume that you will be able to live there forever. Sure, you have a lease that provides you with an end date by which you and your landlord need to legally abide. And usually landlords will offer tenants the opportunity to renew the lease for another term.
But landlords do have the ability to evict tenants before a lease agreement ends.
Landlords can evict tenants for:
- Failure to pay rent – When a tenant doesn’t pay rent, or is frequently late in paying rent, it’s a breach in the lease agreement, which gives landlords the right to evict tenants. Landlords are in the business for money, so if you’re consistently late, your landlord might not choose to evict you because you are paying, but if you don’t pay at all, he will be interested in getting a paying tenant into your apartment. Take note that late or missing rent payments can also show up on your rental history report.
- Damage to the apartment – Tenants do not own the property, and landlords don’t want to spend money fixing damage caused by tenants or guests of a tenant. If damage occurs, have a discussion with the landlord about paying to fix the damage yourself. If you’re in good standing otherwise, your landlord might be interested in keeping you around as a good rent-paying tenant.
- Law enforcement visits – Some landlords have warnings built into a lease agreement. If the police are called to your unit multiple times, these visits can result in warnings, leading to eviction. Neighbors can call police for many reasons like loud noises, fighting and illegal activities.
In the end, anything that results in breaking a lease agreement is grounds for eviction, so be sure to read your lease agreement carefully before signing.
It may also pay to know what is on your rental and eviction history report and fix any errors before landlords find them – see a Sample Rental History Report for Renters.