Making the Decision

Owning a small rental property is one way of achieving the dream of home ownership. But, in buying a rental property, you don’t just become a new homeowner, you also take on the responsibilities of becoming a landlord. Your rental property is not only your home, but also your business. As a business owner, you must adhere to laws, rules, and regulations that govern rental housing, and have a clear understanding of appropriate rental rules and practices.

A recent article released by OregonLive states that the “average Oregon renter can no longer afford a typical one-bedroom apartment.” According to its reports, a renter would have to make $36,161 a year to comfortably afford a typical one-bedroom rental in Oregon, but the average renter household in the state only makes $36,096. Is this a good or bad thing for landlords?

For various reasons, as a landlord, you will experience turnover with your tenants. Some of them will decide to leave voluntarily and choose not to renew their leases; others may give inadequate notice or simply just abandon the property; and in the worse case situations, you may end up taking action to evict a tenant because of their failure to meet obligations stated in the lease or rental agreement. Regardless of the reason that tenants leave, you’ll need to understand what’s involved with ending tenancies and actions that you’ll need to take to protect yourself and your investment.

When Should You Consider Evicting a Tenant?

Eviction is the legal procedure for forcibly removing a tenant from your investment property. It is probably the lease-liked aspect of the rental business. It is a costly, time-consuming, complicated process that frequently requires the services of an experienced lawyer and probably should be undertaken only as a last resort. Before initiating an eviction, you need to understand the process thoroughly to be sure the effort and expense will be worthwhile.

When an eviction becomes necessary, it is usually for one or more of the following reasons:

  • the tenant has not paid the rent;
  • the tenant is not complying with the provisions of the lease or rental agreement;
  • the tenant is engaging in illegal activity on your premises;
  • the tenant is creating a major nuisance; or
  • the tenant refuses to vacate the premises after their legal tenancy expires.

You may not evict tenants to retaliate against them for contacting governmental services like the Board of Health to enforce their rights or for other protected actions. And you may not evict a tenant during the term of the lease because you would prefer to rent to a friend, relative, or someone willing to pay higher rent.

When an eviction is appropriate, you should not put it off. The eviction process can take months, which is too long to continue losing income to allow a tenant to damage your home, or disturb you and others (neighbors).

There isn’t a landlord I know that looks forward to sending an eviction notice, and fortunately most tenant issues can be resolved before an eviction would be considered, but it’s important that you know the process and procedures to properly evict a tenant if you find yourself in this kind of situation.

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