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What can I do about a bad tenant?

Nearly every landlord in Louisiana has a horror story: the elderly couple with six cats who never used a litterbox; the college frat boys who threw loud, drunken parties seemingly every other night; the family who let their children run amok and break every appliance in the apartment. You might, so far, have been lucky enough to avoid renting to the worst types of tenants, but that doesn't mean your renters are ideal. In fact, some might be causing enough of an inconvenience that you wonder if you can evict them.

You might be an easygoing landlord, but even tenants who break minor rules may get worse over time or cause enough cumulative damage to end up being costly after they've moved out. The following infractions are some of the most common ones that tenants end up getting evicted for:

  • Not paying rent or consistently being significantly late on rent
  • Having pets when the lease prohibits animals
  • Subletting the rental, or allowing people who are not on the lease agreement to live there
  • Violating the rules regarding late-night guests, parties, music and noise
  • Damaging the property, whether intentional or accidental
  • Conducting illegal activities on the premises

As FindLaw explains, landlords have the right to evict tenants for violating their lease terms. This is to help you protect your investment, limit the damage a poor tenant is causing and allow you to continue making an income from the rental property. You will need to go through legal channels to evict a tenant, including obtaining a warrant for eviction from the court, having it served and giving tenants a reasonable amount of time to move out. Real estate law may be complex, so this information is not meant to be taken as legal advice.

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