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Evicting a commercial tenant for not paying rent

On Behalf of | Jul 28, 2023 | Commercial Real Estate

Landlords will almost always have to deal with a nonpaying renter. It is aggravating, but evicting a tenant is not a simple process. You must comply with certain restrictions and regulations. Knowing what steps to take is crucial so that you don’t make rash decisions that could be detrimental to you or your business.

Draft and serve the tenant a three-day notice

To initiate the eviction of a commercial tenant for nonpayment, you must serve them with a three-day written notice. The document works to warn the tenant of possible legal action if they fail to pay rent within three days or refuse to do so. It must include the tenant’s full name, the total amount of rent due and the landlord’s contact information.

You must serve the notice by mail and either present it to the tenant in person or post it on the front door of their place of business. To demonstrate compliance, you must accomplish a proof of service form.

Give the tenant time to respond

The process of eviction can start three days after issuing the notice. If the tenant pays the rent in full within three days of receiving the notice, everything should be fine.

However, things can become complicated if your tenant can only pay a portion of what they owe.

Some landlords may want to accept partial payments to preserve their relationship with the tenant. However, it has several downsides. The tenant may wrongly assume that their actions were acceptable, risking a repeat of the situation.

Paying only a portion of the rent does not save the renter from eviction. However, it is still advisable not to accept partial payments because it could invalidate your three-day notice.

Filing an unlawful detainer

You can file an unlawful detainer complaint if the tenant does not pay by the deadline. This will initiate a relatively quick court proceeding that will allow a sheriff or martial to physically remove the tenant from the premises.

Getting rid of a nonpaying renter is, of course, a very complex process. However, you may face civil or criminal charges if you try to take matters into your own hands. Cutting off the tenant’s utilities or locking them out are not acceptable eviction methods. Failure to follow the legal requirements for a proper eviction may result in criminal penalties and the dismissal of your case.