Landlord Rights When Tenant Charged with Criminal Activity

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It’s an unfortunate reality that at some point as a landlord or property manager, you may likely face a situation where one of your tenants is charged with a criminal activity. The severity and aftermath of the crime will differ depending on the tenant and their situation, regardless it’ll likely be an unexpected and irregular occurrence that you may not be necessarily prepared to deal with. This is one of the more complex situations in the property management field and it is important that you understand your rights as a landlord.

What are the Rights of the Landlord?

When conducting business pertaining to property management, a landlord should always be most concerned with operating from a strictly legal perspective. This is important to protect the rights of the tenant but also to avoid getting yourself into unwanted trouble with the law.

At times, this may be difficult to do as it’s natural for a landlord to feel potentially uncomfortable housing a tenant who has been convicted of a crime. This is why the law will protect you against housing a tenant who has been convicted of a crime directly pertaining to your home. This means that if the crime took place in the house or unit you rent them (such as illegal drug production) you have grounds to evict them.

The same concept applies if the tenant has caused serious damage to your property. It’s recommended to check in with tenants regularly in order to identify any signs of criminal activity early on. Never begin the process of evicting a tenant before you are certain that you have legal grounds to do so. Educate yourself and advocate for your own rights, but also ensure you’re protecting your tenant’s rights, which is the responsibility of an accountable property manager.

The Rights of the Tenant

If a tenant is charged with criminal activity that is unrelated to the rental property, the landlord must understand they’re not legally entitled to evict a tenant from the property. Technically speaking, this is because the tenant has not broken any of the agreements in the rental contract and therefore the agreement is still legally bound and must continue to be honoured.

However, if a result of their conviction is incarceration, the tenant would then become unable to make rent payments and a landlord would have grounds to begin the eviction process - since this is directly breaking agreements in the lease.

Need More Information?

If you are interested in learning more or are in need of professional guidance on an issue you are dealing with as a landlord or a tenant, contact us at Central Erin Property Management for assistance. Our professional property management team is highly knowledgeable and ready to help you navigate difficult situations like these.