EVICTION AND LEASE TERMINATION in Olathe
Eviction is the legal process by which a landlord or property owner removes
an unwanted tenant. The legal protections in the Residential Landlord
Tenant Act are balanced between the landlord who leases a residence and
the tenant to whom it is leased. (KSA 58-2540 et. seq.) A landlord cannot
summarily eject a tenant without some legal penalty, and a tenant cannot
walk away from an ongoing lease without penalty. An experienced attorney
can navigate the process to protect the interests of his client when an
eviction is looming, or a lease must be terminated.
IF YOU ARE A LANDLORD
If you are a landlord and need to evict a tenant, you must follow the rules
in the Landlord Tenant Act. Those rules vary depending on why an eviction
is necessary. A tenant is entitled to notice and an opportunity to cure
the problem or vacate voluntarily before the case goes to court. The attorneys
at Martin & Wallentine are experienced preparing the necessary documents
to begin and follow through with an orderly eviction process. Following
the rules is important, as judges will not order possession of the property
and damages to the landlord if the landlord does not give proper notice
to the tenant. Even worse, a judge may order the landlord to pay damages
sustained by a tenant if the landlord attempts to evict by "self
help", even if the tenant is behind on rent or otherwise in breach
of the lease.
In short, following the rules is essential to obtaining a proper court
ordered eviction. The experienced attorneys at Martin & Wallentine
can help you avoid the pitfalls, terminate a lease properly, and secure
an orderly eviction if necessary.
IF YOU ARE A TENANT FACING EVICTION OR LEASE TERMINATION
If you are a tenant and your landlord wants to evict you or terminate your
lease, you do have legal rights that the landlord may not violate without
penalty. Exactly what those rights are depends on why and how the landlord
attempts to effectuate the lease termination. A lawyer who is experienced
in landlord tenant law can identify and protect your rights as a tenant.
Even if you are behind on your rent, your landlord may not violate your
rights to try to force you out, such as causing the interruption of water,
electric or gas service, or changing the locks. If the landlord engages
in such "self help", you may be entitled to recover damages from him.
If you are behind on your rent, the landlord must give you 3 days written
notice and the opportunity to bring the rent current, or move out within
that time, before filing in court for an eviction. You should do everything
possible to avoid an eviction, as the legal record will make it difficult
for you to rent another property in the future. An attorney can help you
negotiate an agreement with the landlord that will avoid an eviction.
You should understand that if the landlord wants to end the lease and wants
you to move, you will have to do that sooner or later. If you are in full
compliance with an ongoing valid lease, the landlord must give you adequate
notice of his intent to terminate the lease, refund all or part of your
security deposit when you move out, and may owe you damages as well. If
you are on a "month to month" (or periodic) lease after your
term lease ends, all of the provisions of the lease are still in force.
Either party may terminate the lease with proper notice to the other.
In short, you have rights as a tenant, and the landlord must follow the
proper procedures to terminate your lease or evict you. An experienced
attorney can help assure that your rights are protected.