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  • Writer's pictureThe Onyx Group

Can I Evict Someone From My Short-Term Rental Property?

There is a lot of information floating around the internet regarding traditional long-term rental agreements. But what about short-term renters? What if you only want to lease for a set amount of time, or simply don’t want the commitment or responsibility of long-term tenants?

There’s definitely a market for this because plenty of renters also seek a short-term solution to housing for a myriad of reasons. That said, even in these smaller agreements, things can, unfortunately, go wrong, and you may encounter a situation that warrants eviction.

Rights of Short-Term Renters vs. Long-Term Renters

There are reasons beyond convenience that people regularly agree to year-long (or longer) lease agreements. They sacrifice a great deal of flexibility for rights that are granted based on laws that protect tenants. That said, many local laws will exclude short-term renters from some of these rights (e.g., rental agreements that are 30 days or less).

So, can you evict someone even if they are a short-term or temporary tenant? The short answer is yes. In fact, if the eviction occurs before renters have leased long enough to gain full, long-term tenant rights, it may be a great deal easier than the litigation required otherwise. If you set out clear rules in a contract that are violated, you reserve the right to terminate the agreement.

Terms to Include in Your Rental Agreement

Though short-term rentals may seem more casual than long-term, it is important to not treat them as such when it comes to the law. You still must draw up a legally binding contract to protect yourself and your assets.

That said, what should go into a contract for short-term renting? A few terms you must clearly lay out include:

  • Length of stay (or frequency of renewal, any notice required, etc.)

  • Rental rate

  • Damage policies

  • Guest policies (and limitations)

  • House rules (trash, utilities, noise, etc.)

  • RIGHT TO TERMINATE IF RULES ARE VIOLATED (laying this out in your contract will save a lot of headaches if you reach a point of eviction)

Ultimately, the more you lay out in writing, the less room you have for surprises. Maintain clear language throughout the contract so the tenant undoubtedly understands the terms and you aren’t liable for confusion. If there is no proof of an agreement, no matter how logical, it will be incredibly difficult to defend your case in court should that circumstance arise.

Read Up on the Laws of Your State

While a lot of these concepts can be universally applied to an extent, it is vital to make sure you read up on the laws of your specific state. Much like with most other areas of property law, the fine print and details tend to vary, and those technicalities can make all the difference with your case.

When it comes to Florida, if a renter refuses to leave once served an eviction notice, they could be tried for a misdemeanor. When seeking a successful eviction, it is vital that you have a signed, written agreement to point to that shows the tenant is in violation of the lease. This is why, even with short-term renters, it is vital to have a detailed contract.

After you thoroughly understand the rights of both the tenant and the landlord in your state, try to brush up on any local rules that may also apply. For instance, some laws that govern people in New York City don’t also apply to citizens in Upstate New York. This can all get a little muddy and complicated and is likely where an experienced lawyer could prove beneficial.

Property ownership is already a hassle even before the legal side kicks in. Learn your rights and protect your assets by contacting Onyx Group Legal today for a free consultation. Our team is ready to provide the knowledge and advice that will ensure you understand and protect your rights as a landlord.

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