Evictions are not an easy process, even for commercial building owners. As the landlord, you have rights. As the tenant, he/she has rights. If you’ve decided to go through with an eviction, you will need to follow Kentucky’s eviction rules. If you follow the state’s landlord-tenant laws, you will be able to rent your commercial space again soon, which will keep you from losing more monthly rental income.
In the state of Kentucky, you, as the landlord, must win an eviction lawsuit to evict the tenant. To evict a tenant in this state, you must have a legal cause, such has failure to pay rent or a violation in the rental agreement. After a legal cause has been determined, you can take steps to end the lease by giving the tenant notice.
Our team at HOWE Louisville provides commercial real estate brokerage, real estate development and consulting services across all market segments. We also provide tenant and landlord representation, which can be a daunting task for many retail investors. Our brokers can represent you after purchase with finding tenants, and even the eviction process. We wanted to share with you some of the basic rules you (as a landlord/property manager) must follow when evicting a commercial tenant in Louisville, Kentucky.
Kentucky Eviction Process Rules
If your tenant doesn’t pay rent, you can give them a seven-day notice to pay. This notice will say the tenant has seven days to pay the rent or you will terminate the lease/rental agreement. If the tenant does not pay, you can file an eviction lawsuit. If your tenant violated the rental agreement/lease, you must give your tenant a 15-day notice to remedy, which will give him/her 15 days to fix the violation, so the lease will not end. If the tenant does not remedy the violation, you can file an eviction lawsuit against him/her. If your tenant remedied the situation but violated the lease again within a six-month period, you can give the tenant a 14-day unconditional quit notice, which tells the tenant the lease/agreement will end in 14 days regardless if the tenant fixes the violation or not. If the tenant does not move in those 14 days, you can file an eviction lawsuit.
If you do not have legal cause to evict your tenant, you will have to wait until the lease/agreement ends before letting them go. If you have a month-to-month tenant and want them gone (with no legal cause), you must give the tenant a 30-day notice to move out. If they do not leave, you can file the lawsuit against them.
Even if you have legal cause to evict your tenant, the tenant may fight the eviction with a defense including discrimination against the tenant or the landlord’s inability to upkeep the rental unit. Remember, if the tenant fights the lawsuit, the lawsuit will become costlier, and the tenant will likely be in the space for longer.
You must win the eviction lawsuit to remove the tenant from the space. However, you cannot remove the tenant yourself. You will need a law enforcement officer with a court order to remove the tenant for you. If you try to force the tenant out without the officer and court order, the tenant can sue you.
After the tenant is out of the space, you should contact the tenant if any of his/her property was left behind and give him/her a reasonable amount of time to claim it. If they do not claim the property, you can dispose or sell the property.
In the state of Kentucky, it is critical you follow the landlord/tenant eviction process, or the eviction may not be valid. For more information on the eviction process in Kentucky, click here.
Looking for Commercial Real Estate in Louisville?
As commercial real estate in Louisville goes, our team at HOWE Louisville is familiar with the commercial real estate tenant/landlord laws in the state, including the eviction process. If you’re looking for commercial real estate brokers to help finding tenants or you’re on the hunt for commercial property for sale in Louisville, let us help you get started on your search. We work with buyers, sellers, lessors and lessees across all property types in and around Louisville. To contact us, send us an email or call 502-890-4475.