When tenants fail to pay rent or violate the terms of the lease agreement, Kentucky's real estate laws give property owners the chance to initiate eviction proceedings. This action, known as a Forcible Detainer Action, must be carried out according to strict guidelines, as the laws also have stipulations to protect the rights of tenants. If you are a property manager or landlord with tenants who refuse to vacate a rental home, below is more information about starting the eviction process.

What Are Common Reasons for Eviction?

The most common reason for an eviction is the failure to pay rent, either in part or in full, when such rent is due.  Depending upon the lease agreement, there may be several other reasons that a landlord may pursue an eviction, such as if a tenant violates a restriction against bringing a dog onto the property, or commits acts of disruption or property damage. A tenant who refuses to vacate the premises following expiration of the lease may also be evicted.

How Can You Initiate an Eviction?

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The procedure for pursuing an eviction may differ depending upon on the terms of the lease agreement, or upon the ordinances of the county or city where the rental property is located.  In those areas of the state, including the cities of Lexington and Louisville, which have adopted the Uniform Landlord and Tenant Act, 7-days written notice is required if the eviction is for non-payment of rent, or 14-days for other lease violations.  In areas that have not adopted the Uniform Landlord and Tenant Act, an eviction proceeding may be filed in accordance with any applicable terms of the lease, or in the absence of such provisions, then filing is permitted immediately upon the occurrence of a breach of the lease.  However, if the eviction is because the lease has ended and the tenant has failed to vacate, then 30-days written notice is required.

In Kentucky, an attorney is not required to pursue an eviction action if the property is owned by one or more individuals. It is important to note, however, that under Kentucky law an attorney is required to pursue an eviction action on behalf of an entity landlord, such as a limited liability company or corporation. 

If you need the assistance of an experienced attorney, please contact Gess Mattingly & Atchison P.S.C.   Since 1954, the firm has been representing clients throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and has grown to become a full-service law firm with the ability to serve a diverse clientele in a variety of practice areas, including, but not limited to: Administrative & Regulatory Law; Appellate Law; Arbitration & Mediation; Bankruptcy & Financial Restructuring; Business & Commercial Law; Civil Litigation; Commercial & Residential Real Estate; Construction Law; Criminal Defense & Expungements; Equine Law; Estate Planning, Litigation & Probate Law; Family Law; Insurance Law; Media & First Amendment Law; and State & Local Government Law. Call (859) 252-9000 to request a consultation, or visit their website to learn more about the legal services they perform. This is an advertisement.