As a new landlord, you likely have a lot of things on your plate and worries for your future work with tenants. There are a number of things that you have to keep in mind and undertake in this job, and not all of it will be (even remotely) enjoyable. Unfortunately, one part of this process is the unfortunate responsibility of having to evict tenants who, for one reason or another, aren’t working out. It can be an extremely stressful and demanding process of all involved, particularly if you haven’t needed to go through the experience before. An eviction will never be easy, and emotions on one or both sides will likely be running high, but there are a few steps you can take in this very serious situation to make things a little easier for yourself.
Don’t Make an Eviction More Difficult
“Eviction is the action of legally expelling a tenant from a property, and it is most commonly done because of nonpayment of rent, although failure to comply with the lease agreement is also grounds for eviction.” Unfortunately, there are times when people don’t pay or break the rules once too many or in such a way that means they must be removed from the property fairly quickly. The latter case may be easier, because if it’s the former, it may be a resident you know who pleas with you for one more chance after you’ve give them a lot of leeway. Don’t let yourself get wrapped up in guilt that you make too many exceptions, because not only will it likely not encourage that person to pay or follow the rules, it may also anger and offend the law-abiding, other tenants.
Make sure that you send the offending tenant written notice of their impending eviction. The reason for this is because it marks the start of the entire process and, in some cases, allows him or her the opportunity to try and make up for what’s happened. If they’re missing rent, they may be startled into coming up with the money that’s needed. If it’s broken rules, the notice could instill in them a sense of how serious the situation is. Legally, this means that you have to provide them with a window in which to act, but after that, further steps can be taken.
Try not to delay the process. If someone needs to be evicted, you’ll know it; don’t drag everyone involved along because of the discomfort. Also, keep in mind “that the more you wait, the more rent you are losing and the more your tenant is taking advantage of you.” Both of these things will only worsen, so begin the process in order to do the best thing for yourself, your building… and, really, the tenant, who will need to move on with his or her life as soon as possible. Also remember that, once it’s been started, “evictions can take anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks, depending on location,” so getting the ball rolling is crucial.
The next step, if you haven’t received the money or sense that the tenant’s habits are going to change, is to go to your local courthouse to file the eviction documents. After this is done, the courthouse will be responsible for notifying the responsible party about coming for their hearing on the designated date. Following the filing, you may be given the full or partial payment of the missing rent, at which point you need to make another decision: should you continue with the eviction or not? If you accept the money, it “forfeits your right to continue with the eviction,” so you would have to begin the process all over again if they had more issues. Though it may be more difficult-seeming, it’s ultimately better to continue with the eviction and not to accept the money, since you never know if they have really changed.
Are you familiar with the phrase “self-help eviction?” It’s a term for when a landlord takes it upon themselves to undertake an eviction without going through the legal hoops. Though it may be faster, it’s also illegal. Methods of “self-help eviction” include trying to bully a tenant out by changing locks, threatening, or turning off utilities, among other things. Don’t try this and end up in trouble. It also makes everything more difficult for you as it means that the law isn’t on your side for the eviction.
Make sure that you know all the legal ins and outs of the eviction process to avoid as much of the hassle as you can. Don’t let things overwhelm you; make procedure less painful by managing your property with some of Anton Systems’ powerful software solutions. The all-in-one programs can help you with all the details, such as marketing campaigns, resident information, and maintenance. By evaluating your needs, we make sure that you have the software that will best help you to maintain your residential property. Improve every aspect of your work experience with better analytics that help you shape your business.