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3 Smart Eviction Tips For Landlords

The eviction process is often just as difficult for the landlord as it is for the tenant. The rules that you have to follow to force an eviction can be quite strict, and courts tend to take any error on the landlord’s part seriously – after all, you are asking the court to remove someone from their home. That means that if you don’t get it right the first time, you’ll have to spend time and money going through the whole process all over again. Take a look at some tips that can help you get through the eviction process as quickly and painlessly as possible.

Know What Kind of Notice to Give

It’s best to serve an eviction notice as soon as the tenant gives you a reason to do so. Delaying the matter only allows an unacceptable situation to continue. You need to know what kind of notice you can give for each specific offense, and serve it as soon as you’re able.

There are four common reasons for evicting tenants. By far, non-payment is the most common reason for an eviction. You can serve a three day pay or quit notice as soon as the rent is even one day late. If your tenant can come up with the money in three days, they can stay, otherwise, the eviction can proceed. The other time to use a three day notice is when your tenant creates a waste or nuisance by destroying property, interfering with other tenants, or conducting illegal activities on the premises. In this case, you don’t have to give them an opportunity to rectify the situation. The three day notice simply makes them aware that they need to leave.

If your tenant breaks the terms of the lease, for example by making unauthorized changes to the property or bringing in a pet when the lease forbids pets, you can give them a ten day notice. The tenant has the option to stay if they come into compliance with the lease within the ten day period. The final reason for eviction is no cause – for example, when you want to use the property for something else, but the tenant has done nothing wrong. In that case, you will need to use a 20-day notice.

Don’t Negotiate

Every landlord has to deal with an eviction eventually, and once you’ve dealt with a few, you’ll come to realize that everyone has a story. There’s always a reason why the rent is late, or why the neighbors are complaining, or why the tenant is not in compliance with the lease. If you want to get a bad tenant out and a new one in, it’s better not to spend the time negotiating. And remember, if you accept a partial payment from a non-paying tenant, you won’t be able to proceed with the eviction.

Just because you own property doesn’t necessarily mean you’re up for the high stress and emotion that accompanies an eviction notice. If you know that you’re a soft touch and that you may cave in and accept a partial payment or some other negotiation tactic, you may want to consider using an eviction notice server instead of serving the notice yourself. That way, you don’t have to deal with a tenant who is trying to talk their way out of an eviction. You’ll also be assured that the notice is served by someone that knows and will follow the law for notifying a tenant of an eviction in your area. Failure to post the eviction notice properly can delay the eviction for weeks or even months if the tenant decides to contest the eviction.

Consider a Collection Proceeding

In many cases, landlords are just happy to no longer have to deal with a problem tenant after an eviction, and they forego any claims they may have for back rent and damages. In some cases, this is a smart move; but in other cases, it’s a mistake.

If your tenant owes you money for back rent or damages, you should discuss the pros and cons of a collection proceeding with your attorney. On one hand, a tenant who was evicted for failure to pay may be “judgment proof” – meaning they have no money to pay you even if they’re found liable. In that case, it may be a mistake to waste time and resources pursuing a judgement for back rent. On the other hand, a tenant who caused property damage but never had a problem paying the rent might have enough money to compensate you for their damage if they’re found liable in court. Your attorney can advise you on the merits of pursuing a collection.

Most tenants don’t want to move, and will often find a way to pay up or rectify noncompliance with the lease when they see that they have no other choice. Stick to your guns and insist on timely payments and lease compliance from all tenants, and you’ll be less likely to have to go through with an eviction.  For more tips, contact a local eviction services company. 

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