A tenant who won't pay their rent is every landlord's worst nightmare, and it's more common than you might think. In fact, over a million evictions take place in the United States each year - and this number has gone up amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Evictions are stressful for the renter and property owner alike. And, unfortunately, evicting a tenant is an eventuality even if you've carefully screened and chosen responsible renters.
Keep reading for all that you'll need to know about the eviction process, plus essential landlord advice on what to do about tenants who just won't pay.
Have a Hard Conversation
Nearly everyone has been down on their luck at some point, and an inability to pay rent doesn't always indicate bad tenants. Before you jump to conclusions, have an honest chat with your renters and find out what's going on. There's a chance that you'll be able to resolve things without even starting the eviction process.
This is also a good time to review state laws with your renter and inform them about the eviction process.
Provide Proper Written Notice
If you are still stuck in a situation where you can't collect rent, it's time to give your tenants written notice that the eviction process is starting. This document will grant renters between 3 and 30 days to vacate, depending on their lease terms. Once this allotted time has expired, if rent has not been collected, you will likely proceed to filing with the court.
Make a Deal
In some cases, it may be beneficial to make a deal with your tenants, asking them to leave. Because evictions are expensive, time-consuming, and stressful, this is often a serious consideration, with landlords even offering "cash for keys" - paying problem tenants to vacate.
This type of agreement shouldn't be attempted without the help of a professional property management firm to ensure proper legal protection.
Take It to Court
Taking an eviction to court is a complex step by step process that begins when you file an official petition. A hearing date will be assigned at least ten days later.
At your hearing, an official judgment will be issued, and both parties have five days to appeal. If neither party successfully appeals the court's decision, a writ of possession can be issued.
This document allows a landlord to remove the evicted tenant's belongings once a local constable has posted a 24-hour notice to vacate with the non-paying renters.
If you only read one of our landlord tips, make it this one.
Hiring a property management company can help protect you from non-payment along with other typical tenant issues. And, should something go wrong, you know that you won't be the one losing valuable time and energy to a lengthy eviction process.
Even the most experienced investors and landowners can benefit from these services!
Evictions Made Easy
With this guide to evictions in hand, you're ready to tackle non-paying tenants and get your property back. But, if this experience has put you through the wringer, it may be time to consider a different approach.
Hiring a professional property management firm can save you from future headaches, helping with everything from tenant screening to rent collection.
Contact Blue Ribbon Property Management or call (979) 695 3300 for more information on support for landlords and assistance with maximizing your rental's potential.