The most dreaded word a rental property owner wants to hear is EVICTION!
(Cue the Dun-Dun-Duuun music!!)
The truth is that if you own enough rentals or have been a landlord long enough you will eventually encounter an eviction situation.
As a rental property owner, the eviction process is the last course of action you can take to regain possession of your rental property.
The process can be lengthy, costly, and stressful to even the most optimistic rental property owners.
It’s important to note that even though there’s no guarantee of avoiding an eviction, you can greatly reduce the chances by incorporating a strong qualification process for all perspective tenants.
Related Article: How To Get Better Tenants
Here at San Diego Premier Property Management we’ve only encountered two evictions in the course of 15 years with hundreds of rental properties under professional management, a feat that we’re proud of.
In the event that you’re faced with the possibility of having to evict your tenants, here are 5 Things to Try Before Evicting Tenants.
1. Review The Lease
Hopefully, you have a signed lease agreement. Having one goes a long way in eliminating the he said she said routine.
Review your signed lease agreement, it’s a legally binding contract and sets the terms of your mutual agreement.
This will prepare you to communicate intelligently about the terms of the lease agreement and formulate your response and course of action going forward.
Communication goes a long way in solving some of the most troubling problems.
Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and call your tenants. Find out the circumstances surrounding why they haven’t paid rent or remedied the lease violation and see if you can find common ground toward a solution.
Use empathy but not emotion when reminding them of their legally binding contract.
The sooner you open up dialogue and communicate the better your chances are of continuing a positive relationship and working toward a solution.
Note: Make sure to follow up any verbal conversation with an email that details the nature of your discussion. This will create a written dialogue of the situation which can be useful in court if necessary.
Find out how much your property will rent for here: Free Rental Analysis
3. Stay Professional
Dealing with an eviction or potential eviction is not a fun situation and can be very stressful.
Anything you say or do will most likely be used against you. The temptation to argue or worse threaten your tenants can destroy future negotiations and work against you in court proceedings.
Remain professional and take into consideration that the situation is only temporary.
4. Cash For Keys
This one may sting a little but can actually yield a better outcome than a full blown eviction.
Offering to pay the tenants cash to move out could be a negotiation tool that saves you thousands.
In San Diego the cost of an eviction could run up to $10,000. The legal fees, lost rental proceeds, and potential property damage are real cost factors that are associated with an eviction.
Offering a good faith cash or other negotiated form of compensation such as paying for a moving truck in return for a controlled move out and return of keys could eliminate legal fees and minimize lost rental proceeds as well as prevent property damage.
5. Seek Professional Advice
There’s a big difference between getting information online and seeking professional advice and with so much misinformation readily available it can be hard to decipher what’s helpful or harmful. There are local, state, and federal laws that prohibit landlords from taking certain actions against tenants in these situations and these laws can vary state to state.
It is not legal to remove your tenants personal belongings or change the locks on your rental property just because the tenant is behind on rent or has violated the lease agreement. The tenant has rights to the property and violating these rights can lead to other legal implications as well as damage your eviction proceedings.
Contact local professional property managers or real estate attorneys who specialize in evictions and explore your legal options. In most cases, they can handle the entire process and offer collection services for lost rental proceeds.
We hope you enjoyed reading 5 Things To Try Before Evicting Tenants
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Written by Salvatore Friscia, owner of San Diego Premier Property Management a full service residential property management company offering Worry Free property management to the greater San Diego area since 2004.