Landlord evictions are never a fun task to handle. It generally involves some conflict and animosity on both ends of the spectrum and realistically it can be a long and tedious task to evict a tenant. However, it is simply “part of the game” that every real estate investor has to play at some point or another. For this reason, we’ve broken the process down and made it a bit simpler to understand.
Evictions: What Are My Reasons?
Just as you have rights as a landlord, tenants also have rights so it is important that you are following all laws carefully. There are various reasons that you can site when you are ready to evict a tenant. Here are a few of them:
- Not Paying Rent
- Damage to Property
- Violating the Lease
- Illegal Activity or Drug-Related Activity
- Lease Expiration
While there are other reasons to evict a tenant, these are a few of the most common ones.
DIY or Hire an Attorney?
This is a very important decision to make, and it really depends on each specific situation. The short answer is that, in the end, it is safer and smarter to hire an attorney. Attorneys who specialize in real estate law can help to increase your chances of getting the outcome you desire and there are fewer mistakes that are likely to be made during the filing process.
So the Tenant Moved Out
Unless there are extenuating circumstances, such as the residence is uninhabitable, the tenant is bound by the lease agreement. You can sue for the remainder of the rent left on the lease, but it is important to do so right away. Overall, it may be easier to simply find a new renter because you never really know if the debt is just going to hit the ex-renters credit and have them simply ignore it.
What to Do After a Judgement Has Been Awarded
If a judgment is awarded in your favor, congratulations. Don’t be in too much of a rush to get your money back right away, as the process can take time. In some situations, the renter may be eager to try and settle with you so you need to define what your bottom line is. If this is the case, suggest a payment plan and work with the renter.
Another option is to go after their assets, but try to go after the ones that are easiest to get ahold of first. Assets such as garnished wages or bank accounts are much easier to get your hands on than their car or house.
Tag and Set Out Process
After you have received your judgment it is time to start the tag and set out process. It vital that the house is tagged, stating that the tenant has five business days to vacate the premises. Should the tenant ignore the tagging process, the set-out process will then begin. You will need to contact the bailiff and pay the application fee to have them set out complete and the date will be determined. During the set-out, the bailiff will supervise the tenants’ departure and there may be some items you need to supply during the process.
Call the Bailiff
During landlord evictions, contacting the bailiff at their office is important at the beginning of the tag and set out process if it goes that far. Through the bailiff’s office, you can apply and pay for this process as well as schedule the time for the bailiff to tag the house or supervise the set-out.
The Tenant is Gone! Now What?
Change the locks, passwords to the garage, alarm system, or gate (if applicable)and take note of any damages done to the property. Don’t forget to celebrate making it through one of the most stressful aspects of real estate investing!