Evictions should be rare in property management. You should have a tenant screening process in place that ensures you place tenants who are likely to pay rent on time and follow the terms of your lease. At Solutions for Real Estate, we do everything we can to collect rent and keep tenants in place, even when payments fall behind. We are investors ourselves, and we know that a vacant property is a lot more expensive than an occupied property with a tenant who is a few days behind.
While we are understanding and empathetic to the needs and struggles of our residents, we are also mindful of the importance of our owners’ cash flow and financial stability. So, we’ll do everything we can to avoid eviction, but we’ll keep the process moving and stick to a legal and consistent procedure until the tenant either pays rent or must be removed from the property.
Understand the Eviction Laws
The courts are extremely strict with the paperwork that’s required, the documentation that’s submitted, and the timelines that are followed. Even one small and unintentional mistake can set a landlord back and cost extra time and money. Make sure you understand the process and if you don’t understand it, hire a qualified eviction attorney or an experienced Columbus property management company. You do not want to risk the additional costs and the longer process.
Communicate and Discuss Expectations
We begin our efforts to avoid eviction at the lease-signing. Our leasing agents talk to our new residents about the expectations for rent payments, lease enforcement, and care of the property. Our tenants understand when rent is due, how it must be paid, and what the consequences are when it’s paid late or not at all. No one can claim they didn’t know when they were supposed to pay rent or how much they were supposed to pay. Establish a good relationship with your tenants from the start of the lease so you can be sure everyone understands their responsibilities.
Serve a Three Day Notice
The first step in the formal eviction process is to serve your tenants a Three Day Notice. We serve our notices around the seventh of the month if rent has not been paid yet. Don’t waste a lot of time trying to get in touch with your tenant to find out where the rent is. With this notice, you’re letting your tenants know that rent is late and that it needs to be paid within three days, otherwise you’ll be moving forward with eviction. The receipt of this notice usually motivates tenants to get the rent paid.
Filing with the Court
When the three days come and go and rent still has not been paid, we hand our file over to our attorney to file the eviction action in court. A court date will be set for two or three weeks later, and the tenants will either pay (including eviction fees), move out before then or show up in court. Once the court provides an eviction judgment, the tenants will have five days to move out before being physically removed by the court and the sheriff.
Collecting rent should be your ultimate goal, but don’t hold up the eviction process. If your tenants aren’t going to pay the amount that’s overdue, you want to get new tenants in there as soon as possible.
Contact us at Solutions for Real Estate if you have any questions or need any eviction help.