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Forums » Landlord & Rental Property Questions » When to Start Eviction Process

When to Start Eviction Process

21 posts by 10 users


This topic has been locked by an administrator.

Residential Real Estate Broker · Conroe, Texas

I'm really ticked....I've had to deal with back to back evictions on this property. The first tenants wife died....(not in the home). But, anyway she committed suicide and put the remaining tenant (her husband), into an emotional tail spin. I felt bad for him and gave him some lea-way then before you know it he's 3 months behind on rent.

I finally get him out without having to endure the entire eviction process....... I re-rent the property to these folks who checked out as far as credit, and employment but I must admit....I didn't really check their mortgage information or criminal background. I figured any dings would have showed up on the credit report....(they were relocating to Houston and selling their home in Missouri). Long story perfect tenants are now 2 months behind. The have avoided phone calls and direct contact. I called the employer of the main income (the wife) a few days ago, and discovered that she was terminated within 8 hours of the new job that was responsible for the transfer. I feel like I'm dealing with a couple of real cons.

I just took over the formal demand letter/breach of agreement and taped it to the door. I know the answer to the question but I'm going to ask it anyway.

How much time do you give tenants before you start the eviction process?

Real Estate Investor · Rochester Hills, Michigan

Rent is due on the 1st. Late fee's kick in a few days after for most...say the 7th.

if not rent is recieved by the 7th then on the 8th the first notice goes out...whatever that is in the state the proeprty is in - a Xday notice to quit.

First month - first second they are late. The moment you show you are nice and can be taken advantage of you will be.

The moment you show you will not be taken advantage of you won't be.

Short leash.

2 months late? That is a SUPER long leash and your only aksing for trouble.

Also - no offense but the problem started with you not doing a proper screening...question is have you learned your lesson or you want to waste more money?

Rehabber · Santa Clarita, California

What does your lease state?
Mine states rent is due on the first, late on the second, and if not received by the 5th, notice to pay or quit is delivered.
Keep a short leash, extending leadway = recipe for losing more money!

Small_be_logoWill Barnard, Barnard Enterprises, Inc.
E-Mail: [email protected]

Rehabber · Santa Clarita, California

Tip #2: NEVER skip running criminal background checks! NEVER skip running checks on previous landlords either!

Small_be_logoWill Barnard, Barnard Enterprises, Inc.
E-Mail: [email protected]

Residential Real Estate Broker · Conroe, Texas

No offense taken.....and yeap I think I got it....

I agree, I've dropped the ball twice on this deal. I've already kicked myself in the pants about my actions on this deal. I'm posting my mistakes for two reasons.

1. to vent

2. I'm expecting some brutal comments about my handling of this property. I'll use it for good to re-enforce the handling of future tenants.

Rehabber · Santa Clarita, California

I didn't mean for my post to be brutal to YOU, just to point out the very important factors in dealing with tenants and the screening of them for other to learn by.

I appologize if it was offensive to you, it was certainly not my intent.

Small_be_logoWill Barnard, Barnard Enterprises, Inc.
E-Mail: [email protected]

Real Estate Investor · Ohio

Obviously, this is a self-inflicted wound. The tenants didn't do it to you, you did it to yourself. As the others said, the minute the rent is late, start the eviction process. Allowing a tenant to get 2 or 3 months behind is inexcusable! Failing to properly screen the tenants is inexcusable. STRAIGHTEN UP AND GET WITH THE PROGRAM!

(was that good enough reinforcement for you?)

Good Luck,


Residential Real Estate Broker · Conroe, Texas

Thanx Mike!

Thanx Will,

Up to this point, I've only ran credit reports. I've been way too lax....I know better now. My verification processes won't miss a thing after these events. And I'll not budge a day on required rents.

No apoligy needed. Council from the wise may seem harsh initially but in the end if one adheres to it, leads to more wisdom.

Real Estate Attorney · Syracuse/New York, New York

I am a landlord-tenant attorney in NY. Obviously, every state has different rules. Generally, follow the terms of your lease. However, it is fairly standard that once the rent is past due (as set forth in the lease) you can served a tenant with a rent demand specifying 1) the amount of rent due in detail, 2) the date the rent arrears must be paid by (usually at least 3 days by law depending on the state, and 3) that the landlord will start an eviction proceeding if the arrears are not paid by the date specified in the rent demand. Your demand can be oral, but it's better to do it in writing. I would send it to the tenant by first class mail and by certified mail. If the rent is not paid by the date specified in the rent demand, commence the court proceeding. Good luck!

Tony L. D'Anzica, Esq.

Real Estate Investor · Audubon, Pennsylvania


I'm guessing that you don't have a landlord-friendly lease form that you are using, because if you did I think you would be more on top of payments and what the lease permits.

If you are using some office supply lease form, then I suggest you get a real landlord-friendly lease. One that is legal for your state, of course. One that I have for my use actually has a clause to the effect that the lease itself serves as notice to quit (that is permitted in PA).

But get them out ASAP. And don't be surprised if there is physical damage to your unit due to this tenant.

Steve Babiak, Redeeming Properties, LLC
Telephone: 6109082183

Real Estate Investor · Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

We generally post the Pay Rent or Quit Notice on about the 15th. We file for eviction then a few days later, depending on how the weekend falls. Our notice, and our lease, gives them 3 days to cure once the notice is posted before we go to the judge.

We have often thought of speeding the process and doing it sooner. It is difficult and almost impractical for us. We are 4 people all with full times jobs that do our RE business in off hours. We separate the RE responsibilities By the time we make it to the post office, process the deposits in Quick Books, contact our partner (the PM), she calls to see if we can squeeze some money out of the tenat for their legal obligations, drive to the property to post, etc. This takes about 2 weeks.

It is a monthly ritual. Now, we have 30+ rental untis, so those of you with 2 or 3 can't use this excuse.

General Contractor · Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas

Originally posted by Tony D'Anzica, Esq.:
I would send it to the tenant by first class mail and by certified mail.

You mean just one letter sent 1st class and certified mail not two letters correct?

I'm a relatively new landlord and I just had a shock about eviction. I had filed a dispossessory warrant, no reply from tenant, then went to file for the writ of possession (i.e. the actual eviction). I live in metro Atlanta, and the county I'm in has a 2 + 1/2 month backlog on evictions!!!

The clerk said I can call her every day to see if there have been any cancellations and if so move mine up to take an open spot. Of course, I'm not the only one who may be calling her, and there is no "waiting list" - I just have to hope that I'm the first one to call after someone has cancelled.

In the meantime, the only other thing I can think of to do is to contact my tenant and try to get them to leave without the actual eviction. I could say something like, I really don't want to have to evict you, and I'm sure you don't want your stuff moved out into the street one day. I'll make you a deal where if you will move out voluntarily within a month from now, I'll hold off on the eviction happening, and perhaps even not go after you agressively (lawsuit) for what you owe. That way both you (the tenant) and I can have a relatively smooth transition without the mess of an actual eviction. In other words, I try to make concessions (while trying not to come across as desperate) in an effort to get them to leave sooner. What I won't be telling them, of course, is that if they don't move out voluntarily I'm stuck with them for almost 3 months (unless I can get it moved up due to a cancellation).

If anyone out there with more experience has advice in negotiating with my tenant, feel free to share. Basically my tenant was laid off and can no longer pay, so for me it's just a matter of trying to get them out ASAP to get a paying tenant.

Real Estate Investor · Ohio

Evictions are a normal part of the business! Your tenant has no job and no ability to pay (now or next month).

File the eviction; call the court clerk every day as she suggested; and try to get this over as soon as possible. If this is going to be the norm for evictions in your area, then you need to take additional steps to protect yourself in the future such as tighter screening; higher security deposits; taking first, last, and security deposit instead of just first and the security deposit, etc. You've got to change with the business.

Good Luck,


Residential Real Estate Broker · Conroe, Texas

Quick Update.....

Thanx for all the great input. The key is to face these types of issues quick and head on. I'm refreshed.

I wanted to mention a little trick that I used to add pressure to the tenant. It's sort of funny.

I filled out one of the actual county court filing documents for evictions and put it in the envelope along with the Notice to Vacate. Even though the document hasn't been filed yet....It shook the tenant up. The tenant surfaced asking for more time to get his stuff out of the home. I'm not going to respond. I'll let the pressure stay on. Texas requires the Demand letter, then time for response. Next it requires Notice to Vacate then time for response. After which the actual eviction suit can be filed with the court house.

I'm getting pretty good at this process. I'm thinking about making lemonade out of this whole ordeal and offering eviction services as an add-on to my regular services. I think there might just be a market for it.

I was looking online and noticed a number of companies providing it as a service. I even noticed one company charging as much as $500 bucks a pop to help individuals navigate thru the eviction process. Might end up being a great marketing technique to solicit properties for property management.

Any input?

Real Estate Investor · Audubon, Pennsylvania


Usually, in order to represent somebody in a court of law, one must be a licensed attorney. I said usually. Might not be the case in TX or elsewhere. Something about "practicing without a license" is how I think it gets worded.

Steve Babiak, Redeeming Properties, LLC
Telephone: 6109082183

Residential Real Estate Broker · Conroe, Texas

Texas allows "authorized agent", for evictions. Also, the "Residential Leasing and Property Management Agreement", includes evictions as part of Broker's possible duties.

I just thought it would good service to market as a lead into property mgmt.

Real Estate Investor · Audubon, Pennsylvania


In the phila area, there is a service called "Evictions Unlimited" that sort of does this. Also, in Phila, there is a landlord group called HAPCO that has an agreement with an attorney to handle the eviction for members at a discount.

You might benefit by studying those two as models, if you plan to set up this type of endeavor as an income stream.

Steve Babiak, Redeeming Properties, LLC
Telephone: 6109082183

Residential Real Estate Broker · Conroe, Texas

Thanks Steve,

I took a brief look at their splash page. I liked it. Especially the disclaimer.

Real Estate Investor · Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Originally posted by Adam Anderson:
Originally posted by Tony D'Anzica, Esq.:
I would send it to the tenant by first class mail and by certified mail.

You mean just one letter sent 1st class and certified mail not two letters correct?

Both. Two Letters. Most attorneys would recommend this for all official documents. One is to sign for receipt (certified) the other is to prove that it is a real address and they are still receiving mail there (regular mail). IOW, if you get the certified mail piece back that only means it is a bad address if YOU ALSO get the regular mail piece back. That is the legal thinking.

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