Landlording & Rental Properties

How to Properly Evict a Tenant (and Avoid a Legal Hot Mess!)

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No one wants to end up in the position where a property eviction becomes necessary. In fact, as real estate investors, this is one of a handful of scenarios that we never want to face! Evicting a tenant is not a desirable process for anyone: owner, property manager or tenants. Generally, evictions happen because something, somewhere, has not gone as you wanted it to.

Maybe your tenants aren’t paying rent, or maybe they broke the lease or otherwise damaged your rental property. They may be paying each month, yet they are habitually late, and you’ve reached the point where the trust is no longer there. The situation may simply have gotten to a point where continuing to rent to the tenant or tenants is no longer wise.

While this article may be helpful for landlords and investors considering starting a management company, there is no way it can replace a conversation with a local attorney who specializes in tenant law. Each state — and often local municipalities — have their own tenancy laws, and it is vitally important that you pay attention and learn those local laws. Keep that in mind as we go through these general steps!

Reasons for Evicting a Tenant

The first step to the eviction process is to legally terminate the tenancy. If the tenant doesn’t shape up or move, an eviction lawsuit can then be filed. The laws regarding the requirements to end tenancy are very detailed, though the procedures may vary between states. What are just causes to serve a tenant and eviction notice?

Violation of the Lease or Rental Agreement

Violation of either the lease or rental agreements, as they are legal documents, is grounds for an eviction. If you have a no-pet policy for your rental property, for example, and find that your tenants are keeping Fido anyway, that could be grounds for an eviction. Remember that before you act on a tenant’s breach of their legal agreements, be sure that you’re keeping up your end of the bargain with paying certain utilities and responding to maintenance requests.

Related: Your Complete Guide to Effectively Handling Tenant Evictions

Rent Not Paid or Habitually Late

While a missed rent accidentally here or there is not usually a big deal (some states do have a buffer in place for payments), a tenant who is late month after month can be served an eviction notice. If they’re just plain not paying rent? Absolutely move toward an eviction. Remember to send notices about late rent and keep copies for yourself in case you have to prove in court that you gave proper notice.

Damages to the Rental Property

Damages go beyond regular wear and tear. Not all property damages are grounds for eviction, either. If the tenant collaborates with you to make repairs themselves (as accidents do happen), an eviction is not necessary. If, however, the tenants damage the property and make no effort to rectify their error or are making renovations behind your back, you have legal grounds to evict.

Using the Rental Property for Illegal Purposes

This one should be obvious. If a tenant is doing any kind of illegal activity out of your property, an eviction is absolutely necessary. It would also be illegal if they turned the property into their own business, such as running a social club out of it.

Writing a Termination Notice

An eviction notice contains the following:

  • Reason for eviction (the offense)

  • Time period given to rectify the offense (if necessary)

  • Date that the notice is served

  • The signature of the landlord

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In most cases, an eviction notice can only be served with just cause. For some month-to-month leases, 30 or 90-day Notices to Vacate can be served when a tenant may not have done anything wrong; however, not all cities allow this. Be sure to know the local laws of your area.

Avoiding An Eviction

Now, there is a misconception that evictions are simply a part of the process and that they are going to happen no matter how good your property, the tenant or the management on the property performs. I would say that is most definitely not the case.

As an example that full evictions do not have to happen, take our property management company. Even though we manage over 2,200 properties in one city and another 450 in a separate city, we only executed 24 evictions in 2014. That is slightly less than .01% of the properties we manage. With that being said, there are a lot of techniques you can use as a landlord or property manager to reduce the number of evictions you have to execute in a year, if not prevent them entirely.

You really, really need to know your local laws before trying to remove a tenant without having to go through the full eviction process. You may be successful in persuading a tenant to vacate, but you want to make sure you are not violating any of their rights in the process or setting yourself up for a lawsuit the other direction based on not following the rules. It defeats the whole purpose to gain the property back only to be served with a lawsuit for the way you went about it.

Communication

We have found that communication is the best tool when it comes to working with a tenant. Even when the tenant is behind on payments or violating the lease in some other manner, communication could be the difference in a tenant leaving happy and a tenant being forcibly put-out and costing you hundreds or thousands of dollars.

Related: 6 Common Mistakes Landlords Make During Rent Collection & Evictions

The key is to remember that there may be circumstances going on in their life that you are not aware of, and showing a little respect may go a long way in them vacating your property. Be sure to listen to your tenant and offer solutions if they are facing a struggle. If you listen and communicate in an effective and respectful manner, you just might be able to help your tenant find a solution that benefits both of you.

Moving From One Property to Another

This only works if you have multiple properties available and properties in different price points. As a management company, we have multiple price points and a solution for a struggling tenant is often a simple move from one price point to another. Even if you only have limited properties, moving a tenant to another rental property is always an option, and you can be the hero instead of the evictor if you help that tenant find another property they can afford and help them get to it.

Cash for Keys

This is a common term used by landlords and managers when a tenant is offered part of their deposit back in return for vacating the property and returning the keys. It is a an easy solution and one that often is at a minimum considered by the tenant. It can also be used in conjunction with moving them to another property, as the returned deposit helps them place a deposit on a new property. When you have good communication, an alternative like this one to eviction can absolutely be accomplished.

Evictions, while part of the management process, do not have to be scary nor do they have to rule your world. There are rules in place to protect owners and tenants alike, and although those rules differ from state to state and city to city, landlords and managers can still manage property without having to worry about what happens when a tenant goes sideways.

Have you suffered through the frustration of evicting a tenant?

Tell us about it in the comments — and leave any tips you’ve found useful!

In 2005, Chris Clothier (G+) began working with passive real estate investors and has since helped more than 1,100 investors purchase over 3,400 investment properties in Memphis, Dallas and Houston through the Memphis Invest family of companies.

    Andy Ballester Investor from pittsburgh, pa
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Tapped on Pa state laws for Michigan came up just an FYI
    Brandon Turner Investor from Maui, HI
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Thank you! I probably should’ve checked those. Fixed!
    Jasmine Holiday Property Manager from Baltimore, Maryland
    Replied almost 3 years ago
    what about washington dc
    Paul Dill from Ashburn, Virginia
    Replied almost 3 years ago
    You might find this recent article interesting for washington, dc. http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/news/article/20852999/eviction-companies-pay-the-homeless-illegally-low-wages-to-put-people-on-the-street
    Susan Maneck Investor from Jackson, Mississippi
    Replied about 4 years ago
    There is a problem with the Mississippi link as well. It talks about upkeep requirements on a rental, not eviction procedures. By the way, I’ve done an eviction here without an attorney. The court moves very quickly and rarely is there an attorney involved. The judge has all the patience of Judge Judy. If you have your ducks in the row it is fairly easy, but still time consuming. You can’t file for eviction until ten days after your court ruling, and then only if the tenant doesn’t pay within that period. Then it goes to the Constable (not the Sheriff). You have no idea when he will show up until he calls you. In my case I had half an hour to come up with a crew to move out the tenants stuff. It was a messy process but I’m not sure an attorney would have made it less messy.
    Mindy Jensen BiggerPockets Community Manager from Longmont, CO
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Wow, Brandon. This is a really great post! I have never had to evict a tenant before, because I took your previous advice to screen like crazy. But after reading this, I feel like I could do it if necessary. I just hope it never, ever comes to that!
    Joshua Dorkin from Denver, CO
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Evictions can be a nightmare — been there. This is just what the doctor ordered! Nice work as always, Brandon.
    Stephen S. Wholesaler from Holiday, Florida
    Replied over 4 years ago
    A great article Brandon. I have done a few evictions, and in probably every one of the ways you mentioned. As you say; avoiding the need for them is the best way. My hardest lesson was learning that any eviction proceeding can be vacated – but no eviction proceeding can ever be made retroactive. So always file as soon as possible.
    Brandon Turner Investor from Maui, HI
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Right on, Stephen. Yeah, I try my hardest to avoid them. Sometimes it can’t be helped, and in those cases, it’s best to jump on it quick!
    James R. Investor from Milwaukee, Wisconsin
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Informative article Brandon. I am filing it in my “BP” folder and hopefully will never have to read it again!!! Fortunately for me, I have never had to evict a tenant in 10+ years. I think this has to do with the type of properties that I own and the caliber of tenants. I never rent to anyone who doesn’t have something to lose and that is usually enough for them to avoid eviction at all costs.
    Jacob Beard from Fairview Heights, Illinois
    Replied over 4 years ago
    what do you mean by something to lose?
    Ryan Murphy Investor from Seattle, Washington
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Jacob – something to lose would be their good credit that would be damaged by an eviction on their record, and as I understand, even just having an eviction on their record will come up when they apply to rent somewhere else. In this case, it means screening tenants to make sure they are not already with a low credit score or a past eviction, where another eviction wouldn’t hurt them (hence, “nothing to lose”). I also think just having a significant deposit is also “something to lose” – at least around the same amount as one month’s rent. You can start the eviction process but still have enough money from them in the deposit to cover the month they haven’t paid, giving you some runway to threaten eviction without losing rent yet. You have to start the process while they still have money on the line, or the threat of keeping their deposit money doesn’t mean much (i.e. if it’s already the 23rd, it only means one week loss to them vs if you started the eviction process on the 10th).
    Patrick McMahon Investor from Parkland, Florida
    Replied over 3 years ago
    I agree with your post, but want to throw in a caveat — keeping deposit for unpaid rent depends on your lease and state law. Some states only allow you to keep the deposit for actual damage beyond normal wear & tear, not for unpaid rent.
    Brandon Turner Investor from Maui, HI
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Rock on James! Yeah, I wish I could say the same. I’m gradually working toward higher-end tenants though… hopefully the bulk of my evictions are behind me 🙂
    Marcia Maynard Investor from Vancouver, Washington
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Fabulous! Your case study tenants were ours too! This article is well thought out and quite helpful. Fortunately we’ve only had to do three evictions in 20 years. One note of correction…. in Washington State the property owner can indeed serve legal notices, such as “Pay Rent or Quit” and “Notice to Conform”, we do, and we document on the notice how it was served. We do all of our evictions with an attorney who specializes in this area of law. The attorney arranges for a process server to serve the court documents.
    Brandon Turner Investor from Maui, HI
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Hey Marcia, thanks! Yeah, it’s very possible the “no owner can serve” rule is just a Grays Harbor thing – or just my attorney being extra-cautious. Thanks for the input!
    Ryan Chlebek Investor from Austin, Texas
    Replied over 4 years ago
    I’ve been very curious about this topic, both from a process and legal standpoint. Thanks for sharing a very in-depth process along with the case studies. Like others have said, hopefully I won’t ever need this, but having this in the hip pocket is a great resource.
    Brandon Turner Investor from Maui, HI
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Thanks Ryan! I hope you’ll never need it also 🙂
    Omi C. Investor from Santa Cruz, California
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Great post, Brandon – thank you. I’m going through my first eviction right now of a tenant that I inherited from the previous owner. What are your thoughts on trying to recover lost rent after the eviction is complete. Garnishing wages, seizing bank accounts, going through a collection agency, etc?
    Brandon Turner Investor from Maui, HI
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Hey Omi, In my experience, I’ve never been able to collect anything. However, I still send the info over to a debt collector who charges nothing upfront but 50% of anything they collect. SOmeday, perhaps I’ll get it and it’s no more work on my end. So, yeah, I’d probably recommend the same. If the tenant actually seems to have money, you could get a garnishment and garnish wages or tax returns, but most tenants going through an eviction don’t have any money to begin with so it’s usually not worth the trouble!
    Kent Harris Real Estate Investor from Katy, Texas
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Houston Texas is an Investor friendly State. To hire an eviction service is $400 and they do all the work. I did cash for keys a few months ago. Law enforcement started asking me questions about a tenant and after that I had asked the Tenant to leave. The last thing I wanted was to get stuck with personal property in my rental while he was stuck at the Gray Bar Hotel! I gave him his entire deposit back and he had did some improvements, plus hired a cleaning service before he moved out! (The art of persuasion is telling someone to go to Hell and they can’t wait to pack for the trip!) The problem I am having now is a Tenant told me they were going to file for bankruptcy. I talked to a Real Estate Attorney and was told I can’t file for an evection until I go to court Bankruptcy court 2 months later. I was told by other investors that 90% of the time the Tenant will still pay the rent because they know after 3 months they will be out in the street. Hopefully this is the case.
    Andy H. Investor from Stockdale , Texas
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Great article, Brandon, and just the information we may, unfortunately, be needing. We have a tenant who will be officially late on rent if not received by the end of today and have been trying to decide what to do about it (our first experience with this). Kent: Can you PM me the eviction service in Houston that charges $400? We have a rental in Conroe and may need that info.
    Randall Floyd from Vancouver, WA
    Replied over 4 years ago
    @Kent Harris Just speaking from personal experience, being an attorney myself, you will probably also want to speak with a bankruptcy attorney. While I’m not trying to say anything bad about the attorney you met with, and though there is overlap between evictions and bankruptcies, there’s a reason attorneys specialize in specific areas of law. There are so many different areas out there to practice as an attorney, it’s in an attorney’s best interest to pick one or two areas and get really good at them (it eliminates lots of problems in the future). So, even if he is the best real estate attorney in the state of Texas, the chances are high that he won’t know the ins and out of bankruptcy law. Just an aside, real estate law, for the most part, is state specific, while bankruptcy is done in federal court. There’s different procedures for each area of law, and much different rules. Luckily, with bankruptcy attorneys, you don’t need to find a local one if you don’t want to. There might be some experienced bankruptcy attorneys on bigger pockets that can give you some pointers. Finally, just my last rule of thumb, if you ever have any kind of doubt that knaws at your gut, in the long run taking care of it, especially if it only takes a day or two, will pay off. It could turn into one of the best decisions you ever made. Um … that’s it. Sorry, I’m an attorney, and I don’t really know the meaning of brevity.
    Kent Harris Real Estate Investor from Katy, Texas
    Replied over 4 years ago
    The reason I am so panicked is an Attorney gave a talk at the RICH Club of Houston about the very subject and he had said it takes 2 months to get into bankruptcy court. The Tenant is also supposed to pay the Lawn crew and an additional deposit every month. Which I haven’t seen a check. Because of the recent flooding in the Houston area I might hire an Attorney to get the tenant out of there and a new tenant in that will meet there financial obligations. I talked to the largest Real Estate investor in the Houston area who has purchased 100s of houses and has never ran into this problem.
    Randall Floyd from Vancouver, WA
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Speak to a bankruptcy attorney for a few minutes. It should give you some piece of mind.
    Brandon Turner Investor from Maui, HI
    Replied over 4 years ago
    $400 is a steal, so go Texas! 🙂 And yeah, good luck with the bankruptcy… I’ve never dealt with that. Let us know how it turns out!
    Jarrett Harris from Calumet City, Illinois
    Replied over 4 years ago
    I went through an eviction about a year ago. NOT FUN at all. Lost a lot of money from inherited tenants.
    Brandon Turner Investor from Maui, HI
    Replied over 4 years ago
    My first eviction was with an inherited tenant also, and I lost about $5,000. Not fun! But it gave me a great lesson on why I need to screen SO carefully!
    Marc Manelis from Tigard, Oregon
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Very informative article. I have evicted several tenants when I worked as a property manager. Never fun but it has to be done when a tenant doesn’t fulfill their legal obligation.
    Cindy D. from Dunedin, FL
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Thank you Brandon for this great post. I read in another thread that FL does not restart the clock if partial rent is accepted. But while reading the law in the link posted here It says: If partial rent is accepted after posting the notice for nonpayment, the landlord must: 1.?Provide the tenant with a receipt stating the date and amount received and the agreed upon date and balance of rent due before filing an action for possession; 2.?Place the amount of partial rent accepted from the tenant in the registry of the court upon filing the action for possession; or 3.?Post a new 3-day notice reflecting the new amount due. I see the “or” in section 2. So does this mean a correction of the original notice or a new 3-Day notice thus restarting the clock? Thanks in advance for any clarification, newbie here.
    Steven J. from Urbana, IL
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Great article! I’ve got a tenant right now I’m compiling paper work on(complaints from neighbors, police reports, etc) as this tenant is just not working out. My biggest fear is that it would go to court and I wouldn’t have enough evidence or have done the paperwork wrong so I’m making sure I’m keeping up to date on what should be filed when.
    Jacob Beard from Fairview Heights, Illinois
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Just curious did you screen well or were there some signs during the screening process that lead you to believe this type of thing could happen? Im worried that someone who i screen and pass all the checks will still be a bad tenant
    Andrew Syrios Residential Real Estate Investor from Kansas City, Missouri
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Great article! It’s all about being fair but firm. Following through with your lease and policies (and the law) and not either getting angry and “taking matters into your own hands” like that one landlord you mentioned or falling for the endless stream of sob stories.
    David Hood from Houston, Texas
    Replied over 4 years ago
    I haven’t had to cross that bridge yet. But should I encounter a difficult eviction my plan is move in a new tenant with them. I have a ex-convict friend that I occasionally use as a painter/laborer and he’d have no problem bunking up for a few days with my difficult tenant. Anyone see a problem with that?
    Kent Harris Real Estate Investor from Katy, Texas
    Replied over 4 years ago
    I don’t. The judge might though. Personally I would hire a Private Investigator and see if there is anything in the background that would motivate them to move out before hand. Like the tenant the police was asking questions about. I told the tenant that a neighbor had found out about their transgressions and was about to report them if they haven’t already. From what I understand he never returned to the house and the girlfriend and parents had moved everything out within a week. I told the parents that if the house was move in ready I would give the deposit back. Some of the light fixtures were replaced and the house was cleaned by a professional cleaning service. A week later I had new tenants. You just need to find a legal way to motivate them!
    Roberto Andrade from Austin, Texas
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Kudos! Eviction is one key process in the Buy&Hold universe, and you need to be well prepared. As you wrote, no matter how mistake-proof is your tenant screening, you will face a “problem child” case. It is part of the game. “Quick tip” for the “Step One: Post or Deliver the Notice”: if you are posting the notice on the door, take a picture and /or take a witness with you.
    Dominique Grayson Investor from Leauge City, Texas
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Awesome article! once again bringing massive content to the world of investing. You’ll be bigger than Robert Kiyosaki one day Joshua.
    Karl B. Rental Property Investor from Los Angeles, CA
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Excellent, excellent article. This guide will help a lot of us!
    Susan Maneck Investor from Jackson, Mississippi
    Replied over 4 years ago
    In Mississippi it is the constable who has to carry out the actual evictions and they don’t really give you much notice. I had about two hours to come up with a crew to carry the stuff out. The tenant, on the other hand, was given three days notice. Fortunately this is the only eviction I had to carry out. One person I gave a three day notice to actually left. The other stopped paying rent just before I had to leave town. I was gone for a month, but luckily they were gone before I got back. One other tenant had a shootout at my house and I was very nervous about how to go about evicting them, but they left quietly probably because someone found out where they lived and tried to kill them.
    Michael Buffington Rental Property Investor from Lewistown, PA
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Thank you for the refresher on evictions. Your timing is perfect on this article. It has been 15+ years since I’ve had to evict someone, but unfortunately I think I will be starting the process on one of my units in the next week. Not looking forward to it. Screening is the most important part to avoid evictions. Don’t sway from your screening criteria. I wouldn’t have to worry about an eviction if I followed my normal screening and listened to my gut feeling, but now I will have to pay the price. Wait for the right tenant even if it means a unit will sit vacant. It will cost less in the end!
    James Miller Attorney from Fort Worth, Texas
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Self help is not outlawed in every state. It is just highly regulated in the residential context. Also you should always mail BOTH certified mail return receipt requested AND a first class letter. Return receipt means they do have to sign for it. The first class is there to show the judge that I’d the CMRRR letter comes back unsigned but not the first class, they received it.
    James Miller Attorney from Fort Worth, Texas
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Self help is not outlawed in every state. It is just highly regulated in the residential context. Also you should always mail BOTH certified mail return receipt requested AND a first class letter. Return receipt means they do have to sign for it. The first class is there to show the judge that I’d the CMRRR letter comes back unsigned but not the first class, they received it.
    Kent Harris Real Estate Investor from Katy, Texas
    Replied over 4 years ago
    James, Landlords and Tenants get too emotional about evictions. I much rather pay a service $400 then deal with it myself. I’ve had to do two cash for key’s move outs. I’m having my leasing agents tighten up on the qualifications so we don’t have to go through this. I have been doing this Sept of last year and currently have rent 9 houses and next month will be working on my tenth. I have made a lot of mistakes on the way. (Baptism by fire!) Hopefully I will never have to use an Eviction service, I have one lined up just in case.
    James Miller Attorney from Fort Worth, Texas
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Just to be clear: I wasn’t advocating self help. Just pointing out that the article is incorrect when it says that self-help is outlawed. Texas has a self help statute but it’s more of a PITA to use in the residential context. I know plenty about eviction emotions. (I’m a Texas lawyer that does evictions here and there)
    Brandon Turner Investor from Maui, HI
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Ah good to know! I’ll amend the post to reflect that 🙂 Thanks!
    Kent Harris Real Estate Investor from Katy, Texas
    Replied over 4 years ago
    James, I know you where not advocating self help evections. There is to much to know for a novice like me to do an eviction by myself. I would imagine that eviction companies and Real Estate attorneys make very few mistakes they cannot recover from. If a Landlord doesn’t know it is against the law to remove the front door or have the power turned off while the tenant still lived there would not give the Landlord any leniency with the judge. I did take an eviction class and they did advocate self help evections. I took the class so I would know what was legal and what was not. The class did help me with cash for keys program. One of the tenants I wrote up a letter of intent to let them know that they would be obligated to pay me the entire amount of the lease if I were to take them to court. And that the security deposit could not be used to pay the rent. Needless to say I had the rent check in 2 days and they moved out a couple of months later with the rent being on time after that. They did leave the place in excellent condition when they moved out. Two weeks later the place got rented out again and we didn’t even have a For Lease sign in the front lawn!
    James Miller Attorney from Fort Worth, Texas
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Kent: Sorry about your eviction woes; I’ve found that by raising my standard on the tenant, and giving a decent move-in discount, helps me attract high credit tenants that “care” about their credit staying good. If I do rent to a lower credit tenant, I try to get extra security deposit, or a really good personal guarantee from someone who is not judgment proof. That way I know I’m getting paid. Depending on your state, evictions for non-payment of rent shouldn’t be that bad to do on your own. I frequently help a new landlord on the first eviction and teach them what to do. They usually handle the initial evictions on their own from then. When I get involved (in TX) now-a-days is on the eviction appeal from the JP court to the county court. The county court is much more formal than JP, and having a lawyer gives an advantage.
    Kent Harris Real Estate Investor from Katy, Texas
    Replied over 4 years ago
    I live in Katy Texas, just outside of Houston. I guess Arlington Texas is a lot smaller then Houston and a lot bigger then Katy. Wished you lived in the Houston area. I guess I can retain you in the future as long as it doesn’t have to do with court. 🙂
    James Miller Attorney from Fort Worth, Texas
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Are you in old Katy or new Katy? The TAA usually will hold classes for “learn to evict” for landlords to DIY. You should call your JP court and ask which morning is eviction hearing morning; you should go down and observe a few mornings. I think that will help you get more comfortable with the process.
    Kent Harris Real Estate Investor from Katy, Texas
    Replied over 4 years ago
    I live in Cinco Ranch so that would be considered New Katy 77494. Most of my Rentals are in North Katy 77449. Old Katy would be considered 77493, I’m thinking.
    Ayodeji Kuponiyi Investor from King of Prussia, Pennsylvania
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Great post Brandon. I had to go to this election process with my first sign it before the year was even over SMH. I went through the process solo and won! However, the payment owed to me from the Eckstein it hasn’t been fulfilled. She initially was making small payments of $25 (over all she’s paid $75) and I haven’t heard from her regarding the rats. I tried calling/texting and I don’t get a response. Even though she has a judgment against her on file until she pays me back should I look for the debt collection company to help assist me to recoup the rest?
    Lawrence C. from Wexford, Pennsylvania
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Thanks for the lowdown. Luckily we haven’t had to evict a tenant, but luck has a way of changing. I am going to share this article with my partners. BTW, when I click on the link for Pennsylvania statutes, only a statute for the disposition of an evictee’s personal property appears instead of an overview of prevailing Pennsylvania landlord-tenant law.
    Katie Rogers from Santa Barbara, California
    Replied over 4 years ago
    I like to take it on case by case basis with tenants that have a history of reliability. For example, one excellent long term tenant got a new job with HR Block, and rent was fine until the end of April. Turns out HR Block delays that last paycheck in order to calculate and include the commission for the tax season. I cannot see charging a late fee in this case just because my lease says I can. Your second case study is a good illustration of why using a month-to-month lease with all tenants is a good idea. If a tenant starts to wrack up a history of late rent payments, and is not clean, just give a 30-day notice.
    Matthew Kreitzer Attorney from Winchester, Virginia
    Replied over 4 years ago
    A thoughtful, well drafted guide on the legal side of landlord/tenant relations. However, any author posting guides on legal issues may want to familiarize themselves with the rules related to Unauthorized Practice of Law in the jurisdiction in which they reside, and ask local counsel about any legal ramifications they may face or any liabilities they may be opening themselves up to through the positing of these types of guides. The best advice anyone who isn’t a licensed attorney in your state can give you is “speak with a local attorney for more help on your particular case”.
    James Miller Attorney from Fort Worth, Texas
    Replied over 4 years ago
    No kidding. There’s so much “armchair” CPA’ing and lawyer’ing on BP. Some of it correct but a lot of it incorrect. Most people don’t realize that each state’s laws are entirely different and that the correct choice in one state may be illegal in another state.
    Cindy Rahimi from Denton, Texas
    Replied almost 4 years ago
    The truth is Brandon only stated the eviction process as a guide and referenced the actual “law” though state links. His post further recommended that investors seek legal counsel, especially on their first trip through the eviction process. To me, Brandon nailed it. I’ve been there and done that, Brandon described the process exactly the way it is in Texas. Mr. Kreitzer and M. Miller there is always room to educate the masses without a charge. Try it sometimes! This website is about informing those who want to be informed and how to make an honest living by way of real estate investing. If there is a legal issue with anything Brandon said, then state the area where his post is in error or can be improved so we all can learn from it.
    James Miller Attorney from Fort Worth, Texas
    Replied almost 4 years ago
    If you look through my posts there is plenty of educational content. I even corrected Brandon on a TX issue earlier in the comments. However, there is a lot of unlicensed practice of law on BP. That’s a statement of fact, not opinion. Be careful what advice you trust from a website. Each state’s laws are different. Period. What may be legal in one state may be criminal in another.
    Faith
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Thank you for the great post! I’m in the process of evicting a tenant and we are reaching the physical stage. If I did not receive a notice from the tenant requesting storing their stuff, am I able to leave it on the streets or take it to the dump? Do I have to notify them with what I did with their belongings? Reply Report comment
    Faith
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Thank you for the great post! I’m in the process of evicting a tenant and we are reaching the physical stage. If I did not receive a notice from the tenant requesting storing their stuff, am I able to leave it on the streets or take it to the dump? Do I have to notify them with what I did with their belongings?
    James Miller Attorney from Fort Worth, Texas
    Replied over 4 years ago
    Each state’s laws are different. You should talk to a lawyer in your state to discuss your options.
    dolorse grover
    Replied about 4 years ago
    as ive already won the eviction.my question is .being as ive had to store there belongings and property.What do I need to get as proof of there collecting it? dolorse grover
    Cody L. Rental Property Investor from San Diego, Ca
    Replied about 4 years ago
    Full diclsore: I didn’t read the whole thing, but the “What not to do” caught my eye. Having evicted and ‘got rid of’ 100’s of tenants, I’ll give my $.02 (this is coming from Texas, FYI) “Don’t change the locks.” – We do this all the time. At least lock people out. Yeah, you have to let them back in but at least you get them to come in and have a conversation vs. avoiding you when you try to contact them about rent. “Don’t remove windows and doors or shut off their utilities” – Agree. Don’t take their stuff” – BZZT! Totally disagree. We do contractual liens ALL THE TIME. In fact, my managers MUST do it. You just follow the guidelines that outlaw how you take their stuff and what you can’t take. I think ‘taking their stuff’ (legally, via the contractual lien guidelines in the lease/property code) is the most effective remedy you have as a landlord. We ended up with so much stuff from doing this that my friend wanted to open a thrift store called “lien on me” My best tip is this: Have a firm policy in place about what you do about non payment, and follow it. Never allow property managers (or yourself) to deviate.
    Richard Cook Investor from Wichita Falls, Texas
    Replied about 4 years ago
    Anyone have experience doing this as an out of state landlord? That’s one of the things that worry me about managing out of state. Do you essentially hire an attorney to do all the steps and hire a crew to remove their property? I imagine that adds a lot of dough to the process…
    NA Butler Lender
    Replied about 4 years ago
    re Cash for Keys. IMO, the object is to have possession so it can be re-rented with a GOOD tenant. Dead right to get signature of surrendering possession for $xx in cash, but imo forget about getting it back ‘broom clean’ – – specify “without damages” (aka holes in the walls or broken fixtures). The cleanup and make ready is just another component of the eviction expense (and I track that along with the Bad Debt).
    Sarnen Steinbarth Commercial Real Estate Broker from Fort Collins, Colorado
    Replied about 4 years ago
    Definitely the #1 concern should be getting possession back! Collecting monies owed is nice, but not always realistic.
    Nathan G. Real Estate Broker from Cody, WY
    Replied about 4 years ago
    I’m a property manager with 200+ units and can attest to the accuracy of your instructions. It’s difficult to address everything, but I can’t imagine doing a better job! I’ve got the experience to know about everything you discuss, but my life would have been easier if you had shared this six years ago so I wouldn’t have to learn through personal experience! 😉
    Ben Staples Investor from Malden, MA
    Replied almost 4 years ago
    Really great post Brandon. Thanks so much for taking the time to write.
    Asem AbuAwad from Little Elm, TX
    Replied almost 4 years ago
    Thank you Brandon for the awesome insight. As a newbie REI and a new member of BP, I think many people might be discouraged and brush off the idea of REI as a whole just because of this topic. What would you advise starters thinking this way? Regards, Asem
    Daniel
    Replied almost 4 years ago
    I have a question. I am a first-time landlord and I am having issues with my current tenant who is still under a lease agreement. I already know that I will probably have to wait until the end of the lease to kick them out. The day after the lease is up, and they are still there, can I evict them and collect the rent for that month as well? Not that I am trying to get paid and rid of them at the same time but if I am going through the eviction y process, can I collect the rent seeing as though they remained in the apartment? Will this look bad in housing court?
    Brandon Turner Investor from Maui, HI
    Replied almost 4 years ago
    Hey Daniel, While every state could be different, and I’m not a lawyer, my assumption would be that it’s okay to accept rent until the day you serve them an official notice to evict. For example, when I have a tenant that I don’t like, I wait until the final rent comes in, and then I issue the notice that I’m not renewing their lease. In Washington State, this is a 20 day notice, which works out well. They pay rent on the 1st, and then on the 2nd I give them that 20-day notice. If they don’t move out by the end of that month, then on the 1st day of the following month I issue the “Eviction notice” and kick them out. Hope that helps some! I would also ask a lawyer in your state this question – you might get a different (better) answer!
    Daniel
    Replied almost 4 years ago
    Thank you so much for your help. For clarity, my tenants are under lease agreement until 6/30/2016. So when I collect rent on 6/1, I should give them a notice that I will not be renewing the lease. NY law is thirty day notice state, so if I provide them this notice the same day they pay that rent, that would cover that requirement. If they are still in the apartment on 7/1/16, I issue an eviction notice. On 7/1/16, if they are living there is it wrng to collect rent while they are living there and fighting the eviction through the court system? Or would that void my eviction attempt?
    Georgia Baker from Santa Fe, New Mexico
    Replied almost 4 years ago
    Eviction is scary Brandon, so glad I found this article. Im advertising to rent my condo, it will be my first rental space. I was asked the question, “what if they don’t pay?”. just yesterday and I had no idea. Yes my stomach dropped, but these blogs, podcast, and forums are very helpful. Now that I know, cash for keys is a options, that will be my first approach when in this situation accrues. Thanks for the info.!
    Lisa Marple from Clarksburg, West Virginia
    Replied almost 4 years ago
    I have a question that I don’t see covered here, but it is a quite unique situation. My mother in law was given P.O.A. for my husband (who is in prison). She moved my things into a storage unit and signed a FIVE YEAR lease with my brother-in-law. Thus was about a year ago. My husband dissolved her P.O.A. six months ago and gave it to me. He then told her (verbally) that he wanted his brother out and me in. She said okay but requested ‘more time’… ‘the beginning if the year (2016)”….”February or march”. This was back in September. I decided to be nice and give the time requested. I just filed an eviction this morning. She is irate. Is there any way that the courts could actually allow him to remain in MY home for 5 years? She is no longer the P.O.A. and has no say in my husbands affairs and we are still married so it is my property as well. I’m just wondering if she has a leg to stand on if she decides to fight me on this
    Cindy Rahimi from Denton, Texas
    Replied almost 4 years ago
    Lisa you need to refer to your state laws on this matter because some states are “community property” states (such as Texas) when it comes to real property. That means if the house you are referring to was bought during the marriage of you and your husband, then the house was always jointly owned. That also means your mother-in-law never controlled your part of the property through the P.O.A., but here is the best part. She is now liable to you for your half of the rent and probably other damages for temporary housing, etc. Lisa, this is really a good place to hire an attorney because you have more things going on than just an eviction.
    James Miller Attorney from Fort Worth, Texas
    Replied almost 4 years ago
    You should go hold an initial consult with a lawyer in your jurisdiction. Too many complex issues there to answer in a forum post.
    Michael
    Replied almost 4 years ago
    Maryland is not working
    Mark J. from Tampa, FL
    Replied almost 4 years ago
    Really excellent post. Meaty content wrapped in a very well-written, soft tortilla shell. Gracias, amigo!
    Melissa Siqueiro from Laveen, Arizona
    Replied almost 4 years ago
    Geeze! Even after working in property management for years I didn’t know half of this! Thank goodness we’ve never actually had to go through the process while I’ve worked for my building. We serve a few 5-days (IL) but people always eventually pay within the month.
    Crystal
    Replied almost 4 years ago
    Thank you for the advise, I hope this information helps my company. Im looking for ways to speed up the eviction process in IL. Unfortunately, I live in a tenant friendly state(Chicago IL) that makes it soo difficult to evict our tenants. Some evictions are done in 4 months or if the tenant moves out willing. During the winter months it can tale up to 7 months to evict a tenant . Our last eviction we started in 3/2015, we just received the order of possession for 2/12/2016. Our screening process is very strict but for some reason we still end up having to evict a tenant with good credit score.
    Katie Rogers
    Replied almost 4 years ago
    Your comment brings up two points. 1. tenant-friendly states. In a landlord-tenant relationship the power differential already rests with the landlord, so a tenant-friendly state levels the field a bit. Of course, some tenants exploit the process, but as Josh and Brandon have often pointed out, it is landlords who have the bad reputations for exploiting the power differential. Human nature is such that landlord-friendly states are positively oppressive to tenants. 2. Reliance on credit score. Credit scores give some information, but a credit score will not tell you what a landlord really needs to know. Is the tenant clean and quiet? Is the tenant responsible with other people’s property? Will the tenant pay rent on time? Some great tenants do not even have credit scores because either they are from another country, or they are an American who spent significant time in another country. Some screening processes are “strict,” yet fail to address the important questions. BP’s Marcia Maynard specializes in lower-income tenants and has had only 2 evictions in 20 years. You might want to compare your practices with hers (See podcast 083), and make the appropriate changes.
    Brock
    Replied almost 4 years ago
    Glad I have not had to evict very often because of my screening process and the rent I set. Also glad that evicting process is very easy and very inexpensive in SC.
    SG
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Does a 30 day notice to vacate have to be given and start on the day rent is due? Or, can it be given on any day of the month, as long as the vacate date is not before 30 days? Reply Report comment
    SG
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Does a 30 day notice to vacate have to be given and start on the day rent is due? Or, can it be given on any day of the month, as long as the vacate date is not before 30 days?
    Terri Mccullough
    Replied over 3 years ago
    In NJ the 30 days starts after the first of the month. So let’s say I want them out May 1st I have to issue the 30 day notice in march.
    Joe
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Good information here. I let me ex-girlfriend move back in and she brought everything this time including things from storage. After a month or two I began to see what she was really all about just using me for free rent and partying out all the time while I am working. I gave her a notice to vacate and she is going out every night in miniskirts trying to find a new man to house her. This has been the longest month of my life but 4/16 she has to get out and its entirely ackward situation. I live in Houston and paid 400$ for an eviction service 79$ for teh notice to vacate letter. The police officer told me over the phone if she takes anything while she moves out that is Theft and criminal so that gives me some reassurance. But I am worried she will kick holes in my wall dump tomato sauce all over the carpet and walls something crazy. I have her social security number, but is there anyway to ensure that if she does damage my property I can get some money? I have home owners insurance could i file a claim that way if the damage is more then my deductible?
    Tomas Gutierrez Rental Property Investor from Cary, NC
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Good stuff! Thank you!
    Terri Mccullough
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Thank you for the information and for reminding me this is a business. I’m going through a nightmare eviction as we speak. My tenant knows the system and how to play it like it’s her job. Wish me luck 5/18 when we finally get to court. I have rec’d direction from a lawyer. She can’t pay the rent but she is bringing a lawyer to court with her. Go figure. Hoping all my t’s are crossed and my i’s are dotted.
    BJ
    Replied over 3 years ago
    I can’t find any information about a landlord not being able to afford to pay the utilities. All I hear is that it is illegal to shut them off. But if the tenant is not paying you rent, and now you cannot pay the mortgage on the property….then how is it illegal if you cannot afford to the pay the utilities? And what if your tenant is running up a $400 monthly electric bill by leaving all the windows up with the air conditioning or the heat running? Are you saying a landlord is still going to be fined and pay penalities because they have no income to pay the utility bills?
    Nathan G. Real Estate Broker from Cody, WY
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Can you call the bank and say, “I’m sorry but I won’t be paying my mortgage this month because the tenant didn’t pay rent”? Absolutely not! As a Landlord, you have to provide utilities. If those utilities are in your name and are not paid, you are the one that gets sent to collections and you are the one that takes a hit on your credit score. If they are in the Tenant’s name and the Tenant fails to pay, it’s their fault that the utility is unpaid they are the one the utility provider will go after. This is why it is CRITICAL you make the Tenant establish their own utility account. HINT: keep your name on he utility account as the Landlord so you will be notified of unpaid balances. This will also ensure the utility reverts back to you instead of being shot off when a Tenant fails to pay. You don’t want frozen water pipes! Some utility providers require utilities to remain in the Landlord’s name. They do this because Landlords tend to be more responsible and pay on time. In this case, charge the tenant a higher deposit that includes enough to cover a month of utility use. If the Tenant fails to pay the utility, you pay it out if your pocket (do not use the security deposit!) until the Tenant reimburses you. If they refuse to reimburse you, treat it like unpaid rent and evict. Then you can use the deposit to reimburse your account.
    BJ
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Thank you for taking the time to respond. I was only asking a hypothetical question. But let’s take your second example of the utililty provider requiring the utilities to be in the Landlord’s name. What if you cannot afford to pay the utilities because you no longer have the rental income being paid? I know in a perfect world a landlord would always have plenty of months in reserve. But what if the Landlord has his own financial crisis, and does not have the means to pay the utilities? Is a judge going to still fine a landlord who can prove a financial hardship and cannot even pay the mortgage on the rental? I understand if someone is just being spiteful. But I am talking about if the person cannot pay…are there no exceptions? Or in another example…let’s say you have a roommate and it’s your mortgage with all utilites in your name…you only rent out the spare bedroom for one flat rate a month. The roommate hasn’t paid their portion of rent in a long time, and refuses to leave until you can fully evict. In order to come up with extra for the mortgage, you have to allow the utilities to get cut off. You shower at your parents house and cook there. Is the judge going to allow the roommate to win a lawsuit?
    Stephen S. Wholesaler from Holiday, Florida
    Replied over 3 years ago
    I am a nice guy. I can be the nicest guy in the world. And I almost always am. To my friends and to strangers as well. And so long as my tenants make me believe that they are my friend – I will do almost anything to be nice to them. And I do. On the other hand; I am my enemy’s worst nightmare. I will never back down, I will never give up, and I don’t give a damn for compromising with someone who has established to me that they want to be my enemy. Some people of course may want to take a more reasoned position. But in either case my best advice to you is this: At the first moment you are legally able to – file for an eviction. And then do not back off for even a second – until the tenant is either paid up in full or gone. And the reason is this: Any Eviction can be vacated. No Eviction can be made retro-active. You can never get back wasted time. So always file the minute you are legally able to. And if you do – all the other questions about what-if this and what-if that will largely resolve themselves. There will be no: what I can’t afford to pay the utility bill because the tenant hasn’t paid for a long time. If they are not paying – get them out Now. No matter how nice either they or I am – if they are not paying there is no reason for them to be there.
    Lawrence Settles Investor from Upper Darby, Pennsylvania
    Replied over 3 years ago
    Has anyone dealt with a tenant appealing the judgement awarded for failure to pay rent? I was awarded a judgement from a tenant for failure to pay rent. The judge gave them 10 days to pay back rent or the eviction would proceed. As a stall tactic the tenant appealed, the court then gives them 20 days to pay the back rent and then every month they hve to pay their rent in escrow with the courthouse. There is a motion that has to be filed by me if the tenant has not been keeping up with the payments. The motion is terminate of the supersedeas. I am getting ready to take that to the courthouse, Im just curious to know if anyone has dealt with this and what actions did they take.
    Nathan G. Real Estate Broker from Cody, WY
    Replied over 3 years ago
    I have never heard of someone appealing but it doesn’t surprise me. Just follow the process and charge them for everything you legally can along the way.
    Alan Sparks
    Replied about 3 years ago
    If you are willing to evict your tenant, you must consider taking the services of the expert attorneys, who are professional in this field. The professional attorneys of any reputed law firm know how to deliver remarkable services for evicting tenants so that people can acquire a stress-free eviction service. The services offered by this reputed organization are quite notable regarding this aspect. I took their services and really became highly satisfied.
    Alan Sparks
    Replied about 3 years ago
    If you are willing to evict your tenant, you must consider taking the services of the expert attorneys, who are professional in this field. The professional attorneys of any reputed law firm know how to deliver remarkable services for evicting tenants so that people can acquire a stress-free eviction service. The services offered by this reputed organization are quite notable regarding this aspect. I took their services and really became highly satisfied.
    Evil Nick
    Replied almost 3 years ago
    How do owner occupy evictions work in your state? Most areas you can much more easily say you or a blood relative will be occupying the apartment and the courts will simply issue a time to vacate to the tenant. Give the tenant a certified letter mailed and let them know about 60 to 30 days in advance. Try to be on good terms and they may even leave without the need to evict. I have told 2 friends about this tactic and it has helped them be rid of painful tenants. Also I know in my state when you set up the court date it only has to be in the same county NOT town. Try to set the court date as far away as possible. I know the furthest courthouse in the same county (about 25+ miles away) is right next to my job so its perfect. More often the tenant will not show and you can get a failure and dismissal. I learned this trick from the marshall who delivered my very first eviction papers for me. He hated the tenants I had SO MUCH personally (from evicting them his entire career, long story) he taught me all sorts of tricks. Tenants can literally be human garbage. I normally keep a friendly basis with mine. I luckily find tenants that are fairly understanding, they see me working and know their rent is not wasted at casinos. I also removed the landlord aspect from their lives. I set up a deposit account at my bank and they go every month and pay there (or online). They no longer have to hand me money personally, they get a nice bank receipt, and its all on video. Once the money is deposited I simply move it to another account online, though they can not withdraw anyway. Also a tip I gave to a young show boater a while ago. If you have rentals in the lower income areas DO NOT show up in a brand new car, dressed to the nines to do ANYTHING. They will be insulted by this. They will become jerks with their rent money. This guy was having a hard time getting his rent but was showing up in a brand new acura dressed in suits. Throw on some beater clothes, carry a tool bag (even if you never fix anything) and buy a 300$ beater car. Its pretty simple psychology.
    Salomon Lino Residential Real Estate Broker from Chicago, Illinois
    Replied almost 3 years ago
    I like your tip about filing in a far away courthouse as long as it’s in the same county. Regarding not showing up dressed to the nines, I’ve always done that, but when a bad tenant is a pro, they will use every trick in the book. I had one tenant claim they couldn’t move out because her teenage daughter just had a baby. As you can imagine, the judge let her stay through the winter months.
    Katie
    Replied almost 3 years ago
    “…filing in a far away courthouse as long as it’s in the same county…” And people wonder why there are more and more regulations. It’s stuff like this that gave rise to most of the regulations in the first place.
    Allan Foglio
    Replied almost 3 years ago
    Reading this article I gather extra information from here. You should add more info like this. Because we need external something so provide us. Thanks for sharing this article.
    Kay J
    Replied almost 3 years ago
    I am the sole owner of a townhouse in Georgia which I live in. My girlfriend lives with me. We do not have a lease agreement. I do not like her living here, but she will not leave. In October, I gave her a 60 day notice to vacate in December. Since then she got a job and made nice. So she is still here and I did not file in court to evict her. Now it is February and I want her out. Do I have to give her another 60 day notice or can I file now based on the previous notice? In general, how long is a notice to vacate good for in a court of law?
    Lisa White
    Replied almost 3 years ago
    My tenant is very late (more than a month) with their rent and the rental agreement has expired. Is there any legal way to evict them besides going the court route? I work a lot of hours and don’t want to have to take a lot of time off to sit in a courtroom. The property is in VA and I can’t get the link above to open.
    Salomon Lino Residential Real Estate Broker from Chicago, Illinois
    Replied almost 3 years ago
    Great post. I went through a difficult eviction many years ago. I had just lost my father and acquired a 4 unit. When the sheriff finally removed their items, I learned a great tip. In Illinois, they will not remove their appliances. I had to still deal with these angry tenants and allow them to come back for their stove and refrigerator. They became very confrontational. As you can imagine, they damaged my hardwood floors in removing their appliances, but I just wanted them out. From that point on, I never allow a potential tenant to bring in their own appliances into my buildings. Screen, screen screen all your potential applicants. Once you’ve had a bad eviction, you learn a valuable life lesson. Pick your tenants very carefully.
    Steve B. Investor from Centralia, IL
    Replied almost 3 years ago
    Awesome article.
    Debra Hamren from Wofford Heights, California
    Replied over 2 years ago
    One thing your article wasn’t clear on is what to do if a temporary guest of a tenant refuses to leave. We are dealing with this problem right now. We served our tenant a 30-Day Notice and he moved out, but this ‘guest’ will not leave. There is no rental agreement between us and the guest and she has never paid us rent. Would you still consider her a ‘tenant’ in an eviction case?
    Art Veal Investor from South Holland, Illinois
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Typically when I have had this happen I will simply file my eviction as follows “John Smith & any unknown additional occupants” something to that effect and the court will clearly note that EVERYONE must leave. Although with this, you still have to go to court. Just to note I am in Illinois and not sure if this will apply where you are at. Ask an attorney.
    Saif
    Replied over 2 years ago
    I had my birthday last night and there were 2 other birthday on the same day. My friends threw me into the swimming pool and other and this happened for 15 mins and there was some noise around 12:15am. The next day, we receive the following message:- Hello This is your landlord. I saw that your unit and 2 more had a party last night and jumped in the pool after 10pm I see you on the cameras. A lot of people complained. Each tenant from your unit and the others is is being charged 100 per person. If you are 4 people submit 400 money order , if 5, 500 You have 3 days to do or I will issue a 3 days note pay or vacate the unit Do we need to future rent if landlord wants us to vacate the apartment. We pay rent on time. What should we do?
    Saif
    Replied over 2 years ago
    I had my birthday last night and there were 2 other birthday on the same day. My friends threw me into the swimming pool and other and this happened for 15 mins and there was some noise around 12:15am. The next day, we receive the following message:- Hello This is your landlord. I saw that your unit and 2 more had a party last night and jumped in the pool after 10pm I see you on the cameras. A lot of people complained. Each tenant from your unit and the others is is being charged 100 per person. If you are 4 people submit 400 money order , if 5, 500 You have 3 days to do or I will issue a 3 days note pay or vacate the unit Do we need to future rent if landlord wants us to vacate the apartment. We pay rent on time. What should we do?
    Art Veal Investor from South Holland, Illinois
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Great guide. That cash for keys does sting my ego a little but it can often be a wise business decision. I live in Illinois the “friendliest” of the tenant-friendly states. Our evictions can take up to six months although I have learned about a “Use and Occupancy motion” It basically says that while we are in court about the past due rent, you agree to pay the rent for upcoming months going forward while we sort this out (adlibbing of course). This serves the purpose of stopping all the delay tactics because they have to pay the rent WHILE delaying things in court. If they fail to make a rent payment then they lose the court case! It works great in Illinois and I have yet to see a FREE tenant attorney beat it. Hope this helps someone.
    Joohn Cliiford
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Nice guide on how to evict a tenant. Here describe step by step so that all can understand. First thing is why should you allow a stranger to do? The entire eviction process is governed by the rules and laws of our state. So everything below about how to evict a tenant is just general practice, but the specific days and dates will require you to do a little more homework into your state’s landlord-tenant laws. You don’t need to compound it by making yourself look like the bad guy when standing in front of a judge. Follow the rules, follow the laws, and let the eviction process work. Some days before I got to know about Rocket Eviction as an eviction service provider
    Abby
    Replied over 2 years ago
    I was evicted by my LL 5 years ago. He never sent the curtesy “Eviction Letter” so many of these sites talk about. I remember it like it was yesterday… I was sitting in my living room when suddenly I heard something being taped to my door. No knock, nothing. I waited for the person to leave and then I opened the door to find the summons taped bold as day. I took it down and brought it inside, baffled. As a family we had depended on my DH’s overtime to get us through financial binds OT had dried up. the rental company had changed in the previous months we had gotten behind 2 months prior and were working with the previous LL to get current. I blame poor money management. The new agency put us on a strict payment plan if any of the payments were missed they would evict. We must have missed a payment. It was a balmy October day in Minnesota we took the light rail to the court house we met with the the rental agencies lawyer she was kind, she explained the process. We told her we meant to make good on our delinquency. We faced the judge answered some questions, explained our intentions. We were given a time frame somewhere between 15 and 30 days. Fast forward 5 years after I took repossession (as in I still reside in same the unit with my two children.) My DH and I have since separated. I typically pay rent by the 6th of the month as per my lease agreement before it is considered “late” by the 7th and a late fee accrues, triggering eviction. by the 3rd I usually get a call from the company. Two years from now it will be 7 years since my eviction. I have read that agencies will no longer report it at this time. It seems my case is the exception not the rule many LL’s are burned by their residents many LL’s are left holding the bag perhaps this is why the popular opinion is that “bum tenants” deserve 7-10 years negative reporting to warn other LL’s not to take a chance. My ex DH is struggling with finding a place to reside due to the eviction, which if I am not mistaken likely qualifies for expungement if we were to hire a lawyer. Legislation needs to change! The current legislation co-written by property owners and investors is designed to protect home owners and investors. Sure there may be some states where it might be more of a “headache and expense” to evict troublesome tenants. I consider that the cost of doing business in the USA. What I don’t think is fair however, is that a renter will be dogged by a mistake for almost a decade. In truth we need each other and some people deserve a second chance. It would be nice if I went to more blogs and sites that shared this opinion. Some of us don’t have the financial means to own multiple properties and “sit back” and “watch the cash flow in” as one commenter AKA property owner reported but I’d MUCH rather deal with the “headache and expense” of bad tenants than I would the unscrupulous LL’s, rent hikes “just because”, slum properties I’ve lived in over the years.
    Joohn Cliiford
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Wow! Great Guide on How to Evict a Tenant. The Definitive Step by Step ideas given here all should read this post. I have no more idea about this. Recently my friend told me about Eviction Services of Rocket Eviction, which offers quick, efficient Nevada eviction services for apartment complex owners, high-rise condominium owners and other multifamily rentals in Clark County, Nevada. He is got benefited by this. Thanks for sharing.
    Clay Hartwig Investor from Fort Lauderdale, Florida
    Replied about 2 years ago
    Just closed on our first investment property, a condo. Current renter is the Buddy of the seller. Current rent is less than my mortgage and condo fees not ,including insurance and is less than two-thirds of what every other apartment in the building rents for. Tenant has no lease and pays rent on a weekly basis. They knock on the door to introduce ourselves and ask him how much time he needed to find a new place resulted in” it’s the holidays man I’m not going anywhere, I pay my rent on time”. I stated that the rent would be going up, his answer was something about my buddy never said anything about me having to move out when he sold the unit or the rent changing. So here’s the real question should I bring a lease to him that fits my needs and matches the rest of the building or should I take note of his attitude and considered a warning to not even read to him. PS I’ve been informed by the association of multiple condo rule violations including is not having been approved by the condo association to rent there, subletting and pets. should I hire a property management company? A lawyer? Or months rent in cash for keys?
    Clay Hartwig Investor from Fort Lauderdale, Florida
    Replied about 2 years ago
    Just a quick update on the previous post the next day he called and apologized profusely about his behavior and attitude what I did not know about my tenant and should have he goes to bed very very early because he gets migraines when he takes his nitro pill. our relationship is back on track and going good I was able to raise the rent simply by telling him I needed to raise the rent to make ends meet and asking if he needed anything fixed in the unit to make himself more comfortable will have to put in the new bathroom vanity very small 1. I guess the lesson is you can’t take everything on first impressions I thought I had a terrible nightmare tenant in a lawyer battle ahead of me and just speaking plainly and being nice we resolved everything and are back on track
    Jim Sestito Investor from Cambridge, MA
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    Plan on doing some more digging on BP but what would anyone suggest for resources on evicting inherited tenants?
    Joshua La Russa from Chester, South Carolina
    Replied over 1 year ago
    “If you (the landlord) lose the eviction, well, it sucks.” What does this mean? Tenant stays and continues to not pay rent?