Hi all!. To be clear, I can come up with a long list of reasons why mediation might not be applicable or is not effective in the landlord tenant context. My question is not about coming up with why not, it's about how this could be possible.
So, can anyone share a story about how they avoided the eviction process entirely simply by communicating effectively with their tenants? To that end, could mediation be used as a cost effective tool to avoid eviction? Obviously mediation should not be adopted as the uniform practice. Instead, could mediation be adopted for One in every three evictions--Simply as a means of reducing legal fees.
I avoid mediation. It does not give you legal possession of the property if they default. Once a tenant is late of the rent for more than 60 days, there usually is no turning back. Once in awhile I have a good tenant that has a temporary issue. But usually, I'll have to evict them.
In my state, it is extremely expensive. Sounds crazy, but I have offered cash for keys.
Eviction is a failure for my business. So I must stress to you that proper screening of tenants can help cut your eviction numbers down.
If I'm able to have open lines of communication with a tenant, I have worked out deals a number of times with tenants to turn keys in before going to court and getting evicted. I'll also try to work out payment plans with them to get the outstanding balance paid up after they move out. This will avoid them from getting sent to a collection agency. I sell it as I'm doing them a favor.
I explain to them that I don't want to have to file for court, which has costs involved with it. It's going to increase the balance that they owe (my lease passes legal/court fees on to the tenant). Not only that, but having an eviction on their record will likely hinder their ability to get housing in the future, since most landlords check credit these days. Many tenants see the writing on the wall and move out and turn in their keys. I also explain to them that they must take everything out of the apartment, otherwise I'll have to go through the eviction process.
Although it's not the legal way to repossess the unit, if the majority of their possession are out of the apartment and it appears they have abandoned the unit, then I'll change the lock and turn the unit over. I rather take the slight risk that the tenant claims wrongful repossession, rather than a hefty legal bill for the eviction for a legal repossession. Although I can charge the tenant for the legal fees, the likeliness of receiving payment is somewhat slim in most cases.