I'm currently going through my first eviction and the entire process seems crazy to me. Short story is my tenants just moved in in June and quickly started telling me this that and the other. Completely my fault and I should have never rented to them. I guess you could say I've been far to kind in the past and unfortunately (or fortunately) I am no longer going to be that way. Anyways, they weren't able to come up with August rent (and ended up short in July when one of the checks was returned). I started the process of serving the 3 day notice on the 2nd and had the return date this morning. I just got off the phone with the lawyer as I didn't need to appear for the return date. This is where my confusion starts to come in. They showed up and settled, agreeing to be out by the 26th. We did file the judgement but I guess if they get out then we remove it? The thing I don't get is how can they settle without giving me any of the money? If they aren't out by the 26th I would imagine I have to schedule a time to get the sheriff and that's going to take another 2-3 weeks. All they (the courts) seem to have done in my mind is give them more time to live for free.
After they are finally out I can take them to court again to try and collect my rent and any damages...
Basically this process is a lot slower than I thought. It's not as scary as people not in real estate make it out to be but it does seem to really favor the tenants who aren't holding up their end of the agreement/law. Also I would happily take a few weeks of vacancy than go through this again. I need to make my screening process more stringent.
Be thankful your rental is in a landlord-friendly state where the process is fairly quick. In some states this can take six months.
You can take them to small claims court to get a judgment for the money you're owned. Then you'll have to collect. Unlikely you'll see a penny.
Don't beat yourself up. This is just part of the business. You can try to screen more carefully, but you will still have tenant who cause you grief.