When to begin eviction?

13 Replies

Hi All,

One of my tenants fell on my property in late June. You can read more about it in the linked post below, but basically we filed a claim with insurance and were found not liable. She asked for money, and we told her that we are not liable and while we're sorry for her fall, we still require full month's rent. 

My Q: Rent was due on the 1st. It is now the 8th. I believe she was late because she was waiting for the home insurance claim, which I understand, but now it's finalized and time to pay rent. At what point should I give some sort of notice of eviction? Thanks!

https://www.biggerpockets.com/forums/52/topics/725...

@Jennifer Jackson I personally have a policy that I never go beyond 30 days with any tenant. Sometimes you have to have a bit of compassion, but realistically if someone drops behind 30 days they are probably not going to catch up. With newly acquired or problematic tenants, I issue a 5 day notice on the 6th day of the month. 

Is this tenant combative at all? Do you think the tenant was justified in seeking to file the claim? Have you had issues with the tenant in the past? The other thing to consider is when the tenant's checks likely fall. If the tenant spent the money while waiting for the insurance claim, you probably won't get the money until the next check hits (weekly or bi-weekly). 

@John Warren

thanks for the reply. I think I'll go ahead and send her a notice. She's not combative but she's been difficult because she feels like we owe her something since she fell on our property. 

With that being said, is it appropriate to email a late notice or does it have to be by mail? 

@Jennifer Jackson you have to give her a 3 day notice in writing to pay or vacate. It has to be in person or sent in mail with a return receipt saying when delivered. After 3 days of when notified then you can start eviction. You should get a landlord tenant guide for your state. 

@Jennifer Jackson don't hesitate to reach out to local contacts and find an attorney who specializes in evictions. It is not worth it to mess this up. If things become hostile at all, you will want to have followed the procedures in your state and municipality to the T. 

@Jennifer Jackson welcome to landlord-ing.

I would get the process started now as opposed to later. Send the 3 day notice and proof of service. I have properties in IL as well and proof of service is key there. I haven't dealt with eviction in Houston. Yet.  Get one leg up in the race. It could be a drawn out process if they decide not to leave. Hopefully they get the notice and begin clearing things out. Best wishes. 

Originally posted by @Jennifer Jackson :

Hi All,

One of my tenants fell on my property in late June. You can read more about it in the linked post below, but basically we filed a claim with insurance and were found not liable. She asked for money, and we told her that we are not liable and while we're sorry for her fall, we still require full month's rent. 

My Q: Rent was due on the 1st. It is now the 8th. I believe she was late because she was waiting for the home insurance claim, which I understand, but now it's finalized and time to pay rent. At what point should I give some sort of notice of eviction? Thanks!

https://www.biggerpockets.com/forums/52/topics/725...

 Right now. Begin the eviction process right now. No pay = no stay.

@Jennifer Jackson Congrats on getting paid but I would document this situation of her late pay i.e. text messages and dates of when officially paid. That way down the road, and hopefully it doesn’t happen, you have more proof that she is habitually late. Set a strict policy and standard for late pays and notices and stick to it. I learned the hard way by thinking with compassion in lieu of reality. Good luck

Congrats on getting paid this month, just be prepared for future months when a little bump in the road could cause you tenant to stop paying, especially is she believes she is owed something.

It’s always important to have a process for dealing with late rent, and always sticking to the process. A good practice is to issue the demand for rent and eviction notices (or whatever your state requires) the day after rent was due and became in arrears. This always gives you the ability to go through the full eviction process should you need to.

It’s also important to have some compassion and realize that everyone has hard times every once in a while. Now the tenant’s problem should never become your problem, but if you can make some modest and reasonable accommodations to get them back on track, it can go a long way toward helping them. An example is a payment plan or agreement (signed by everyone) getting them back on track. Two very important considerations with this, never let them get so far behind they cannot get back on track, and always have the agreement in writing and signed by everyone. The agreement should specifically stipulate what will happen and when should the tenant fail to make the payments as agreed.