Should I Evict My New Tenant?

22 Replies

Hi Investors I need your help! So I have a new tenant who has only lived in my property for 2 months. He told me after rent was late that he needed a few days to pay, he actually gave me a specific day and so far I haven't received it or heard from him. He is 9 days late today. This property is in Virginia could I start the eviction process? Should I start it or reach out again before I send a non payment notice? He's a nice guy and he stressed how sorry he was and how much he loves the place but haven't reached out since.

@Jerica Shorter since you are out of state you need to get an attorney involved now. The clock is ticking and it's in the favor of the tenant. The attorney will send him a 3 day or 5 day pay or quit notice, whichever is appropriate for Virginia. If he doesn't pay then the attorney should start the eviction. You tried to work with him and he shafted you.
I'd also suggest that you look into a property manager since the rental is out of state. I manage my own rentals at home but have a pm take care of the ones out of state.

@Jerica Shorter download the landlord tenant laws for your state and go from there. Keep good notes on everything you do;  calls, texts, notices on door, emails etc...you should. Be good to go on posting the pay or quit notice per you laws. If he doesn't pay after that time expires, time for an eviction. Don't let him string you out, it's only gets worse 

Thanks a lot guys I'll start with the notice. Could I write the notice myself then get a lawyer if I have to move towards eviction because I don't have a lawyer on retainer and I also don't have money to waste?

I have a great LL Attorney in Richmond if you need one.

I suggest getting rid of the mind set in which 'He's a nice guy...' has any relevance. Many tenants are good at manipulation and will use that to walk over you.

@Jerica Shorter , in regard to your question about writing the notice yourself, I can tell you that I had to rewrite a notice 3 different times and wasted over a weeks time because the notice was not written in the accepted standard. I found this out only after after speaking with an attorney. Also, my rental property is in California and laws will be different. As already stated by others on this spread, speak to an attorney and don't delay!

Hit him hard ASAP with proper legal notice. Sometimes this makes them fly right and pay on time forever, sometimes it doesn't but you will at least know. They have to know you mean business and it's NO PAY / NO STAY !!!!!

First you need to learn your state landlord tenant regulations. You are operating a business that can put you very quickly before a judge if you do not know the law. Don't ask any more questions until you study the law or hire a lawyer.

Had you known the proper way to operate your business you would have posted 9 days ago. Chances are you have received the last money you will see from this tenants and you had better pray he is not a professional. 

Typical con job "nice guy, so sorry, loves the place" working a hobby landlord. You fell for it now you need to get professional and fix it.

Probably not properly screened if screened at all.

Get a lawyer on it immediately and hire a PM, you should not be managing a property or tenants until you know the law..

Ok from what I'm reading I should definitely get a lawyer and I already email one I worked with before. Hopefully I'll hear something first thing.

@Jerica Shorter ,

You need to issue a 5-day pay or quit in VA. If you PM me, I can send you our standard one.

You definitely need to post notice if you haven't done so already. If you are out of state you can hire a local eviction attorney to post for approx. $50. Once the notice has expired you should move forward to evict. To be proactive next time you may want to re evaluate your application process and be sure to focus on their past rental history. If its not property management I would ask to see proof of previous rental history payment. It will give you a better indication of who your are dealing with and the type of experience you will have with the person. Just some tips that have helped us. Good luck

@Thomas S. for the record I did screen this tenant, checked credit, spoke with pass landlord and employer. I think something happened with his family and he chose to miss work. I make sure I do what I can but I can control what I can't control. Thanks for your input

@Scott Ray thanks for all the info I found an attorney who charges an initial fee of $1200. I can find an eviction lawyer to send the letter for 50? Does anyone know a good eviction lawyer in VA Beach.

@Jerica Shorter - I landlord and PM in Va Beach. VA Landlord tenant law is very landlord friendly. You need to send a 5 day letter an then that letter goes to the attorney if you want one to start the legal process. VA law requires you mail this regular US mail, unless your lease specifies otherwise, If your lease allows electronic notifications, and most do, you can send the notice by e-mail.

Feel free to PM or call me if you need help.  BP won't let me put my phone number here, but it's in my profile and I'm very easy to find.

Here is a template you can copy and paste into your word doc.

NOTICE OF DEFAULT – FAILURE TO PAY RENT

To: <<Tenant>> From: <<Landlord>>

<<address>> <<address>>

In accordance with Sections 55-225 and 55-248.31, Code of Virginia, as amended, you

are hereby notified that you are in default in the payment of rent, late charges and

miscellaneous charges as itemized below:

ITEMIZED CHARGES

Rent for the month(s) of ___________________ $_______

Late fee for the month(s) _________________ $_______

TOTAL DUE LANDLORD AS OF ______ 2007 $________

If you do not pay the full amount due your Landlord or vacate within five (5) days of the

date of this notice was mailed, your lease will be terminated and your account will be

turned over for immediate institution of eviction proceedings. In accordance with

Section 55-248.31 of the Code of Virginia, you are then liable for the following

additional court costs and attorney’s fees:

Court Costs: $_______

Attorney’s fees: <<reasonable attorney’s fee, per lease agreement>>

Total fees and costs: $_______

YOU MAY AVOID PAYING ATTORNEY’S FEES AND COURT COSTS ONLY

IF THE LANDLORD RECEIVES THE TOTAL AMOUNT DUE WITHIN FIVE

(5) DAYS OF THIS NOTICE. POSTMARKS WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED

AND PERSONAL CHECKS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.

In addition, if rent, late charges, and miscellaneous charges, if any, are not paid within

five (5) days, your Landlord has the right to terminate your lease and regain possession of

the premises. If your lease is terminated and you are evicted, Virginia Law (Section 55-

248.35) gives the Landlord a claim for damages for breach of the lease contract. This

claim includes rent for the entire balance of your lease term. Payment of the above rent

will be accepted with the understanding that the Landlord is RESERVING THE RIGHT

to take possession should he choose to do so.

In accordance with Section 55-248.31, Code of Virginia, as amended, it is hereby

certified that a true copy of the within Notice of Default was mailed to the Resident(s)

named therein, addressed to said Resident(s) at the address of the dwelling named

therein, and/or posted at the residence, all on the ___ day of ____________, 2007.

By: ____________________________________ {Agent for} Landlord 

This post has been removed.

@Jerica Shorter

"for the record I did screen this tenant"

I assumed since you did not post a pay or quit on the 2nd of the month instead of accepting his excuses and stalling tactics that you had no idea what you were doing as a landlord. That is usually the case when a post includes statement such as:

"He is 9 days late today" "could I start the eviction" "Should I start it" "He's a nice guy" "how sorry he was" "how much he loves the place"

All the common statements of a hobby landlord with no concept of how to operate their business and no knowledge of their state codes.

My mistake I guess.

Unfortunately i don't know of any in your area I'm in Florida but thats what our lawyer's office charges us. Check your lease agreement I know for ours we put in there we are allowed to deliver by mail and just have to add an extra 5 day business to the expiry. 

@Scott Ray thank you I've sent the notice in the mail and emailed him a copy. Hopefully this will be simple he'll pay or just move out. If not I'm prepared to move forward.

Originally posted by @Sam Manoo :

Jerica Shorter , in regard to your question about writing the notice yourself, I can tell you that I had to rewrite a notice 3 different times and wasted over a weeks time because the notice was not written in the accepted standard. I found this out only after after speaking with an attorney. Also, my rental property is in California and laws will be different. As already stated by others on this spread, speak to an attorney and don't delay!

 In Texas this could not be simplier as all that is needed is:

To: Tenant

This is to serve as your 3 day notice to terminate the lease at XXXX  Street

Signed 

Landlord

Date

@Greg H. ,  I need some rental properties in Texas then :) 

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