Eviction from a tenant is never a happy experience for landlords. Evictions are the last resort to get a defaulting tenant out of your property. Besides evacuating someone is an expensive process, it consumes precious time and resources. Of course, sometimes you have no choice but to initiate an eviction procedure. But are evictions always necessary? And what exactly are the disadvantages of eviction?
There are some instances when evicting a tenant can actually be a bad idea. Given the time and cost involved, it makes sense to look for alternatives to eviction. For example, you can negotiate with some tenants to stay in the rental unit and make up for their late payments.
This article explores why it is sometimes best to look for alternatives to evicting a tenant. But let’s first look at the real cost of evicting a person. Knowing how much evictions cost can be a powerful motivation to explore other ways of solving criminal problems.
Being a landlord can be fun – if you do it right
No matter how good you are at finding great rental property deals, you can lose it all if you don’t manage your property properly. Being a landlord doesn’t mean calling in the middle of the night, doing costly evictions, or bothering with ungrateful tenants on a daily basis.
The cost of evicting a tenant
The real cost of evicting a tenant is more than just a financial loss. However, the financial outlay can be considerable. According to some estimates, the total bill for serving an eviction notice to the courts can be as high as $ 4,000. Depending on the time required and the damage to your rental property, the costs can be even higher.
But there are other factors that play a role in evicting a tenant. Think about the time it takes – after all, time is money. It can take up to three months from the actual filing of an eviction action at your local court to the time you receive the required court order. And even if you apply for an eviction, there is no guarantee that the judge will rule in your favor.
Of course, it’s difficult to quantify the toll evictions take on your stress levels.
If a tenant breaks the lease, sooner or later most landlords will have to take legal action. If you’ve been in arrears for months, vandalized the apartment, constantly disturbing neighbors or calling the police, eviction is undoubtedly a good idea.
Let’s look at some alternatives to evictions and when it is best to negotiate with your tenants.
Good tenants can get into difficult times
Sometimes it doesn’t make sense to quit a good tenant when they’re going through a difficult period. Perhaps they have lost their jobs or face unexpectedly high medical bills and can pay a few months’ rent. Of course, not paying the rent is a violation of their rental agreement. And technically, you have reasons to vacate them. But is it worth giving notice to a good tenant?
Suppose you have a tenant who takes care of the apartment and has paid the rent in full and on time in the past during the tenancy. And say that they will be fired and will not be able to pay rent, but are actively looking for a new job. In that case, you could also work out a flexible rental payment plan until you get back on your feet. Then you can negotiate a payment plan so that they pay the overdue rent in full.
This can mean a financial blow in the short term. However, given the cost of an eviction, filling a vacancy, and screening prospective tenants, it may be better to keep a good tenant in the apartment rather than quitting.
Remember to put any payment plan or rental payment plan in writing and sign the document with the tenant.
The process can be expensive
Sometimes it makes sense to wait with the eviction process when it becomes too costly. In most cases, landlords will have to pay legal fees for evicting a tenant. In addition, there can be expensive cleaning after someone is removed from a rental unit. Even if you can make claims for damages, there is no guarantee of success.
What can you do to avoid being evicted? One solution is a “cash for keys” arrangement. Why not offer to pay the tenant to move out? If a tenant is in financial difficulties, the prospect of a flat-rate cash allowance for housing hunting can sound tempting. It is also in their best interest to avoid an eviction. Because tenants with an eviction history have a hard time finding a new landlord.
Let’s say you calculate that an eviction will cost over $ 4,000. Why don’t you offer the tenant $ 1,000 to move out? Although it seems paradoxical to give money to someone who is in debt you Money, it may be a better idea than an expensive eviction.
Evictions can be brought into legal hot water
It is always a bad idea to quit a tenant if you don’t have legal reasons. In general, tenants can stay in a rental apartment for as long as the rental agreement allows – provided, of course, that they comply with the terms of the contract as well as the applicable laws. So before you initiate an eviction lawsuit, it’s important to make sure the law is on your side.
Here are some scenarios where evicting a tenant is a bad idea:
Let’s say the tenant has complained about you to the housing authority, for example about security issues or maintenance issues – valid or not. It is not advisable to evict someone just because you did not like what they did. If you file an eviction lawsuit within six months of a tenant filing a formal complaint, a judge may view (and even order) the eviction as retaliation you pay something, not the tenant).
You can never identify a person based on their race, religion, marital status, gender, skin color, national origin or sexual preferences. For example, you can’t evict a couple because you find out the woman is pregnant and you don’t want a crying baby to disturb the neighbors.
Tenants can legally withhold part or all of the rent until they have resolved a health or safety issue in the building or rental unit. In this case, you will not be able to evict them for failure to pay the rent.
Acceptance of rental part payments
If you are taking a partial payment for the late rent, it can be a bad idea to cancel. This is because by accepting a partial payment you may have given up your right to eviction from this tenant. If you’ve already requested an eviction, don’t take part payment of the rent, no matter how tempting it may be; Otherwise, you may have to restart the entire eviction process.
These are just a few situations when quitting a tenant can be a bad idea. You may be able to work out a payment plan to keep good and responsible tenants in your rental unit. Offering a “key for cash” deal often helps avoid the stress and expense of an eviction. However, if you do decide to evict, always check the law to make sure you have a legal basis to evict a defaulting tenant.
More about evictions from Advance Guide