Owning rental property and managing it can be a rewarding experience. Not only is it a good investment and a means to generate income, but it also allows you to be an important part of a community. A good landlord is usually a very well-liked person!
On the flip side of things, there are some parts of the role that are challenging and even unenviable. You’ll be the person tenants come to when their door breaks or their plumbing goes awry. It will also be on you to make sure that the property is looking its best – things like keeping the grass kept and keeping litter in check.
You’ll also have the unenviable task of handing out eviction notices.
This is one of those things that nobody really likes to dwell on. Removing someone from their abode is not something most people want to dwell on, but it is still part of your duties as the property owner. It is your responsibility to remove those who break the rules, do not pay their rent or infringe upon the rights of other tenants.
The process of eviction must be taken seriously – if it is done improperly, it can be very costly and problematic. Not only will it cost you a lot in legal fees, but it can impact your standing with your tenants – and can drive away prospective renters. So before you prepare any eviction notices, take a look at some common mistakes landlords make when evicting tenants.
- The DIY eviction. There are some things that you shouldn’t do yourself – and evicting tenants should be at the top of the list. Doing things like removing their belongings, changing their locks while they’re out, and switching off their utilities is a big no-no. Going outside of legal protocols can not only land you in legal trouble, but can rile up an aggressive tenant – putting you at risk.
- Not knowing the laws for your area. Residential laws will vary depending on which state, city or municipality you’re in. You need to become familiar with the laws of your area and how they will affect you as a landlord – what works in one area for evictions won’t necessarily work in another, so be careful.
- Improper entry of residence. Tenants have rights to privacy, and violating those rights can land you in pretty big trouble. You should not enter the unit unless it’s an emergency, and even then you should be accompanied by a police officer or someone to witness the act.
- Not having credible evidence. Before producing any eviction notices, make absolutely sure you have a solid case for doing it. For example: if you’re trying to evict a renter for inflicting damages on your property, you will need photos or some other irrefutable proof of what they’ve done. Without evidence or documentation to support your claim, the tenant in question can be allowed to stay where they are – potentially costing you more money and more time as the eviction process gets dragged out for even longer.
Sending a tenant packing isn’t exactly a happy affair, but it can cause you even more grief and hardship if it is done improperly. Knowing what to look out for before you send out any eviction notices can cut out a lot of problems, letting you focus on your other responsibilities as a landlord.