Tenant eviction is an unfortunate, but sometimes necessary fact of investment property management. The process of evicting a tenant can fire up emotions for both the tenant and the landlord, assuredly causing stress and potentially bad feelings on both sides.
By handling an eviction with firm care, a property management company can and does shield the property owner from the difficulties in such a situation.
First and foremost, following correct procedures for giving notice is the priority. A no-cause notice to terminate tenancy requires a 30 day notice for a month to month tenancy of less than one year. A tenancy exceeding 365 days requires a 60 day notice. If the issue is one of non-payment of rent, a carefully written 72 Hour notice is needed.
There are also specific notice requirements if the tenancy is a fixed term lease rather than a month to month agreement. Some tenants beef up quickly on the regulations to try to fight an eviction, by working with Mainlander one can be assured that proper procedures will be followed. This greatly lessens the possibility of a notice violation, which may result in an inability to evict the tenant in court and payment of the tenants attorney fees AND difficulty evicting the tenant in the future!
Life is hectic without navigating the pitfalls of tenant eviction. When a tenant does not comply with a notice and you let things slide, or you accept rent even after the notice of eviction, your right to evict is waived. You must file the eviction proceeding immediately after the notice period if the tenant is still in possession. Without this, it is not within the rights of a sheriff to remove the tenant. The proceeding is quick, with the "first appearance" scheduled within a week or so after the filing. Different counties have different procedures and requirements for the court hearings. If the tenants do not appear, you are awarded possession immediately and a writ of execution, plus a judgment of costs at that time. You then must proceed to the next step of having the sheriff and locksmith lock out the tenant if they refuse to move within several days of the judgment. If the tenant appears then it is possible for a negotiation on a move out date and payment of any outstanding rent. However if a negotiated settlement is not reached and the tenant chooses to challenge the eviction, a court date must be set to occur within 10 days. On the court date, some counties require a mediator to try to resolve the case before allowing the parties to talk to the judge. If the tenant has legal representation at the court date, it is in your best interest to postpone the hearing and hire an attorney to represent you at the trial.
If the eviction unfortunately makes it to court, even more time must be invested in the proceedings. A reluctant tenant may try every trick in the book to stall and lengthen the proceedings, trying to “wear out” the owner. There is also the very real possibility that the tenant will be contacted directly by an attorney to represent them and make a quick $500 to $800 by highlighting a technicality on the notice or otherwise finding a loophole that works against the landlord. At Mainlander we stand by the owner for as long as it takes to make things right, and work to handle an eviction that is as fair, speedy, and respectful as possible.