The Downside Of Evicting Tenants
A lot of new landlords and property investors don’t know this, but evicting your tenants is actually a legal process. An eviction is when you get a court order to expel the tenants from your property. There are many reasons you might do this, but the most obvious one is when a tenant doesn’t pay rent. They keep missing their payments and refuse to leave, so you start an eviction lawsuit to get them out.
It is generally seen as a good move to evict bad tenants. Why? Because you get them out of your hair and can bring someone new in who will actually pay the rent on time. However, there is a downside to evicting tenants that’s not always spoken about…
Wastes time and money
The main issue with eviction is that it takes a toll on your finances and your time. You have to pay for all the legal fees involved, which can rack up pretty quickly. Not to mention that eviction isn’t something that happens overnight. There’s a whole case involved where both parties present their arguments – it can take a very long time to get someone evicted. All the while, they’re sat in your property meaning you can’t get someone else in to replace them.
But, you might read all of this and think that it’s irrelevant. Surely, it’s worth the money and time to get rid of a bad tenant? After all, what else can you do?
The alternatives to eviction
You can ‘evict’ a tenant without going to court. It’s not technically an eviction, but you are still getting them out of your property. A lot of the time, talking to your tenants and explaining the situation is all that’s needed for them to leave. If they are good tenants – and you need them out because you’re selling the property – just explain this. They might be upset, but they will know the situation and will likely move out as soon as they can.
With bad tenants, you can try a tactic called cash for keys. Effectively, you pay them to hand over the keys and leave. You could even pay for some truck rentals to help them move their stuff. It’s a bit of an investment on your behalf, but it will still be cheaper than the court fees – not to mention you get them out of your hair ASAP.
Remember, you need to have a good reason to get rid of a tenant. Not only that, but you need to give them some prior warning. If a tenant hasn’t paid rent, give them a warning and say they need to pay what they owe by this date or they’ll have to leave. If they still don’t pay you, tell them it’s time to go before you get the courts involved. If this doesn’t scare them and they’re unwilling to budget, compromise by offering cash for keys to get things done without all the legal issues. They’ll likely accept this deal, but if they don’t, that’s when eviction is the last resort.
Ideally, you want to avoid eviction at all costs because it will be expensive and time-consuming – as well as very stressful. In truth, you can avoid all of this with a better tenant vetting strategy when looking for renters!