The Best Property Management Strategies When Dealing With Evictions.
The most dreaded word for a landlord is “Eviction”. Nonpaying tenants are one of the main reasons people avoid real estate investing and a great educational situation that quickly teaches new landlords the benefits of professional property management. Dealing with nonpaying tenants, court cases, attorneys, and emotions, quickly becomes a high stress situation for all involved. I am go over the three basic eviction tips that will minimize losses, friction, and reduce risk when dealing with nonpaying tenants. These subjects will be common to all situations and should not be forgotten. The three subjects are Stories, Court, and Math or as I like to say, “The answers are always in the numbers”.
1. Don't Pay For Stories
As a mental exercise let me ask you, have you ever tried to tell your bank a story instead of paying the mortgage? They don’t accept stories as payment and neither should you. Your rental property is a business the same as a bank. Not managing your property like a business will quickly turn your property into a money losing hobby. Often property owners will ask why the tenant hasn’t paid, the simple truth is that anything other than a payment has no value. That means your tenant can say “I will have it all on …..” “My dog ate my…..” “The man with one arm did it…..” each and every story regardless of the truth, tragedy or comedy involved, is unfortunately worthless. Don’t pay for stories. You need to follow the standard process in your area to remove a nonpaying tenant. Send notice, file the case and do everything at the earliest allowable time. Court is where stories must go to become enforceable agreements. Every day of inaction is a day you have paid for a story.
2. Get To Court
As someone who has handled hundreds of evictions I can tell you that the most common outcome is not the removal of the tenant(s). Most of the time a payment is collected at court or shortly after and the tenant(s) is allowed to stay in the property with an enforceable payment arrangement or "stipulation agreement". This is important to note because often we will hear “I don’t want to kick them out” from landlords who did not file an eviction case and decided to hire a property manager after multiple months have gone by. Waiting multiple months causes a drastic reduction in the likelihood of retaining the tenant and/or collecting some or all the back rent.
3. Know The Math
The answers are always in the numbers and the numbers are never in the landlords favor once a tenant becomes late on rent. It is easiest to see this when viewing the math from the tenant’s perspective. Usually to move into a property a tenant must pay the first months rent and a security deposit of an equal amount. What happens when the tenant is behind two months rent? It is approaching the second month; the tenant has not paid and the landlord has not filed an eviction case. In this situation, it is now cheaper for the tenant to move than to pay the landlord! The tenant has lived for free for two months and now gets to stay for free until the landlord is successful in court. In court, the landlord will likely be asking for court fees, attorney fees, and back rent of more than two months. All the while the tenant can simply find a new place to live for less than they owe and start fresh after getting two months free rent!
It is crucial that landlords protect themselves and process evictions as soon as possible. This is the recipe to minimize losses and reduce risk when facing nonpayment situations with rental property.
Nick D'Agnillo is the CEO & Founder of Nexus Property Management®. A National Property Management Franchise that manages all types of rental property from single family homes or condos to large apartment buildings and complexes.
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