The Secret of Friendly Evictions
Published On: June 10, 2017 Posted by: Jeremy Peterson
Performing evictions is one of the necessary duties of a property manager. For many landlords, this is the most gut-wrenching part of the job. To invoke the law to forcibly remove a person from a property can become a very adversarial experience if handled improperly.
Fortunately, for our property management business, evictions are a rare thing. However, they do sometimes occur and typically with existing tenants of a property that we begin managing. Most of the time, owners hire us to handle this unpleasant part of the job that they have delayed or been unwilling to do.
The reason evictions even become necessary is an avoidance mentality that pervades the mindset of many tenants. For whatever reason, many are living life one hour at a time and react to circumstances rather than acting proactively. When rents are late, many tenants do not call in advance to make payment arrangements and simply wait for the landlord to react.
When this happens, the first thing we do is submit a 3-Day Notice to Pay or Vacate. This is a formal legal notice that has legal authority but is also filled with a lot of legal jargon. Because of this, our company began posting our own additional notice along with the 3-day notice. Here is what we also post:
Once we began using this notice in conjunction with the formal notice, we saw a significant increase in tenants reaching out to us to negotiate. Helping tenants understand the eviction process that they becoming a part of has helped them make better choices. In most cases, tenants have vacated voluntarily. Strangely, in several cases, the tenants have waited for the court case and the judge to sign the writ of restitution before vacating. Nevertheless, we have had several tenants thoroughly clean the units on their way out, even though they were being forcefully evicted.
I believe these “gracious” departures come from having an open line of communication with the tenant. We never treat the tenant disrespectfully and handle the situation transactionally and professionally. We even give the tenant written notice of when the sheriff will arrive to lock them out of the apartment. Fortunately, this practice has avoided an awkward situation 99% of the time.
Yet, the key to being a good landlord is to avoid an eviction before it ever has to happen. This is best handled when the tenant is screened to rent the property to begin with. But, we will save that topic for another day. If you are experiencing tenant problems and want a professional manager to step in to make your life easier, CONTACT ME, and let’s discuss what we can do for you.