1) Send a notice.
You must serve the tenant with a three-day notice for them to either pay the rent or to vacate the property. This can be accomplished by the landlord delivering the notice in person, mailing the notice as certified mail with return service requested, or by posting the notice in a conspicuous place such as the front door. Make sure you reach out to an attorney for the correct wording when drafting your notice.
2) Try to negotiate.
If your tenant is willing to pay some amount of rent or willing to agree to move out by a specified period of time, try to settle without going to court. Sometimes eviction proceedings can cost several hundred dollars. It may be cheaper to make a deal with the tenant first.
3) Keep proof of service.
You may need to prove to a judge when you sent the notice. Keep good records of when it happened. If you mailed it, keep the return receipt for proof.
4) Avoid evictions due to bad behavior.
Unless the behavior of your tenant is very serious and easily documented, these evictions are generally not worth it. Make sure you evict on clear legal grounds.
5) Don't wait.
If the tenant is not paying, don't delay on beginning this process. The longer you wait, the more it will cost you in potential rent. If you continually give your tenants extensions, you will still likely have to evict down the road. It is better to take care of it now.
6) If the tenant still does not pay...
If the tenant does not pay the rent, but moves out within three days, the landlord may use the tenant's security deposit (if any) to cover the unpaid rent. If the security deposit does not cover the rent, then the landlord can sue the tenant for the balance of the unpaid rent. However, it may not be worth it financially and may be better to write off any losses and move on.
If the tenant does not pay the rent within three-days of serving the notice and does not move out, then the landlord can proceed to file a summons and complaint with the county court to gain possession of the property.
7) Make sure you have a good lawyer.
Lastly, make sure you consult proper legal advice before going forward with any eviction proceedings. A good attorney can save you lots of money and heart ache in the future.
Also, Swann Real Estate offers full-service property management solutions. If you would like someone else to manage all property management issues, including evictions, contact our office today.