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evicting a tenant

Property owners nationwide filed four eviction notices every minute throughout 2016. In all, 2.3 million Americans got evicted.

Unfortunately, evicting a tenant is sometimes necessary. Are you prepared to handle an eviction if a tenant refuses to pay rent?

Keep reading to learn what every property manager needs to know about evictions.

Evicting a Tenant 101

Choosing the perfect tenant through screening measures will prevent many evictions. Even so, you’re likely to have to evict someone at some point as a property manager.

You should start taking the first steps to eviction under the following circumstances:

  • The tenant has violated the lease
  • The tenant refuses to pay rent
  • The tenant is posing safety or health hazards
  • The tenant is breaking health, noise, or occupancy ordinances
  • The tenant has broken the lease in other ways

Once you have a valid reason to begin the process, you’ll need to learn how to evict the tenant.

The first step is to provide the tenant with a notice of eviction. The document should include a deadline to either pay or move out.

You’ll need to serve the notice by both mail and on the property’s front door.

If the deadline passes, then you’ll need to file the eviction notice with the courts.

Mistakes to Avoid When Evicting a Tenant

Evicting tenants can be emotional. Don’t let the stressful situation make you stumble into one of these common mistakes:

  • Taking the tenant’s property from the rental home
  • Changing the locks
  • Physically removing the tenant from the property
  • Shutting off essential utilities
  • Failing to perform requested maintenance tasks
  • Making threats to withhold the security deposit

Under the law, these actions are not acceptable regardless of how the tenant is behaving. It leaves you vulnerable to a potential lawsuit.

After getting an eviction notice, tenants may try to give you partial payments. Never accept money after the eviction process has started unless it is the full amount owed.

If you do, then you may be forfeiting some of your rights if you have to go to court later.

Tips to Remember During an Eviction

The eviction process is costly and tedious. It’s a lose-lose situation for all parties involved, and it’s usually used as a last resort.

Keep these tips in mind when going through the motions:

  • Always document everything
  • Consider alternative resolutions
  • Don’t underestimate the importance of following the law
  • Consider consulting with an attorney or expert

A property owner can hire an agent or management company to assist with evictions. Such an action can help ensure you are following the laws every step of the way.

The Eviction Process Dos and Don’ts

A tenant’s failure to pay rent is the number one cause for eviction.

This high-stakes process of evicting a tenant is often stressful and emotional. Despite this, it’s necessary to keep your composure throughout the process.

Keep these tips and pitfalls in mind next time you need to evict a tenant.

If you have questions about how an agent can help you, then reach out to us on our online contact form.

how to run a credit check

The key to having success as a landlord (aside from investing in the right properties) is renting to the right tenants. 

Rental profit margins are thin to begin with. If you rent to the wrong person and end up chasing down rent, going through an eviction, or repairing excessive property damage, that profit can get eaten up very quickly. 

Before you hand the keys over, take the necessary steps to vet your prospective tenants. Aside from verifying all the information on the rental application, you should also consider running a credit check. 

If this is a new process for you, you might wonder how to run a credit check on a tenant. Here’s a quick how-to primer. 

1. Know Your Tenant’s Rights

First things first – make sure you fully understand the rights of your tenant before you run a tenant credit check. 

A person’s credit history contains a wealth of personal and sensitive information. For that reason, you will need to get the applicant’s permission in writing prior to running the check. 

You can either include a clause on the rental application or have a separate addendum for the applicant to sign.

This is also the time to let them know if you charge a fee. Many landlords charge an “application fee” that will cover the cost of the credit check. If the applicant passes, you can always apply the amount in the form of a credit towards the first month’s rent. 

2. Get the Requisite Information

Once you have your applicant’s written permission, you’ll need to ensure you have all the information you need to get the check done. 

You’ll need a full name, driver’s license number, date of birth, current address, and current employer’s information. Most, if not all of this, will be on your rental application. 

If you plan to verify employment and reach out to the applicants current or former landlords, do that prior to running a credit check. You might get info from a former landlord that will automatically rule someone out, and you can then avoid the credit check step altogether. 

3. Get the Check and Analyze

Now it’s time to get the credit check performed. Using the agency of your choosing (like Experian), provide the necessary info.

If it’s your first time running a check, you will need to take steps to verify that you are indeed a landlord. This is an important step and necessary for fraud prevention. 

Once you have an account with the credit agency, check results will come back to you quickly. Once you have the results in hand, you can analyze the applicant. 

Look for red flags like bankruptcies, a history of late rent payments, or a large debt-to-income ratio. Some credit reporting services will also provide information on any previous evictions. 

4. Follow Up

Once you’ve read the credit report, you can make your final decision. If the report raised red flags, feel free to reach out the applicant and ask for additional info. 

If you find a dealbreaker, you’ll need to let the applicant know why you decided not to rent to them. You need to provide a letter stating the reason you rejected their application and the information about the credit reporting agency you used. 

Want More Information About How to Run a Credit Check?

If you had been wondering how to run a credit check on rental applicants, we hope this article helped. As you can see, it’s a fairly straightforward process. It’s also worth it for the potential headaches you might save yourself. 

Our article section maintains a wealth of valuable information for landlords. Check it out today and get the best return on your real estate investment!

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