A Landlord’s Guide to the Eviction Process

eviction process

Evicting tenants isn’t easy, especially if you’ve never had to go through it. On top of being a costly process, it can be a stressful one.

Unfortunately, most landlords will find themselves in this situation at least once. If your tenants refuse to play ball, eviction may be your only option. Thorough background checks can alleviate this issue, but some bad tenants can still slip through the cracks.

The good news: you can break the eviction process into four simple steps. Here’s what you should know about this side of property management.

Know Your Laws

Before you can evict a tenant, you need to know your state’s eviction laws. Reviewing them is particularly important if you’ve recently moved.

Knowing the laws can help you with writing lease agreements as well. If you know what to include, you won’t have to spend as much time reviewing the laws later. Alternatively, you can hire a property manager to take care of the tenants for you.

Check for Violations

When it comes to how to evict a tenant, the first thing you’ll need is a valid reason. Here’s a list of common violations of the lease agreement:

• Damaging the property

• Failing to pay rent

• Disrupting other tenants

• Staying after the lease expires

• Using the property for illegal purposes

Make sure to document evidence of violations. This may serve as evidence in court, so be as thorough as possible. These documents can include text conversations with the tenant, photos of damages, and bounced checks.

Issue an Eviction Notice

If you can’t come to terms with the tenant, your next step is to send them an eviction notice. This won’t automatically evict them, but it lets them know what they can do before the case goes to court.

There are three types of eviction notices: a notice to cure or quit, a notice to pay rent or quit, and a notice to quit. The former two give the tenant a chance to remedy the situation. The latter option simply sets a date by which the tenant needs to leave the property.

File for Eviction

If the tenant hasn’t moved out by the time specified in the notice, you’ll need to file for eviction. You can do so in your local housing court.

At the courthouse, you’ll need to prove that the tenant had enough time to respond to the notice. To do so, you can use the tenant’s dated signature or a certified mail receipt. Once you’ve provided proof, you’ll receive a scheduled court date.

If the case gets to trial, your best bet is to let the evidence speak for itself. If you win your case, the judge will give your tenant a time limit to vacate your property.

More on the Eviction Process

Keep in mind that this is just a basic overview of the eviction process. As straightforward as it is, individual circumstances can disrupt it. If you want to make sure you haven’t skipped any steps, hire an eviction lawyer to help you.

Want to avoid going through the tenant eviction process in the future? Check out our tips on how to find the right tenants for your property!

Tips for First-Time Landlords

landlord

In the US, there are around 11 million individual investor landlords. If you have the money, investing in property to rent out can be a great way to make some passive income. But it’s definitely not as easy as just owning a house, renting it out, and collecting rent. Many newcomers are surprised that being a landlord entails many more tasks, which can leave you feeling overwhelmed pretty quickly.

If you’re a first-time landlord, you’ll want to read on. We have some practical advice for you in this article.

Invest in Good Property

You might be excited to jump straight into this opportunity, but don’t just buy the first property that you can afford. Take some time to look into the qualities of the rental property you’re interested in to make sure that your money is well spent. This is probably one of the best tips to get started!

You’ll also want to get an inspection done before putting money down. This ensures that there are no hidden issues you’ll have to deal with.

Come up With a Good Vetting System

The eviction process can be a long and tedious one. So you want to make sure you’ve done everything you can to avoid it in the first place.

Don’t be too eager to fill your rental property with tenants. Make sure you ask potential renters for their:

  • Contact information
  • Current and previous addresses
  • Proof of income
  • Employment history
  • References

You’ll also want to perform credit checks to make sure you’re only renting to people who have good credit histories.

Don’t Spend All Your Rental Income

When you receive those rent checks, you can get a pretty penny all at once. It’s tempting to spend all that money, but what you should know is that the smart thing to do is to save a good chunk of it. We recommend saving around 6 months’ worth in mortgage and property maintenance costs.

You never know when things will go wrong on your property. And when they do, you want to make sure you have the proper cash reserves to cover those issues without draining your bank account.

Always Take Pictures and Videos Before Tenants Move In

You’ll be collecting deposits at the beginning of the contract to cover any damages you might need to fix after renters move out. But many will try to claim the damage was already existing so they can get the full amount back.

Cover yourself by taking pictures and videos before tenants move in. You should also have a move-in walkthrough where you and the tenants sign a document that notes that everything is in working order (and what isn’t).

Be the Best Landlord You Can Be

Being a landlord can bring in some great passive income. But without knowing the right steps to take, your responsibilities can become monumental.

We hope that our tips have given you some insight on what to do so you can be a first-time landlord with ease!

If you need additional help with listing your property, or you have other real estate questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

5 Qualities to Look for When Buying a Rental Property

buying a rental property

Did you know that there are almost 50 million rental units in the United States alone? Investing in a rental property is one of the best decisions you can make in the current economic climate.

You may be wondering about rental property investments and how to buy a rental property. Here are some tips for buying a rental property that will bring you a great stream of income in no time.

Check Crime Rates

You will not be able to attract good tenants if your rental property is in a bad area. Thanks to the internet, you can easily check the crime statistics in the area of your rental property through the library or public resources.

Sometimes crime rates in an area will fluctuate due to a variety of factors. You can see if there is a police presence in the neighborhood as well. For some of the best information on criminal activity, there are many watchdog sites that have other details.

Get an Inspection

If you decide on a rental property that you want to invest in, you should fork out the money to get an inspection done. That way, you can pay a little bit to see if there are any major problems that could cost you a lot more down the road.

Your inspector may point out problems with the rental property that can be easily fixed. Sometimes buying the rental property and doing some simple renovations can actually increase the property value by quite a bit, allowing you to charge more for rental fees.

Calculate Property Taxes

When you factor in your regular expenses for rental property investments, you need to factor in property tax rates. Location plays a huge role in this, as more urban and metropolitan areas tend to have higher property tax rates overall.

You can use the property taxes to determine how much rent you will charge your future tenants. For instance, if the market rates coincide with it, you may even be able to ask for more rent to cover property taxes if the amounts are higher than you expected.

Scout Out the Location

Location is one of the most important considerations when thinking about rental property investments. You want to make sure that it is close by to amenities such as shopping, banks, grocery stores, and other places that your tenants might need to access on a regular basis.

You can also check out the job market in the area to see if it will present employment opportunities in the future. This could potentially bring the value up on your rental property investments.

Buying a Rental Property Should Be Easy

When buying a rental property, you should not have to worry about whether or not it will be prosperous. With these features, you should get the best deal around on your rental property investments.

Want to learn more about investing in a rental property and getting your business going? Take a look at our site or contact us today for answers to all of your questions.

5 Simple Yet Effective Upgrades That Improve Property Value

property value

When looking at the year 2020 in comparison to 2021, there has been an increasing interest in new homeowners wanting to improve their property value. The pandemic has continued to affect many homeowners and because of this many Americans want to revamp their homes. Homeowners are truly beginning to get more creative with what they currently have.

If you’re looking to do the same then it’s crucial as a homeowner to know which type of upgrades will help the rise in your house’s value. It’s also good to factor in what type of buyer you’re dealing with as well. A lot of the time a successful remodeling project means more added space.

Are you interested in learning more? If so continue reading to find out about the effective upgrades that improve property value!

Remodel the Basement

If you have the extra space downstairs this is a great opportunity for you to remodel your basement. Many buyers with high incomes in the Pacific Northwest and the Northeast love this added feature. Most likely if you remodel the basement you’re creating additional square footage that needs heating.

This remodeling opportunity will be sure to put your home at a higher value. An updated basement can add another $40,000 to $50,000 to the price. Fixing up a basement can cost anywhere from $18,400 to $34,000. 

This will also depend on how much square footage you’re working with. This project will include flooring, installing drywall, and painting.

Opening the Floor Plan

In order to improve the property value of any home, it’s a smart idea to open up the floor plan. It’s important to note that it’s best to open up the layout by knocking out the right wall. Many buyers love houses that are opened partly in the dining room, living room, and kitchen.

Opening the floor plan allows more natural light to enter the space. This makes for a more enticing appearance and any buyer has room to get creative in their interior design choices.

Make sure that you do your research and ask a contractor or real estate agent for a consultation before you make any changes.

Upgrades to Curb and Exterior

To sell your house for a higher property value it’s beneficial to update the front curb and exterior of your home. This way your house will be super appealing to buyers even before they come into your home.

If your house is well kept on the outside then buyers are going to imply that it will also look great on the inside as well. You will find a big return on your investment if you decide to mow the lawn or put mulch in the front.

The Benefits of Improving Your Property Value

After reading this article you should have a greater understanding of the work it takes to raise your property value. Whether you remodel the basement, fix up the exterior, or open up the floor plan you can’t go wrong.

Do you need help finding a home? Contact us today and see what we can do for you!

Increasing Your Occupancy Rate: How to Market Your Property

occupancy rate

Running rental property is a great opportunity to make income and grow your business, but it’s never been so complicated when it comes to working with tenants and finding new ones. Raising your occupancy rate can help you pay off property, build your profits, and help increase the value of your current rental spaces.

These tips can help you get more applications leading to more tenants and more occupancy in your properties.

Fair Price

It’s easy to panic when you initially or suddenly have a lower occupancy rate, fewer renters than rooms. You might want to raise the price of your available spaces to make up the difference quicker, but that can backfire. 

Right now many people are moving to smaller cities to escape the high rent and the crowds. No matter where your property is you want to make sure you’re rent is fair and equal to the value of the property itself. You’ll scare away more than one possible applicant with a price too high for the space.

Photos and Posts

Some people might walk around the neighborhood to see where the “for rent” signs are posted, but a lot of people are turning to online applications. List your property on places like apartments.com or Zillow to boost views and let people see your property has places available.

Another crucial component is the photos. Make sure you capture the entire apartment, have a few different angles, and include a picture of each room. Let people know what they’re looking at and all of the benefits. Nothing can turn a possible tenant off like a lack of actual photos.

Be Available

This has less to do with marketing and more to do with customer service. Real estate agents and building managers exist to help people and be available. Make sure you are checking emails and returning phone calls. A lot of apartments may find their occupancy rates slipping because of poor service or lack of availability when people tried to reach out.

Online Presence

While tools like a physical mailer campaign can be incredibly useful, the internet is here to stay. Having an online presence, especially a website, can help increase occupancy rate and help you manage tenants.

If people don’t know where to look for your properties or how to reach you, you’ll be missing out on building cash flow that could be easily yours. Include photos of your properties, the amenities, basic rental rules, and how to contact you for a tour or rental contract. There are plenty of easy tools for building websites now so you can have a professional landing page for any possible renters.

Occupancy Rate on the Rise

These tips may feel simple but you’d be surprised how many agents of property managers don’t think to take good photos or post on rental sites to increase the occupancy rate. And once you start getting more applications you’ll be ready to consider how best to choose your new tenants.

If you found these useful, whether you’re looking to buy or sell, we’ve got great resources for you and your real estate needs.