Handling eviction with a tenant who has stopped paying rent - Section 8 Housing Listings | Section 8 for Rent | Section 8 Program in USA | Section 8 Rental Listings USA
Handling eviction with a tenant who has stopped paying rent 2018-12-19 18:36:45

Many people picture landlords as extremely wealthy, with access to unlimited cash flow. In my experience, most landlords are just like me - people who have a day job and who have invested in a property to bring in some passive income on the side. When you are able to find good and reliable tenants, this system works well.

But, for non-professional landlords, bad tenants and tenant relationships can bring about more stress than your rental income is worth. When a tenant stops paying rent, the landlord has financial stress and worry, and the emotional burden of negotiating, yelling, and fighting with a tenant. Even when you’ve given chance after chance, many tenants will not pay up - and if you are too persistent in seeking your rental payments, you can face harassment charges.

The consequences of a non-paying tenant

If you’ve exhausted every reasonable option for getting your tenant to pay rent, you may have to seek the advice of a lawyer. This can be very expensive (up to $200 per hour) can can costs you over $1000, in addition to the losses of your unpaid rent. Even with the representation of a lawyer, it can still be months before a tenant is finally moved from your home.

Once you have finally gotten a tenant successfully evicted from the property, you can finally begin the process of renting out your apartment again. But, with the necessary cleaning, advertising, and time for new tenants to move in, you may be looking at another two months without income.

All in all, a tenant that doesn’t pay rent can cost you up to six months in rental income. This is a significant loss on your property that really makes the cost of being a landlord too high and in fact, many people simply cannot financially survive this scenario. Many responsibly landlords have suffered the loss of a property because of the actions of a single tenant. This stressful scenario can have an impact on your financial life, and on your relationship with your family.  

The best way to handle a non-paying tenant

Every once in a while, your tenant may run late on rent. Sometimes this is not a big deal and is simply an act of forgetfulness, but after 5 days with no payment you should be sure to check in with your tenant to see what is going on. If you speak with your tenant and they let you know they will be able to pay the rent within a week, I recommend that you make this agreement, but warn the tenant that you will need to serve them with a 5 Days Notice of Non-Payment if they do not get caught up.

For your own future security, it is important that you don’t delay on serving your tenant with a 5 Days Notice. Even if you believe your tenant may pay rent eventually, proof of having served this notice will help you make your case if payment is never made. (Please note, the specific state laws surrounding notice may vary between state and state, and you will want to be sure you are up to date on which laws apply to you locally). When you issue a notice to your tenant, be sure they sign and date the document so you have proof of your interaction.

If you are uncomfortable or unable to deliver notice in person, you can mail the notice to your tenant. I recommend that you send this notice through Certified Mail so you will have proof of sending for your record keeping. Once they have received notice, a tenant may:

 

  • Pay the rent: If your tenant pays out any overdue amounts in rent, then your issue is resolved. You do have the option of charging a small amount of interest on this payment, but I do not recommend this.

  • Moving out: The tenant may be totally  unable to pay the rent and may opt to return your key and move out. In this scenario, the cost of the tenant’s deposit will cover their last month of rent. If there is no issue with the property, I do not recommend that you pursue the tenant for unpaid rent - it is simply not worthwhile.

  • Paying rent later: It is very possible that your tenant will be unable to pay within 5 days, and many are able to pay shortly afterword. If you accept payment of this money, your 5 day notice will be void, and your tenant will have the right to stay. If the rent is paid outside of the 5 day notice period, you have the right to refuse payment and ask the tenant to move.

  • Try to stay: After receiving a 5 Day notice, it is very possible that a tenant will not pay rent, but that they will also insist on staying. If this is the case, you will need to take legal action to have your tenant evicted.

Taking legal action when a tenant refuses to move

If a tenant has failed to pay rent, and continues to ignore your notices that they must vacate the property, you’ll have no choice but to take legal action. The first step will be to contact your local court for first steps. They will provide you with paperwork that you must fill in for eviction. Along with your paperwork, you’ll submit proof of your interactions with your tenant, and allow the court time to process.

Once all of your paperwork has been submitted along with a fee, you’ll receive a hearing date. The court officer will provide you with a copy of your paperwork to pass along to the tenant. It is important to remember that you cannot deliver this paperwork to a tenant directly by yourself. You will need to hire a Process Server Service to deliver the paperwork, and gather proof that it has been delivered to your tenant.

When you’ve initiated the legal process, you are still able to work with and negotiate with your tenant. If they have recovered financially, some tenants may ask you to allow them to pay, and close the legal process. If you are comfortable coming to an agreement with your tenant, you can draft up a copy of what was discussed and provide it to the court.

One thing I urge you to remember is that if you take any amount of money from your tenant between filing your paperwork and your hearing date, you will not be able to evict your tenant. I recommend that you proceed with caution when negotiating a compromise.

Preparing for a tenancy hearing

To ensure you’re more likely to win at your hearing, you should do everything you can to prepare for the date in question. Be sure to step by the front desk to check in on your case, be sure your paperwork is in order, and to be sure all appropriate fees have been paid. I also recommend taking the time to arrive at the court early to ensure you find the correct courtroom, and are prepared to explain your case calmly.

In most tenancy hearings, the defaulting tenant will not show up to court, which makes the process much easier for you. If your tenant is present, you’ll both be given the chance to discuss your version of events. But, if a tenant fails to attend, it will just be you, the landlord, speaking to the judge.

If you can prove to the judge that you have served a 5 Day Notice legally, and show that you served court papers through a Process Server Service, you will almost always win your case.

In most cases, judges will provide an order that allows the tenant 1 to 2 weeks to move from your property (please be sure to research your local laws to be aware of variances). If your tenant did not attend that day, you can provide them with the paperwork, let them know the date they must be out of the apartment, and ask that they be prepared to move and leave their key.

If your tenant leaves suddenly

In some cases, a tenant will disappear suddenly after being served with a notice of eviction. In some cases, the tenant will not return keys to the unit. This provides a complication to your eviction process, because technically, the tenant is still “living” within the dwelling. Tenants have many rights under the law, and you want to be sure that you evict them, and enter the unit, in a way that is completely legal.

If the final date set by the judge has passed and you have still not received your keys, they may be gone, but it is also possible that they are still living there. If you are unsure if your tenant has moved from the home, you’ll need to go back to the court to file a Write Restitution. After this, a court officer will be assigned to view your property, usually within a week. Upon arrival, the court officer will post a notice on your property. This notice will provide you with the legal right to enter the dwelling, without any chance your tenant might cause problems for you later.

As soon as you regain access to your property, I recommend that you enter and change the locks, ensuring the tenant cannot return illegally.

If your tenant cannot, or will not leave

In some scenarios, the court officer will arrive to find a tenant still living in your property with no plans to move out. If this is the case, the court officer will generally provide the tenant with a final 15 minutes to gather their things, before allowing you to enter and change the locks permanently.

Even if you have received a court order, there are some situations in which the court officer cannot force a tenant from your property. If the resident is very old, very sick, or in a dire personal situation, the officer will often report back to the judge allowing them more time to prepare for a move. You will be able to remove these tenants eventually, but it will take some time.

If a tenant files for bankruptcy

I thought long and hard about whether to include this information in this blog post, worrying that some tenants may use bankruptcy to their advantage. However, I think it is very important that landlords know exactly what they can expect when a tenant has not paid rent.  

If one of your tenants has filed for bankruptcy, you will not be able to evict them, even if they have not been paying rent. Even if you register your case with the court, it will simply be put on hold as the bankruptcy case evolves. To move forward with the process of eviction in this case, the landlord will need to file for a Life The Stay motion. If you know your tenant is filing for bankruptcy, I recommend being even more diligent in filing your paperwork, to be sure you can have them evicted as soon as possible.

Entering the unit of an evicted tenant

Once you’ve gone through the stressful process of having a tenant evicted, you can only hope there is no serious damage to the unit. If you enter the unit and find that there is damage, dirt, or that items have been left behind, I recommend that you make a video of the property to prove the condition and what was present. By law, you’ll be required to keep your tenant’s possessions for 21 days. After this, you’ll be able to throw it away, keep, or donate any remaining property.

Avoiding tenant evictions

For landlords, the influx of passive income that comes along with property rentals is a wonderful thing, as long as things are going well. To be sure your investment is worthwhile, you’ll need to find ways to avoid tenants who will not pay, and who you will need to evict. After 15 years, I have learned that one of the best ways to avoid delinquent tenants is to work within the Section 8 program.

Working with Section 8 tenants

I have acted as a landlord for over 15 years, and in that time I have had my share of negative and positive experiences. One thing I have learned is that maintaining high occupancy rates is absolutely essential in ensuring being a landlord is worthwhile.

By registering their property as Section 8 housing, landlords stand to benefit hugely. With screened tenants, a guarantee of paid rent, and the pre-screening of tenants through a separate agency, I have experienced low eviction rates, and have rarely faced an issue with unpaid rent. If you are a landlord, I urge you to learn more about this program through Google, or by reading my other blogs on this website. Your decision to join the Section 8 program could help to change a life, and to provide more security to your financial future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Handling eviction with a tenant who has stopped paying rent

Many people picture landlords as extremely wealthy, with access to unlimited cash flow. In my experience, most landlords are just like me - people who have a day job and who have invested in a property to bring in some passive income on the side. When you are able to find good and reliable tenants, this system works well.

But, for non-professional landlords, bad tenants and tenant relationships can bring about more stress than your rental income is worth. When a tenant stops paying rent, the landlord has financial stress and worry, and the emotional burden of negotiating, yelling, and fighting with a tenant. Even when you’ve given chance after chance, many tenants will not pay up - and if you are too persistent in seeking your rental payments, you can face harassment charges.

The consequences of a non-paying tenant

If you’ve exhausted every reasonable option for getting your tenant to pay rent, you may have to seek the advice of a lawyer. This can be very expensive (up to $200 per hour) can can costs you over $1000, in addition to the losses of your unpaid rent. Even with the representation of a lawyer, it can still be months before a tenant is finally moved from your home.

Once you have finally gotten a tenant successfully evicted from the property, you can finally begin the process of renting out your apartment again. But, with the necessary cleaning, advertising, and time for new tenants to move in, you may be looking at another two months without income.

All in all, a tenant that doesn’t pay rent can cost you up to six months in rental income. This is a significant loss on your property that really makes the cost of being a landlord too high and in fact, many people simply cannot financially survive this scenario. Many responsibly landlords have suffered the loss of a property because of the actions of a single tenant. This stressful scenario can have an impact on your financial life, and on your relationship with your family.  

The best way to handle a non-paying tenant

Every once in a while, your tenant may run late on rent. Sometimes this is not a big deal and is simply an act of forgetfulness, but after 5 days with no payment you should be sure to check in with your tenant to see what is going on. If you speak with your tenant and they let you know they will be able to pay the rent within a week, I recommend that you make this agreement, but warn the tenant that you will need to serve them with a 5 Days Notice of Non-Payment if they do not get caught up.

For your own future security, it is important that you don’t delay on serving your tenant with a 5 Days Notice. Even if you believe your tenant may pay rent eventually, proof of having served this notice will help you make your case if payment is never made. (Please note, the specific state laws surrounding notice may vary between state and state, and you will want to be sure you are up to date on which laws apply to you locally). When you issue a notice to your tenant, be sure they sign and date the document so you have proof of your interaction.

If you are uncomfortable or unable to deliver notice in person, you can mail the notice to your tenant. I recommend that you send this notice through Certified Mail so you will have proof of sending for your record keeping. Once they have received notice, a tenant may:

 

  • Pay the rent: If your tenant pays out any overdue amounts in rent, then your issue is resolved. You do have the option of charging a small amount of interest on this payment, but I do not recommend this.

  • Moving out: The tenant may be totally  unable to pay the rent and may opt to return your key and move out. In this scenario, the cost of the tenant’s deposit will cover their last month of rent. If there is no issue with the property, I do not recommend that you pursue the tenant for unpaid rent - it is simply not worthwhile.

  • Paying rent later: It is very possible that your tenant will be unable to pay within 5 days, and many are able to pay shortly afterword. If you accept payment of this money, your 5 day notice will be void, and your tenant will have the right to stay. If the rent is paid outside of the 5 day notice period, you have the right to refuse payment and ask the tenant to move.

  • Try to stay: After receiving a 5 Day notice, it is very possible that a tenant will not pay rent, but that they will also insist on staying. If this is the case, you will need to take legal action to have your tenant evicted.

Taking legal action when a tenant refuses to move

If a tenant has failed to pay rent, and continues to ignore your notices that they must vacate the property, you’ll have no choice but to take legal action. The first step will be to contact your local court for first steps. They will provide you with paperwork that you must fill in for eviction. Along with your paperwork, you’ll submit proof of your interactions with your tenant, and allow the court time to process.

Once all of your paperwork has been submitted along with a fee, you’ll receive a hearing date. The court officer will provide you with a copy of your paperwork to pass along to the tenant. It is important to remember that you cannot deliver this paperwork to a tenant directly by yourself. You will need to hire a Process Server Service to deliver the paperwork, and gather proof that it has been delivered to your tenant.

When you’ve initiated the legal process, you are still able to work with and negotiate with your tenant. If they have recovered financially, some tenants may ask you to allow them to pay, and close the legal process. If you are comfortable coming to an agreement with your tenant, you can draft up a copy of what was discussed and provide it to the court.

One thing I urge you to remember is that if you take any amount of money from your tenant between filing your paperwork and your hearing date, you will not be able to evict your tenant. I recommend that you proceed with caution when negotiating a compromise.

Preparing for a tenancy hearing

To ensure you’re more likely to win at your hearing, you should do everything you can to prepare for the date in question. Be sure to step by the front desk to check in on your case, be sure your paperwork is in order, and to be sure all appropriate fees have been paid. I also recommend taking the time to arrive at the court early to ensure you find the correct courtroom, and are prepared to explain your case calmly.

In most tenancy hearings, the defaulting tenant will not show up to court, which makes the process much easier for you. If your tenant is present, you’ll both be given the chance to discuss your version of events. But, if a tenant fails to attend, it will just be you, the landlord, speaking to the judge.

If you can prove to the judge that you have served a 5 Day Notice legally, and show that you served court papers through a Process Server Service, you will almost always win your case.

In most cases, judges will provide an order that allows the tenant 1 to 2 weeks to move from your property (please be sure to research your local laws to be aware of variances). If your tenant did not attend that day, you can provide them with the paperwork, let them know the date they must be out of the apartment, and ask that they be prepared to move and leave their key.

If your tenant leaves suddenly

In some cases, a tenant will disappear suddenly after being served with a notice of eviction. In some cases, the tenant will not return keys to the unit. This provides a complication to your eviction process, because technically, the tenant is still “living” within the dwelling. Tenants have many rights under the law, and you want to be sure that you evict them, and enter the unit, in a way that is completely legal.

If the final date set by the judge has passed and you have still not received your keys, they may be gone, but it is also possible that they are still living there. If you are unsure if your tenant has moved from the home, you’ll need to go back to the court to file a Write Restitution. After this, a court officer will be assigned to view your property, usually within a week. Upon arrival, the court officer will post a notice on your property. This notice will provide you with the legal right to enter the dwelling, without any chance your tenant might cause problems for you later.

As soon as you regain access to your property, I recommend that you enter and change the locks, ensuring the tenant cannot return illegally.

If your tenant cannot, or will not leave

In some scenarios, the court officer will arrive to find a tenant still living in your property with no plans to move out. If this is the case, the court officer will generally provide the tenant with a final 15 minutes to gather their things, before allowing you to enter and change the locks permanently.

Even if you have received a court order, there are some situations in which the court officer cannot force a tenant from your property. If the resident is very old, very sick, or in a dire personal situation, the officer will often report back to the judge allowing them more time to prepare for a move. You will be able to remove these tenants eventually, but it will take some time.

If a tenant files for bankruptcy

I thought long and hard about whether to include this information in this blog post, worrying that some tenants may use bankruptcy to their advantage. However, I think it is very important that landlords know exactly what they can expect when a tenant has not paid rent.  

If one of your tenants has filed for bankruptcy, you will not be able to evict them, even if they have not been paying rent. Even if you register your case with the court, it will simply be put on hold as the bankruptcy case evolves. To move forward with the process of eviction in this case, the landlord will need to file for a Life The Stay motion. If you know your tenant is filing for bankruptcy, I recommend being even more diligent in filing your paperwork, to be sure you can have them evicted as soon as possible.

Entering the unit of an evicted tenant

Once you’ve gone through the stressful process of having a tenant evicted, you can only hope there is no serious damage to the unit. If you enter the unit and find that there is damage, dirt, or that items have been left behind, I recommend that you make a video of the property to prove the condition and what was present. By law, you’ll be required to keep your tenant’s possessions for 21 days. After this, you’ll be able to throw it away, keep, or donate any remaining property.

Avoiding tenant evictions

For landlords, the influx of passive income that comes along with property rentals is a wonderful thing, as long as things are going well. To be sure your investment is worthwhile, you’ll need to find ways to avoid tenants who will not pay, and who you will need to evict. After 15 years, I have learned that one of the best ways to avoid delinquent tenants is to work within the Section 8 program.

Working with Section 8 tenants

I have acted as a landlord for over 15 years, and in that time I have had my share of negative and positive experiences. One thing I have learned is that maintaining high occupancy rates is absolutely essential in ensuring being a landlord is worthwhile.

By registering their property as Section 8 housing, landlords stand to benefit hugely. With screened tenants, a guarantee of paid rent, and the pre-screening of tenants through a separate agency, I have experienced low eviction rates, and have rarely faced an issue with unpaid rent. If you are a landlord, I urge you to learn more about this program through Google, or by reading my other blogs on this website. Your decision to join the Section 8 program could help to change a life, and to provide more security to your financial future.