Ten Common Eviction Mistakes Landlords Make

By 11th December 2014Blog

Evicting a tenant is not an easy job. Many landlords may have learned the hard way that some actions taken during the eviction process can hurt landlords more than helping them. Evictions are quite stressful, and to less experienced landlords they can be traumatic and confrontational. When evicting a tenant, most landlords think emotionally instead of acting practically with logic and appropriate rules/regulations. Because of this, they tend to make mistakes and land in trouble. This is why landlords should avoid common eviction mistakes and manage their property management business smoothly.

Here are some common eviction mistakes that landlords should avoid to have quick and effective eviction.

Delay to begin eviction process

The most expensive mistake landlords make is waiting for a long span of time to commence legal action for evicting the tenant. This delay can be due to fear, belief that the tenant may come up with the rent soon, and assurances and pleas that tenants make.

Constructive eviction by turning off utilities

Often, landlords find themselves in a big mess when they turn off the utilities in an attempt to make the tenant leave. Even though a tenant fails to pay for the utilities or monthly rent, constructive eviction is regarded illegal in all states.

Inappropriate notice to terminate

How and when to send a termination of tenancy notice is very important or else it lengthens the eviction process. Landlords should refer State Specific Notice Period Chart to determine the right number of days notice needs to cure the default for non-payment of rent when serving a notice to pay rent or Notice to Quit or to issue a general notice to terminate tenancy.

Accepting partial payments

Most landlords are forced to accept partial payments and variety of excuses at the time of rent payment. Whether excuses are true or fake, the bottom line is total rent is not paid as agreed. Professional landlords and property managers should stop accepting partial payments and begin eviction process on a certain day when the rent payment is delayed beyond the limit.

Permitting tenants’ unrestricted access to the landlord

Several novice landlords believe that it is best to allow their tenants to reach them on their cell phones, residence’s contact number, and also at residence at any time of the day and night. Remember, this line of communication is inappropriate and can prove troublesome when carrying out eviction process. During tenant eviction, matters can heat up between landlord and tenants and communication can degenerate and end up bad, if the line of communication is not maintained professional.

Failure to have a professional eviction attorney

Even though many experienced landlords hire professional eviction attorneys to carry out the eviction process efficiently and quickly, some landlords tend to learn law and perform their evictions all by themselves. Even if it’s good to have legal knowledge of eviction, it is wise to have a professional eviction attorney to represent you.

Inappropriate entry in rental unit by the landlord

This is another prominent way how landlords get themselves in trouble during the eviction. Remember, all evictions involve a certain amount of hostility, so most attorneys advise landlords not to enter the rental unit unless there is an emergency. If the landlord suspects abandonment of the rental unit and has waited for a reasonable span of time making all reasonable attempts to contact the tenant, entry can be done extremely carefully. It is wise to bring along the police or other appropriate witness to be on safe side.

Lack of knowledge of State’s landlord-tenant laws

It is imperative for every landlord to have a basic understanding and knowledge of the particular state’s landlord-tenant related laws to survive in the property management business. Lack of knowledge of these laws may make eviction difficult and stressful for the landlords.

Unpreparedness – Not having landlord protection forms and notices

A successful eviction happens only with decent documentation of lease with protection for the landlord. Eviction documents include records such as demands for payment, late notices, lease violations, and other related paperwork to affirm the landlord’s position. So landlords should set a better tenancy in motion right from the beginning, by making proper paperwork and leases along with good Lease Enforcement forms and Rent Collection forms.

Mentioning no security refund to the tenant

Denying security refunds to the tenant is another mistake that landlords do. Courts classify security deposits for damages only. Remember, tenants have every right to their security deposit refund in full unless legitimate deductions can be made appropriately after the tenant vacates. When tenants learn they can have security deposit refund even though they are being evicted, it makes a positive difference when they vacate the rental property.

These are ten common eviction mistakes that every landlord should avoid to carry out eviction process quickly and efficiently.