Understanding when and how to evict a renter is difficult during normal rental property circumstances. When unusual circumstances change the rules or force delays in using evictions to remove bad renters, property investors must navigate exceptions to the standard laws that govern the eviction process.
Whether you can evict right away or not, following the law is critical for property owners. As we’ve learned in 2020, a crisis can delay an investor’s ability to remove a bad renter from a rental property. However, when an eviction can occur, property owners must know how to do it while following the law.
While this article isn’t meant as a substitute for legal advice, investors can keep these tips in mind when evicting a renter. Consult your attorney and use this insight from professional property managers!
1. Get the Right Attorney
We never recommend attempting an eviction without the guidance of legal counsel. Your attorney understands the current laws regarding the eviction process. Let them guide you through each step and help protect your property and income throughout the process of removing a resident from a rental.
If you aren’t comfortable dealing with an eviction, find the right property management company to handle it for you. A property manager works with your attorney and the renter to resolve the situation according to the law. Investors can remove themselves from a bad renter situation with the right professionals in place to handle it for you.
2. Put Everything in Writing
Documentation becomes more critical if you need to delay an eviction. No matter the circumstances or timing of an eviction, put everything about the situation in writing.
Your notes should include:
- The name of the renter you need to remove from your property
- The situation that led to the removal
- Details about lease violations or nonpayment of rent
- Documentation of your attempts to communicate with the renter and send notices
- Responses (or lack of responses) from the renter.
Putting everything in writing helps make your case for removal. Your attorney or property manager will use your documentation to follow the legal eviction process, meet with the court, and remove the problematic resident from your property.
3. Avoid Retaliatory Practices
You might have a renter that has driven you to desperation. You are ready for them to leave your property right now.
- They won’t respond to your requests.
- They continue to cause property damage or break the rules.
- They won’t leave your property—and you feel like you can’t take another minute of it!
Whatever you do, don’t attempt to remove a renter without following the law! No matter how terrible they are, your residents have rights. Property investors have to follow the legal eviction process to remove them from your rental.
- Avoid any retaliatory behavior that a renter could use in a lawsuit against you.
- Don’t change the locks without notice or remove your renter’s personal property from your rental.
- Your job is to stay professional, consult your lawyer, and continue documenting the situation until the court allows you to evict the renter.
4. Prevent An Eviction
Sometimes, an eviction is the only way to resolve a bad renter situation. If you’ve tried everything else to encourage your resident to pay the rent or follow the rules of the lease agreement—but they continue to dodge rent collection or break the rules—eviction should be your last option to remove the renter.
However, the best way to deal with bad renters is to avoid them! A thorough tenant screening process helps investors choose high-quality renters that pay the rent on time and follow the rules.
When you apply a fair screening process to every potential renter, you learn about their prior rental history. If an applicant has a pattern of defaulting on rental payments, breaking the rules, causing property damage, and prior evictions, you’ll learn about those details before you allow them to move into your property.
Preventing an eviction by choosing better renters helps investors make more money! Selecting better renters also reduces some of the hassles that come with dealing with bad residents. If you lack the resources to conduct a detailed screening of your applicants, turning to property management can be a tremendous asset for Utah property owners.
Let Your Property Management Firm Handle Evictions
Even with the best screening practices, evictions are part of life as a property owner. The best way to deal with eviction is to turn your resident management over to the care of a full-service property management company!
Managing renters can be a difficult part of owning rental properties. When you choose the right property manager, you experience better renters—and profits. If a renter situation goes bad, you don’t have to deal with it!
Let the Reeder Asset Management team manage your renter screening process and build better relationships with your residents. If something goes wrong, we work with our experienced legal team to handle difficult residents and evictions.
Want to learn more about the process from the professionals? Download a free copy of our Tenant Eviction Checklist!