Tips for Evicting Tenants
As a landlord or property manager, there are going to be times when you have to evict tenants. Whether they are causing a lot of trouble with your other tenants or they simply quit paying the rent, eviction is not an easy thing to do.
Here are some tips for evicting tenants.
Start by putting it in writing. The first step in eviction is to put it in writing. Send your tenants a formal letter telling them why you are evicting them and how long they have to get out. Don't forget to date and sign it.
Remember that you can't just kick them out. Though you may be tempted to lock them out of their apartment or shut off the electric or water to get them to move out, you have to go through a whole process first or you could get in a lot of trouble.
Once you have given them their notice, you should avoid any contact with them. Many tenants get angry with an eviction notice. They may blame you for evicting them and messing up their life. For this reason, you should go out of your way to avoid any type of confrontation with them.
When you do need to communicate with them, remain polite and professional. Don't talk about the eviction or their behavior. Stay professional at all times and keep your thoughts to yourself. Though it can be extremely hard, be the better person, even if they call you names and are extremely rude. Do your best to ignore their rant and move on.
However, it is still your job to ensure that they have a safe place to live. If they need something fixed, you need to get it done. When you are there, don't talk about the eviction. Just keep the conversation about the problem that needs to be fixed.
You might want to let them know that you will only communicate in writing from this point on. Since they might be rude and take their anger out on you, it might be easier to communicate through writing. This should stop the name calling and other unacceptable behaviors that they are showing to you.
Keep your emotions out of it. Evicting tenants can be just as emotional for you as it is for them. However, you can't let them see how bad you feel or they will try to take advantage of you. You might also end up fighting with them, making the whole situation worse. For this reason, you have to keep your emotions out of it. Find ways to let it out, when you are alone.
If you don't have to be there when your tenant moves out, stay away. If your tenant won't move out on his or her own, you may have to get a Sheriff to escort them off of the premises. It is in your best interest not to be there because your tenant is already upset and angry at you. By standing there and watching, you are just making the situation worse.
Having to evict a tenant can be very draining on everyone involved. Unfortunately, you can't just kick them out, change the locks, and forget about them. You have to start by writing them a letter. You may end up going to court.
In the meantime, you are still going to have to communicate. It might be best to only talk through writing because tenants who get evicted often feel like you are the bad guy. If they do start making trouble, stay calm and be the better person. As soon as you can, walk away instead of starting a fight.