Evicting a tenant can be overwhelming. If you make a mistake, you can end up spending more money, making embarrassing errors, disrupt your source of income, and delay the eviction. Unluckily, property managers and landlords have a tendency to make the same errors again and again.
If you’re part of a Garden Grove property management or you are a landlord, here are a couple of mistakes to avoid:
Turning Utilities Off
It can be tempting to shut down the utilities. However, this can be considered as constructive eviction, even if the tenant hasn’t been paying the rent. For those who don’t know, this is illegal in every state. You’ve got to do it properly if you want to evict a tenant. You can do this by winning your case in court or persuading the tenant to leave through the standard process.
It is vital you build a consistent and formal set of criteria to handle eviction processes if you manage or own a couple of properties. It’s more vital to have the criteria written down if you’ve got several properties you’re handling, whether as a property manager or a landlord. You’ve got to follow the criteria that you have created. You can be indicted of favoritism if you do not. However, that isn’t the worst. You can also be accused of illegal housing discrimination.
Keep in mind that the lawyers of the tenants are probably just as great as yours. You should assume that they are good enough to sniff out the smallest bit of discrimination and use it against you to win the case.
Minor landlords are especially vulnerable to verbal spats with bad tenants since they’re so invested personally in their properties. The issue is that it is extremely easy to say something during the argument that can be used against you as proof of housing discrimination. A tenant can call you anything he or she wants. However, it does not affect anything. On the other hand, if you do it to your tenant, it can bring down federal or state housing regulators. This will cost you a lot of money when it comes to settlement costs, fines, or legal fees. Aside from that, you will still be stuck with the bad tenant.
That is why it is always ideal to hire a property management company. They will offer an expert buffer between an excitable landlord and an equally excitable tenant.
Skipping the Lease
Oftentimes, minor landlords make the error on renting without documents. This is always an error. It is always best to have a professionally written contract that spells out vital features. Whenever you are writing a lease agreement, here are a couple of things you should include:
- What happens if the tenant moves out before the contract expires?
- How much move-out notice is needed?
- What happens at expiration/renewal time? When will the contract expire
- What happens if they aren’t paid or they are paid late?
- What happens if the rent isn’t paid by the due date?