Archive for August, 2012

Evicting a Tenant? Steps to Take for Handling an Eviction

Tenant evictions are a high-stress situation for both parties involved. As the landlord, you need to protect your investment and use the proper method for terminating the lease agreement and removing the tenant from your property. Therefore, you need to handle the eviction process appropriately and legally to avoid further tenant problems down the road.

 

Initial Steps

Regardless of the state a landlord’s property is located, there are typically three initial steps all landlords must take in order to successfully evict a tenant from their property:

 

  1. Give the tenant a written notification to pay rent or vacate the premises.
  2. Give the tenant an Unconditional notification.
  3. File a suit with the courts to finalize the eviction and pay any necessary court fees.

 

Handling the Property in Court

When you file your suit with the courts, you will be given a date to appear in court. When you arrive, make sure to bring:

 

  • Rental agreements
  • Lease agreements
  • Pet agreements
  • Inventory checklists
  • Correspondence between you and the tenant
  • Collection records
  • Photos, videos or other forms of evidence to back your eviction action

 

You will have to state your case to a judge proving to them that the tenant deserves an eviction. Keep in mind that the tenant will also appear in court to defend their own case as to why they should not be evicted. Therefore, keep your demeanor professional and be organized.

 

Things Not to Do

It is important to know how to handle an eviction as well as what not to do during the eviction process. When you are in the process of or planning to evict a tenant, never:

 

  • Turn off utilities
  • Change locks
  • Remove tenant’s property from the premises
  • Threaten or intimidate tenant
  • Make excessive noise
  • Harm tenants or their pets

 

By acting unlawfully toward the tenant, you will become the target of the courts – not the tenant. You could face fines, penalties and, in some cases, jail time for extreme behavior.

Advertising your properties

Advertising Your Properties: The “Why and How” that Every Tenant Should Consider

 

There are numerous outlets for property owners when it comes to advertising their available rentals. The best methods for advertising will depend on multiple factors such as the type of property, location and how fast the landlord needs to rent it. Regardless of the method, a landlord will benefit greatly from advertising.

 

Why Advertise?

The biggest advantage to advertising a rental property is that it will be occupied by tenants sooner than a property not advertised. Since most landlords cannot afford to have their properties remain vacant, advertising and subsequently having renters move in quickly is the most efficient way to get a return on their property investment.

 

Best Methods for Advertising

Landlords have a few options when it comes to advertising their rental property. While some landlords may use multiple advertising outlets for one property, others may use only one form of advertising to get their property information out there and noticed.  Following are some of the best methods for advertising available property for rent:

 

“For Rent” Signage – The most common type of advertising used by both large and small landlords is the “For Rent” sign. Since this can be placed on the property itself, it is free advertising that lets anyone walking or driving by know that the property is available. For properties in high traffic areas, this is all a landlord will typically need for their property to get noticed. Properties that are indoors (such as condominiums) or that are located in cul-de-sacs will not benefit from this method as much due to lower foot and automobile traffic.

 

Newspaper Advertising – Newspaper advertisements are affordable and still remain one of the more common and popular places potential tenants look when seeking a new property. Landlords should look for newspapers that offer online and offline listings to maximize their property’s renting potential.

 

Professional Services – The least common method is through professional rental and advertising services. These are typically hosted online and the landlord must pay to list their property on the site. Landlords are also responsible for providing the information on the property, photographs and pricing. The service will only list the property itself.