Evictions aren’t only bad news for tenants. They’re also a terrible time for property owners. That’s why tenant eviction tends to be an option that property owners avoid – not only is it costly, but it’s also time-consuming as it can take up to two months to complete. Over two months, you won’t be able to rerent your property, but you’ll still have to pay for utilities, taxes, and more. You will likely have to cover the costs out of pocket – this can be a problem if you count on rental income alone.
However, that isn’t to say that you should never evict a tenant that deserves eviction. Of course, if a tenant fails to pay rent on time, you will have to evict them, otherwise, you’ll be stuck with a problem tenant.
But don’t worry – evictions can be chaotic, but there are ways to make them more tolerable. Here’s how.
Get Eviction Insurance
In the event that you evict a tenant due to nonpayment of rent, eviction insurance can protect you from the low cash flow. Eviction insurance protects you from financial loss, as your rental property will inevitably be vacant when you evict your tenant. It will also cover the legal costs, court costs, etc. that incur as you evict your tenants from your South Florida rental property.
It’s worth mentioning that the terms of the eviction insurance vary by insurer, so it’d be best to consult a property management professional, or a property management company with in-house lawyers.
Get a Surety Bond
When you get a surety bond, you’ll be able to recover the lost rent. The company where you got the surety bond will pay you the rent that you weren’t able to get from your tenant. Then, they will collect that rent from the tenant.
Do note that you will have to strictly screen your tenants, as companies will not issue security bonds on anybody. They will also conduct a background check of your tenants to make sure they can actually collect the money. A property management company can help you conduct a background check that meets the bond insurer’s requirements.
Security bonds do not cover the costs associated with evictions – they only cover nonpayment of rent.
Get Rent Loss Insurance
Rent insurance is an additional policy you can get to protect you in case your tenant defaults on their rent. It isn’t specifically for evictions, but you can file a claim for every month that your tenant doesn’t pay their rent on time.
How Landlords Can Prevent Evictions
Landlords don’t want to evict their tenants – in the event that they do, it’s that they have to. It’s their last resort.
Evictions can be costly and time-consuming, which is precisely why you should try to prevent them in the first place. Here’s who you can do that:
#1 Screen Tenants Strictly
The tenant screening process is your first line of defense against non-paying tenants. By screening your tenants strictly, you’ll be able to separate the “bad” ones from the ones that are sure to pay on time, respect your property, etc. When you rent your property to a responsible tenant, you’ll be able to lower the risk of problems such as unpaid rent, unpaid bills, and more. Things will be less likely to go wrong.
When screening tenants, it’s particularly important to check if they can pay their rent on time. This is typically indicated by their employment status.
If you don’t have a strict tenant screening process in place, it would be beneficial to you to partner with a property management firm. They’ve been in the business for a long time, which means they know what red – and green – flags to look out for.
#2 Maintain Constant Communication With the Tenant
The moment your tenant misses their rent, contact them immediately. Communicate your concerns, as your tenant may not be aware that they missed their rent, or they may have a valid reason why. Perhaps they’re unemployed, or perhaps there was simply a payment error at the bank. Whatever it is, it’s important to communicate with your tenant.
Do not be mean toward your tenant, as they can sue you for threatening them. Be professional, but don’t be afraid to tell them to pay up, either. Remember that you can’t evict a tenant at any time – they should be given the time to right their wrongs, too.
#3 Agree on a Payment Plan
In case your tenant really can’t pay their rent on time, you can consider arranging a payment plan that’s “easier” on their finances. Through a payment plan, your tenant can pay their rent in installments. The payments have specific due dates, as well as late fees, however, the terms are entirely up to you. What’s important is that you set a payment plan that works for you and your tenant.
Property management agents suggest agreeing to a payment plan if you’ve got a good tenant that you don’t want to lose. Yes, their rent may be late, but that’s better than having to find another tenant that might not be as responsible.
#4 Provide the Tenant With a “Notice to Pay or Quit”
The “Notice to Pay or Quit” is your tenant’s last chance to pay their rent, or else they will have to move out – or if they insist on staying, they will face eviction. This notice should be served to the tenant if, after several attempts to get them to pay, they still haven’t paid their rent. In some states, this notice is a prerequisite to the eviction proceedings.
Don’t Want to Deal With Evictions? Partner With Luxury Property Care
Evictions can be complicated, so it would make sense to want to avoid them at all costs. When you partner with Luxury Property Care’s experts, you’ll benefit from a tried-and-tested tenant screening process. Our process has helped us secure the best and most responsible tenants for our South Florida landlords. In that way, you won’t have to deal with draining evictions, and get your tenant to stay with you for as long as possible.