Make no mistake about it…
It sucks for everybody.
For you as the investor.
For the tenant.
It sucks your time.
It sucks your money.
It sucks your energy.
The only people who benefit from it and don’t get beaten down by the process are the lawyers and the court system. (No, I’m not going to bash on the lawyers today, or ever, as I know a lot of good ones. I think they have a bad wrap it seems though, as in times like this they make their paycheck while others lose theirs. I still think it would be a lot worse without them.)
Going in to the eviction process, we (myself included) think that we are going to kick the tenant to the curb, get your property back, make him regret that he ever stopped paying you, get him to pay for all the damages he did to your property AND your attorney’s fees, and THEN somehow get a bunch of money on top too or wasting your time AND THEN get it all back from them within a month or two after you go to court.
Let me assure you…
It isn’t going to happen like that.
In fact consider yourself lucky to get a couple of the things above in a timely manner if you follow through with the eviction process.
“But why?” you say! “I’m in the right! It’s my house! They failed to pay rent! They broke the lease!”
Some tenants will admit fault, say they fell on hard times and try to come up with an arrangement but some (perhaps feeling they are backed into a corner) may come out swinging with arguments, weird random legal processes (having done their own homework that they found in the back pages of google) and accusations to slow the process down.
So just because you have a lease and a lawyer and believe that “it’s not their house, it’s my house” therefore you should win…you may be in for a shock.
As the judge said very publicly and clearly to everyone in the courtroom at my first eviction as a landlord:
“Those who want to hear what I have to say, might not like what I have to say.”
I’ll say what I’m trying to say one more time a different way. I’ve never heard of or seen somebody coming out of eviction court with a big smile on their face.
It is just a big time and money suck for everyone and afterwards you’ll absolutely be making doubly sure you do a better job of filtering your future tenants more clearly. You’ll be raising the bar of quality and not listening to the sob stories or the person who can pay “all cash, three months up front and needs to move in today.”
After your first eviction you’ll be treating it like the business you should.
Here’s my thoughts on how to do this:
And finally… just know you probably aren’t going to see much or any of that money that they owe you, even though you were awarded a judgement, because, let’s face it, if they really cared about their credit report they wouldn’t have let it fall behind that far in the first place.
So, do you just move on and just let it go? Do you spend another couple of hundred dollars to make sure the judgement stays recorded as a collection on their credit report as a warning to future landlords and a gift and a reminder to the ex-tenant for them to uphold their agreements in future knowing there may be little monetary return to you?
This is a question only you can answer.
Something to meditate on next time…
(I’m sorry if this post was a bit dark. I’m just coming off of a third eviction (in my self-managed properties) and so I’m a little spent spiritually right now, having asked myself “why me?” multiple times over the past few months.)
Anyway, onward and upward!
To your success!
PS Want to get started in property investing? Want to boost your investing game? Want to shoot the breeze and talk property?
I’m always down for a chat! No sales. No coaching. Just ideas. Me talking about property helps me to lift my game and build my network too. Email me on the contact page with your questions and thoughts.
PPS Am I missing something in this blog? Feel like I didn’t answer your question that brought you here? Email me and I’ll make a change or an addition.
DISCLAIMER: The information found on these pages is based on my personal opinion and experiences and should not be considered legal, professional, investment or financial advice of any kind.
The ideas and strategies should never be used without first assessing your own personal and financial situation, or without consulting a suitably qualified financial professional. My thoughts and opinions will change from time to time as I learn and accumulate more knowledge.