Eviction costs

Hi all, I’m ramping up to do a few evictions. Most will be simple for non-payment after I deliver a notice to pay or vacate. Can someone give me a basic breakdown of the process and associated cost? Do most tenants leave after receiving notice? And what does it cost up to that point? I imagine the big costs are court related. I’m wanting to learn to file my own evictions if possible.

Chuckee,This will become a recurring process so you need to streamline it.  It will vary depending upon the state (and its requirements) and even the local jurisdiction.  For example, in TX evictions are handled by the Justice of the Peace (JP Court).1. Find out what court handles evictions.2. Find out exactly what notice has to be given to the tenant (3 day, 10 day).  Some states require specific wording.  Also find out the correct way to deliver the notice (by hand, leave on door (but not visible because of privacy issues in some jurisdictions)).3. Find out from the court what documents you need to bring in for the eviction.  They will tell you how to fill out the eviction forms and the fees (count on $100-$150).  This fee will cover service of process, indigent fees, court costs, etc.4. You will show up with the correct paperwork on the day of the eviction hearing.  Typically, the tenant does not but don’t count on the tenant moving out prior to the court date.  Unless you have done something wrong, you will get judgment even if the tenant shows up (usually but not always).  The court will give the tenant about 10 days to move out.5. Some tenants don’t move out and you have to go back to court to get a writ to have a court official remove them.  The fee for this is another $250 or so.  The tenant will usually move out prior to the constable or equivalent arrival to move the tenant’s possessions to the street.This is a major aggravation and some park owners actually pay the tenants to leave (even though you are giving money to the deadbeat). This gives the tenant an incentive not to damage the unit.  If you have no experience with evictions up to now, consider yourself lucky or you have a great tenant base.  An eviction often shapes up other late payers so there are educational advantages to the process also.  A few jurisdictions require an attorney to come to court but most do not and the park manager or owner can do it.  Good luck!Howard

Paying a tenant to leave also sends a message to other tenants letting them know they can expect to be paid a bribe when they no longer wish to stay in the park.Prior to moving they will stop paying rent then once they receive the eviction notice they will let you know they want money to leave.It’s great for tenants wishing to move but sends a very bad message. Stick with evicting and accept that you will likely have repairs anyway.This is why owners should never have park owned homes. Evict tenants from their own homes not yours.   

Thanks guys. I’m definitely not paying anyone to leave. I’m going to come after them with liens and hit em every which way while making sure the other tenants find out.

Even if the tenants expect a bribe, in reality that may still make better business sense.  Not always – use common sense.  You always have the upper hand in a showdown, but it takes you time, money, and aggro, so why should you care if the tenant gets to keep some of what it costs you?  Give the tenant the same amount of money and you’re better off without the aggro and time spent.  If you’re paying your manager to handle the tenant’s bad behavior, you’re losing money for as long as the tenant is still hanging around.In reality, the tenant you most need to get rid of often needs the money to get the moving vehicle (or the next place) anyway, so with your “bribe” you will be doing yourself a favor (and increasing your bottom line) by getting rid of them earlier.  Think of it as an “early moving bonus.”  Plus, if you pay them and write a letter you can reasonably protect yourself by imposing rules on them such as - never come back.  If they are troublemakers you are better off with them “happy” with you and not seeking revenge.  The home may not be as damaged if you get them out 3 months earlier than you otherwise would have (and you wouldn’t have collected those three months of rent anyway, per Greg above).

Here’s an idea – not something we have ever tried, but something to spark discussion: offer to pay every deadbeat tenant $100 if they leave within 1 week (house in good condition).  So what if you end up paying it out every time, and even to tenants who are not deadbeats – it’s equivalent to lowering your security deposit by exactly $100.  You’d probably make it worth your while every time you paid it out, and you’d get a reputation as a nice owner.  What’s wrong with that?