Evictions -- Alabama

Hi – We are working toward closing on a park in Alabama and were told that a “legal entity” like an LLC can not file for eviction (i.e., file a law suit) without using an attorney. Does anyone know if that is indeed true? If so, the costs of eviction would be much higher. On our other park, located in another state, we simply file online for a flat fee of $85, and then have to pay the sheriff $60 for servicing, then pay our manager $50 to show up at the hearing and we can get the tenant out for lack of paying rent within about 6 weeks total. Total cost of an eviction under $200. In Alabama, if we have to use an attorney, the cost per eviction would be over $1000. Please comment if you know any details of the laws in Alabama. Thanks.

I own a park in Alabama but since I live in Florida I’m not even going to attempt to handle the process myself. My attorney said they have a flat fee of $250 for evictions. I hope this helps.

What attorney? I am in need of one in Alabama.

We own a park in AL. That is correct. An individual can file their own eviction, but not an entity such as our LLC.

We had an attorney speak at our real estate group in Alabama on this topic.

He pointed out that in Alabama and most of the US only an attorney can practice law and represent another person or entity in court.

An LLC or Corporation is legally considered a separate person or entity in the eyes of the law and courts. So unless you have a law degree you cannot represent it in court.

Often you can sidestep this property by placing the property into a trust. The LLC owns the beneficial interest of the trust. If you are the Trustee of the trust you can file the eviction. I would check with your local attorney to make sure this is correct in your area.

Also, $1000 sounds a bit high for an eviction. You need to talk with other investors in your area and find out who they use as an attorney and what he charges. Find out of the other investors hold the properties in a trust or LLC.

Also, own each property in a different land trust. This is because trust don’t have any asset protection like an LLC does.

John, I noticed that you wrote this in 2017. What did you end up having to do?