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How to Handle Evictions

One of the biggest concerns of property owners is how to handle an eviction.  The procedures and costs will vary by state or through local laws, but they’re usually straight forward and can be found through your local Clerk of Court’s office (for an eviction in the State of Florida).

A property owner should obviously follow the instructions exactly, but the biggest concern owners should have is to make sure that they’ve done everything correctly so that if it contested by the tenant – your eviction is upheld and processed.

  • Make sure all the information in the 3 day notice is correct – i.e. names, addresses, time period for them to pay and the amount owed. Remember, depending on the verbiage in your lease – certain expenses (i.e. late fees) may or may not be allowed.
  • Have proof that you actually posted the 3 day notice. If you did it through the mail – send it certified and be aware that additional time needs to be allowed for the tenant to respond.  If you post it on the door – take pictures to prove it was done.  If someone comes to the door – ask them to sign a copy of the notice acknowledging that they received it.  If they’re not one of the tenants on the lease – just post it and take pictures.
  • Once the eviction is approved by the court – make sure that you’re prepared to take possession of the property (through a Writ of Possession). When you meet the sheriff at the property – have help to address any belongings that are left by the tenants and make sure that you change the locks immediately.  Bring them with you for the actual eviction – don’t leave the property until the locks are changed.
  • Use common sense regarding security – people being evicted are not usually in the best of moods. If necessary – talk to the sheriff and make arrangements for someone to stay.

Finally, always remember – an eviction should be your last course of action.  It’s usually better and possible to convince a tenant that if they won’t/can’t pay rent – they should just move out.  An eviction done correctly will not usually buy them that much more time in the property – and the negative effects on their record will create issues for years.  Also, during the process – try to maintain as much professionalism as possible with the tenant and maintain as positive of a relationship as possible.  Making people any angrier than they have to be – while they’re living in your property – is not a good thing!

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.

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