Lately, I have been working on gathering information for our real estate investor clients about certain key dream team members and am currently writing about the value of Eviction Attorneys.
First, let me start by saying that you should do everything in your power to avoid evictions by finding great tenants that pay on time, in full, every month. However, it is unrealistic to think that you'll never get a tenant who fails to pay their rent at some point in your real estate investing career.
With that in mind, you need to have an actual procedure planned out in advance for when tenants are late paying their rent. I was at the local library last month getting a book on trusts and corporations and found in the same section books on landlord and tenant laws, and on how to do evictions. You could go study all that information and do the entire process yourself, but I don't recommend pursuing such a time consuming course.
Instead, I strongly recommend that you let a professional handle your evictions for you.
In my business, here's how I do it with the properties that I manage myself (of course, the system is different for the houses that a property manager handles for me).
If they are late paying, we immediately call with concern and send or post a 3 day notice letter.
If they still have not paid after the 3 day notice letter time is up (for us that is 3 business days not including the day it was posted), then we hand it over to the eviction attorney to complete the process.
Why am I so adamant about using an eviction attorney?
First, they are not emotionally involved in the situation. They don't personally know the tenants. They are going to treat them firmly, fairly and with respect.
Second, if the tenants are trying to give you an excuse for why they have not paid, the attorney knows what a valid, legal reason is for them not paying and what is just an excuse. They can be an objective sounding board to the tenant in explaining that while they may not like the color of the carpet (or fill in any number of other bogus reasons for not paying rent), that is not a reason for them not to pay rent. Of course, if it were a legitimate issue, we would address it immediately and have the attorney tell them that the issue is resolved and that if they do not pay rent immediately, the eviction will continue.
Third, attorneys know the law and the judge. Should the tenant insist on fighting your eviction all the way to court, the eviction attorney will know all of the nuances of the law and has a good chance of knowing the judge as well. A conversation between an attorney and judge that know and professionally trust each other goes much differently than a conversation between an unknown landlord and the judge.
As an additional justification, realize that if you have your rental agreement or lease set up correctly, the tenant should be responsible for paying eviction costs and legal fees should they decide to force you to use your eviction attorney.
So, for all of these reasons, I strongly recommend that you hire an eviction attorney to do your evictions.
James Orr is a professional real estate investor, marketing expert and founder of the LearnToBeRich.com on-line investment game.
He works with a network of real estate agents, brokers and real estate investors across the United States through the AnalyzedDeals.com website.