Eviction might seem like a safety net for landlords — a backstop to income loss. If a tenancy turns sour, just boot the deadbeat and try again.
Unfortunately, eviction is far from smooth sailing and there is no way for a landlord to come out of it unscathed:
To evict a bad tenant, a landlord needs permission
That’s a difficult reality for many property owners to accept. Once the tenancy agreement is signed and the tenant moves in, it is up to the tribunals or courts to decide if the landlord can remove the tenant.
That doesn’t sit well with many landlords, especially when the property is damaged, and the landlord can’t gain access to fix it — or even stop the bleeding. But attempting to shortcut the dispute resolution system only will lead to further income loss.
An eviction may take months
To add insult to injury, the legal process for evicting a tenant is plagued by backlog and delays. Expect weeks, if not months, to gain permission to forcibly evict a bad tenant who is refusing to move out and continues to live rent-free.
The tenant can wriggle off the hook
Eviction is a drastic step, one that landlords don’t take lightly. Maybe that’s why some are taken by surprise when they lose the case. But there are any number of reasons the tenant might win the eviction and remain at the property:
The landlord makes the dispute personal or gets emotional;
The landlord compromised, like allowing the tenant to pay late rent in installments;
Poor condition of the property or neglected repairs; or,
A tenancy agreement with unfair or illegal provisions like a security deposit that exceeds the legal limit,
Landlords also suffer from technical difficulties such as failure to serve the notice or evidence properly or the failure to keep contemporaneous records.
Collecting outstanding rent or property damage depends on tenant screening
If the tenant was not properly screened, any chance to collect on a monetary judgement to cover unpaid rent or property damage may already be lost.
Even when landlords win, they still lose. Between legal fees and costs, staff time or missing work to attend hearings, repairing property damage, and no rental income coming in, there is no way for a landlord to win an eviction — not without losing something.
So, the next time you are filling a vacancy, pretend that eviction is off the table. That’s not much of a stretch of the imagination. Spending a couple hours carefully screening the next tenant for both credit and rental history brings peace of mind — and helps prevent the unappealing alternative.
This post is provided by Tenant Verification Service, Inc., helping landlords reduce the risks of renting with fraud prevention tools that include Tenant Screening, Tenant Background Checks, (U.S. and Canada), as well as Criminal Background Checks, and Eviction Reports (U.S. only).
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Disclaimer: The information provided in this post is not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.