You may be one of the many landlords who find comfort in the belief that, if all else fails, you can always evict a bad tenant and start the process over again. Unfortunately, that does not hold true.
The worst eviction strategy a landlord can adopt is to believe that eviction is always an option. Why? Because that strategy can cause complacency when it comes to tenant screening. That, in turn, will lead to income loss.
Winning an eviction is tough because of the very nature of real estate ownership: the various ownership interests are divisible. Where water rights and mineral rights are separate, for instance, so is ownership and occupancy.
When a landlord offers a lease to a tenant in exchange for rent, the tenant then “owns” the right to occupy the property, free from interference. That’s why it’s so critical that a tenant be vetted.
An eviction represents a landlord’s attempt to recover the right of possession. Such an action is not taken lightly, nor is it a foregone conclusion. Typically, the tenant has to violate the lease or landlord tenant law in order for a court to determine that the landlord is entitled to recover that property right. The landlord shoulders the burden of proving the infraction through credible evidence, including documentation and witnesses. The eviction process offers many protections for the tenant, who may be able to delay the inevitable for months, or years.
In reality, eviction is a last resort, and an expensive one at that, not a fallback property management strategy.
Bottom line: Forget about evicting tenants. Pick tenants who you know will care if they develop a bad credit or rental history. That’s insurance you can depend on.
You wouldn’t hand a deed to the property to a stranger without being confident that you are getting your end of the bargain. Don’t do the same thing with a lease agreement. Make sure you’re handing your property interests over to a tenant who can meet the responsibilities in the lease agreement — paying rent, caring or the property, and getting along with other tenants.
When screening tenants, always consider the long-term consequences. Any applicant you choose may wind up becoming a long-term tenant. That can spell profit — or pain — depending upon the person’s qualifications. Is this applicant a good risk? If you can’t answer that question with confidence, dig a little deeper before leaving it to chance.
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 in 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.