Self-Help Eviction Costs Landlord $24,000

by Chris on May 25, 2015

It’s frustrating when tenants won’t pay rent. But, it’s worse when a bad tenancy ends with the landlord paying out a monetary judgement to the tenants.

That’s what happened when an Ontario landlord chose to hurry along the process by disposing of the tenants’ belongings, which included the dress for the tenants’ upcoming wedding.

tenant screeningThe landlord claimed the tenants had fallen behind on rent in the months leading up to the wedding, and had abandoned the property.

Self-help eviction is the wrong course for landlords. Courts are never going to agree with the landlord who takes matters into his or her own hands. Knowing the local rental laws is a key responsibilities for landlords, and the best way to minimize income loss.

For instance, it’s important to follow the provincial law regarding abandoned property. It’s likely there will be a waiting period where the landlord must hold on to the tenant’s possessions, and items of valued may need to be auctioned off and the proceeds applied to past-due rent.

Eviction should always be viewed as a last resort. The better practice is to reduce the likelihood of a dispute over rent:

Choose tenants who value their credit. Check tenant credit. Those with good credit will understand that late rent or landlord disputes can cost them down the road.

Choose tenants who value their reputation.  Check with the previous landlord, and serve as a reference for the next landlord. That can be powerful incentive for tenants to behave.

Verify the rental application. Make sure you have enough information from the tenants to track them down if they bolt. They may think twice if they realize they can’t slip away undetected.

Set the tenant up to Report Tenant Pay Habits. This will allow them to build better credit, and at the same time serve as an incentive to pay rent on time each month.

Stay professional. Tenants need to respect you, just like other creditors. If you allow them to bend the rules month after month or if the relationship becomes emotional, tenants will not take you — and their financial responsibility — seriously.

Invoice tenants, and look at alternative means of collecting rent, such as automated payments.

Don’t delay moving for an eviction at the first sign of trouble or as soon as provincial law allows. Tenants need to know you mean business.

Join a local landlord association. Don’t allow your frustration over tenant-friendly laws to boil over. Instead, put that energy into an organization that will lobby for fair laws and treatment of landlords. You don’t have to go it alone. Join a landlord association and you can find strength in numbers.

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).

Click Here to Receive Landlord Credit Reports.

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.

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