First Step to Eviction – Give Notice

Posted by Teresa on October 14, 2008 under Eviction | icon: commentBe the First to Comment

Before actually beginning the lawsuit to evict a tenant, a landlord must legally terminate the tenancy. This means giving a written eviction notice to the tenant. Each state has its own requirements for the specific forms to be used and the procedures for each step in the process.

What Happens After Notice to Terminate Tenancy is Given?

  • Once the tenant is notified, they usually have an opportunity to correct the problem (pay the rent that is due, remove the pet from the property, etc.) within a limited time.
  • If the problem is not corrected, then the landlord can file the lawsuit to evict.

Types of Eviction Notices
Even though names of documents and procedures vary from state to state, there are three basic types of eviction notices.

  • A nonpayment of rent notice gives the tenant notice that they must pay the rent within a certain number of days (usually 3 to 5 days) or move. If the tenant pays, they cannot be evicted.
  • Notices to fix a violation give the tenant a set time (often set by state law) to correct a problem, such as having a pet when the lease has a no-pets clause. As with payment of back rent, if the problem is corrected, the tenant cannot be evicted.
  • The third type is used generally when there are continuing problems, repeated late payments, or serious damage to the property. These are unconditional notices which require the tenant to move, with no chance to pay or correct the problem.
  • In most states, landlords can also give an eviction notice without reason, usually giving 30 to 60 days notice. If there is a lease in place, the tenant cannot be evicted during the term of the lease.

Know the Eviction Rules
Be sure, if you need to start this process, that you find and follow the rules in your state, and keep copies of all paperwork!

Tenant Screening Provides Safety for Everyone

Posted by Teresa on October 11, 2008 under Tenant Screening & Background Checks | icon: commentBe the First to Comment

An important part of effective tenant screening is a criminal background check. This precautionary measure helps provide safety for you, your property and income, and for your existing tenants.

A thorough criminal background search can also help you to:

  • reduce damage to your property
  • improve length of occupancy
  • avoid evictions and loss of income
Increase your tenant screening abilities by hiring a company that specializes in those services. Visit E-Renter USA for tenant screening and background check services.

Insure Your Investment

Posted by Teresa on October 10, 2008 under Landlord Tips | icon: commentBe the First to Comment

Once you decide to become a landlord, make sure that your rental property is adequately insured to protect your investment.

Talk to an insurance agent who has experience with rental properties.

  • You’ll want to be sure you are covered for more than just fire and storm damage.
  • You’ll need additional coverage for vandalism, personal injury, and discrimination lawsuits.

The premiums will be a small price to pay to avoid the risk of much larger losses.

Dangerous Tenant Liability for Landlord

Posted by Teresa on October 9, 2008 under Landlord Tenant Lawsuits | icon: commentBe the First to Comment

It is important for landlords to understand the liability placed on them through the actions of tenants! If a landlord allows a tenant who poses a danger to others to remain in a property, the landlord may become liable for the actions of that tenant.

There are many actual court cases holding a landlord responsible. In Rosales v. Stewart (California), the landlord knew that the tenant discharged firearms on the property, and did nothing to stop it. A neighbor child was killed by a gunshot fired by that tenant. The court found the landlord was under a duty to third persons to remove dangerous conditions on the property, even if it meant removing the tenant.

Consent to View Credit Information is Required

Posted by Teresa on October 8, 2008 under FCRA Issues | icon: commentBe the First to Comment

Anyone who wants to view credit information (including landlords and employers) must have written consent of the individual.

In addition to credit information, other related laws prevent medical information from being given to anyone without written consent of the individual.

Additionally, not just anyone is allowed to receive information, even with your consent. If you apply for credit, employment, insurance, or to rent an apartment, you will generally be asked to give consent for information to be released.

You can increase your assurance of FCRA compliance by using tenant screening services from E-Renter USA.

Self-Help Evictions Not Legal

Posted by Teresa on October 4, 2008 under Eviction | icon: commentBe the First to Comment

No matter how much rent is owed or how many rules a tenant breaks, it’s important to follow the law in your state when it comes to evictions.

It can be very tempting to try to evict a tenant by

  • changing locks
  • removing their possessions
  • turning off heat or power

In the big picture, that is a very dangerous and often costly mistake. A landlord who tries those methods can be liable for damages, penalties, and even a lawsuit from the tenant that will end up costing more than the eviction process itself.

Find out the law in your state, and follow it, to protect yourself and your rights!

Tenant Screening Critical for Commercial Properties

Posted by Teresa on October 2, 2008 under Tenant Screening & Background Checks | icon: commentBe the First to Comment

Commercial property owners and managers need to do more than just collect deposits and negotiate leases when it comes to filling vacancies in their properties.  Managing commercial property includes screening tenants for likelihood of business failure.

According to Bureau of Census information produced for the Office of Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration, new businesses of all size fail at about the same rate. There are differences within different sectors, but the averages are that

  • after one year, about 25 percent of businesses have failed
  • 36 percent at the end of year two
  • 44 percent have closed their doors by the third year

It doesn’t take a lot of fancy math, or a degree in business or law, to understand that even with a signed lease and deposits in hand, commercial property owners can sustain substantial losses when new businesses fail.

Good tenant screening can substantially reduce that risk.

How to Handle Late or Non Payment

Posted by Teresa on October 1, 2008 under Rents and Deposits | icon: commentBe the First to Comment

Even the best of tenants occasionally find themselves in a situation where they cannot pay the rent on time.  How you as the landlord handle late or non-payment can make a large difference in your relationship  with all your tenants!

Treat Tenants Fairly, but Firmly
The goal is to treat tenants fairly and with some understanding, while at the same time protecting yourself, your income, and your ability to evict tenants when necessary.

  • You should be understanding of occasional late payments
  • Make it clear to all tenants that continually falling in arrears won’t be tolerated
  • Written information to tenants should clearly state what your arrears policy is: Do you have a grace period? Is there a fee for late payment beyond a certain number of days? How many months can they be late before you start the eviction process?
  • When a tenant does fall behind, the first course of action is always to speak directly with them to determine the problem. Be sure to document all conversations, just in case you do need to follow through with eviction
Reduce the possibility of late or non-payment of rents and disputed deposits with effective tenant screening from E-Renter USA.