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Property Management Blog

A Landlord's Guide to the Eviction Process

Being a landlord isn't always fun; sometimes, it can be heartbreaking. Nobody looks forward to evictions — they're bad for both the property owner and the tenant.

Property managers need to spend time in court while the tenant has a huge red mark against them on their records. Evicting tenants takes time, and can follow people for a while.

Yet, sometimes it needs to be done. And when it needs to be done, you should know how to evict people. Keep reading below to learn more.

Evictions Are Not the Same During COVID-19

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the way landlords handed down evictions changed. To put it simply, they could not evict people due to a federal order meant to make sure people did not lose their homes after losing their jobs. The policy is similar to Section 8, and helped protect the economy and prevented the situation from getting worse.

However, it also led to a lot of frustration among landlords who had unpaying tenants. While the eviction moratorium still stands, there are still things that landlords can do to get tenants to pay rent.

And most of all, they can plan ahead to evict tenants when the moratorium expires, so the process goes as easily as possible.

Federal Agencies Issued a Moratorium for Most Evictions

The federal eviction moratorium is set to end on July 31, which is when landlords will be able to start sending their first "Pay or Quit Notices." Normally, these would be the start of the eviction process, but the pandemic also changed things in the long term.

President Biden announced that there would be new order to prevent evictions during the summer months. They will be designed to ensure a huge wave of people doesn't lose their homes all at once. Details about these new orders were not immediately available, but expect them to be announced soon!

Processes Start With a Detainer Warrant

The first step in the eviction process is usually to issue a detainer warrant, which signals your intent to evict a tenant. It's a way to legitimize your case with the courts, telling them that a person has not paid their rent and you can't get them to pay. However, a detainer warrant is not an eviction.

After issuing a detainer warrant, courts will get involved to determine if a person can legally be evicted. As a result of the warrant, tenants will likely receive a court summons to explain why they haven't paid rent.

Your Tenant Will Need to Appear in Court

After issuing a detainer warrant, you will likely need to stand in court with your tenant. There, you will make your case about why you should reclaim the rental property and kick them out. They will also make their case about why they should stay.

Sometimes, judges may want to work out a payment agreement between you two. What the judge will decide depends on which state you live in. In many southern states, your tenant may need to vacate after the court hearing, though. 

You can notify them through a tenant portal, but your property management company could also notify them.

Evictions Should Be the Last Solution

It can be frustrating to have a tenant who does not pay rent since you put so much work into the property. There are always other options, like using a security deposit to pay bills.

However, no matter how frustrating it can be, evictions should not be your first solution. If it is, your case may fall apart in court.

It can also lead to tenants damaging your property, and it will follow their records for years. Sometimes, the situation calls for courts to get involved, though. And when that happens, reach out to us for help.

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