You did your best to make sure that your tenant was a good renter, but even the best screening measures fail sometimes. It’s now come down to removing your bad tenants from the property, and the process for doing that can be complicated, costly, and time-consuming.
If you want the eviction to go as smoothly as possible, follow these steps. They’ll make sure that your property is available to rent to a quality tenant again as quickly as possible.
1. Review the Laws and the Lease
Before doing anything, research whether the law would support an eviction. Start by reviewing your rental contract to see which clauses cover the situation that’s motivated you to file an eviction (such as failure to pay rent, property damage, being disruptive, staying after lease expiration, etc.) as that will make your case much simpler.
This is also the time to review the Landlord Tenant Act, which spells out how you should proceed with an eviction. Follow it to the letter to improve your chances of a ruling in your favor.
2. Give Notice
You actually have a couple options here. Instead of going straight into giving notice, you can invite your tenant to talk in a public place. Acknowledge how difficult this must be for them while explaining the situation from your point of view. You can then ask them in kind, yet firm way, to leave. Taking this approach can sometimes get the tenant to vacate your property on their own accord, especially if you make it clear how badly an eviction would affect them.
But if your renter refuses to be cooperative, you’re left with no choice but to give formal notice of an eviction. Make sure the written notice includes:
- The date of delivery
- The date you will file the eviction
- The reason for eviction (along with amount owed if they’ve failed to pay rent)
- The timeframe and deadline the tenant has to fix the problem or move out (if required by your state)
Make sure to tape this notice to their door and send it by certified mail with a return receipt requested. You’ll want to keep this for your records.
3. File the Eviction
If the day of the deadline has come and nothing has changed, filing the eviction formally is the next step. Take any supporting documents you might need, like a copy of the notice and return receipt, to the local courthouse, where you’ll have to fill out paperwork and pay a fee to start the process.
The court clerk will schedule a hearing date, and the court will notify the tenant on your behalf.
4. Prepare for the Hearing
Gather up all the documentation you’ll bring on the day of the hearing such as:
- Your lease
- Bounced checks
- Email and phone communication records
- Proof of any payments
- The eviction notice
- And either the dated return receipt or signed proof that the tenant received the notice
Think about the main points you will want to make to the judge and rehearse how you’ll present them. There’s no need to make a script, but a bulleted list will ensure that you don’t forget anything you need to say.
5. Evict the Tenant
Providing the court hearing went as planned, the judge will give the tenant a deadline for moving out. The times can vary from less than 48 hours, five days, or a week depending on your state.
If they still fail to leave, you’ll then have to get someone from the local sheriff’s office to remove the tenant and be ready to handle their belongings according to your local laws.
You’ll also have to go to small claims court in order to collect back rent or sue for property damage.
Going through an eviction costs thousands of dollars and months of lost time. For many landlords-especially first time landlords-the process can seem overwhelming even with adequate preparation and help.
Instead, you can sell your house to us, even if there’s someone living in it. Local Cash Buyers has experience dealing with bad tenants, and selling your Dallas house fast for cash can give you a clean break from this stressful problem in a matter of days.
Give us a call at 469-250-0018 or contact us online. We’d be happy to help you avoid the eviction process.