In the chaotic world of real estate, there is one word that makes landlords in Palm Beach shudder – eviction.
An eviction is when a landlord must remove their tenant from their property through a legal process due to the tenant breaching the lease. It is expensive, time-consuming, and stressful for more landlords and tenants.
It definitely isn’t something you want to get caught up in, but there is always the possibility of it happening. So, to better prepare yourself, we’ve listed eviction mistakes to avoid. If you do make one of these mistakes, it could throw your entire case out and stick you with your tenant for the full lease term.
1. No Tenant Screening Process
While this isn’t necessarily a mistake to make during an eviction, it is definitely a mistake that could lead to an eviction. If you aren’t screening potential tenants before letting them sign a lease and move into your Palm Beach rental, you’re putting yourself at risk of dealing with an eviction.
When someone says they would like to lease your property, check their finances, credit, and criminal record before approving them. This is to make sure they don’t have prior evictions or violent crimes and have the financial means to pay rent each month.
2. Waiting Too Long to Evict
Since going through the eviction process is so stressful and unappealing, many landlords wait to proceed with it. However, if you wait too long, it could jeopardize your case and cause even more damage.
You may lose evidence and proof that you have the right to evict your tenant by waiting weeks or even months. While it’s important to find other solutions before resulting in eviction, don’t wait too long to move forward with it.
3. Failing to Give Proper Notice
You must give the tenant proper notice of eviction in the state of Florida. There are three different methods of notifying your tenant that you will start the eviction process.
- 3 Days’ Notice to Quit or Pay – The tenant has three days to either pay rent they owe or get out of the property.
- 7 Days’ Notice to Cure – The tenant has seven days to cure the issue that has breached the lease.
- 7 Days’ Notice to Quit – The tenant must leave the property within seven days.
If the tenant does not pay rent, resolve the problem, or leave the property within the stated amount of time the landlord may start the eviction process.
4. Improper Delivery of Eviction Notice
Remember, this is a very straightforward legal process where all rules and regulations must be followed. This also includes how you deliver the tenant an eviction notice.
Sending an email or text doesn’t make the cut for a proper eviction notice. You must write down the type of notice (see above), the name of the tenant, property address, and the reason for eviction.
You then may deliver this notice via certified mail, sheriff’s office, courier, or posting it on the tenant’s door.
5. Cutting the Utilities
The eviction process doesn’t happen overnight. You may be stuck with your tenant for a few weeks or even a couple of months depending on your local court system.
One mistake landlords make is shutting off the utilities in the property while the tenant still lives there. Until a judge orders the tenant to leave, they have the right to live there.
So, cutting off the utilities makes the place uninhabitable, which is illegal. Landlords must provide a livable property to tenants – no matter what.
6. Getting Rid of the Tenant’s Belongings
You’ve probably seen the television episode or movie where a landlord throws the tenant’s belongings out on the street as a way to evict them. While it may seem like it speeds up the process, this is actually illegal and can throw out your eviction case.
You may feel tempted to do this and get rid of your tenant once and for all, but we beg you to be patient and let the process go forward in court.
7. Changing the Locks
One major mistake a landlord can make during the eviction process is changing the locks to the property. This means the tenant does not have access to their home and is left out on the street. In the eyes of the law, this is illegal, and you will not win your eviction.
As we mentioned before, you must allow the tenant to live in the property until a judge rules that they must leave. Unfortunately, you’ll have to wait until a hearing to change the locks and have your property back.
8. Not Collecting Evidence
Going through an eviction is a lot of work on the landlord’s side, which is why we suggest doing everything in your power to avoid them. One of the responsibilities you’ll have is to gather evidence and proof that you have the right to evict the tenant.
Collect photos, conversations, and bank statements, if necessary, to prove to the judge that the tenant has breached the lease and must leave the property.
9. Not Working with a Property Manager
One of the biggest mistakes a landlord in Palm Beach can make is not working with a professional property manager. In the case of an eviction, the property manager will handle everything from sending the notice to collecting evidence to even showing up in court for you.
You won’t even feel the pressure of the eviction process because someone else is handling it for you.
Let Home Sales and Property Management Handle Your Tenants
When a landlord works with a property management company, they decrease their chance of evictions. This is mostly because property management companies screen tenants thoroughly, find high-quality tenants, and are experts in their field.
If you’re looking for a property manager to handle tenants in your Palm Beach rental, Home Sales and Property Management is your go-to service for property management in South Florida.
Our experienced team of professionals will treat your property as if it were their own. With complete transparency, you will always know what’s going on with your rental.
Contact us to see how we can help you manage your Palm Beach rental today!