When is the right time to serve an eviction notice? Hopefully, you never have to find out because you always have the best renters. However, there's a good chance that you will have to hand out an eviction notice at some point in your real estate investing career.
So, when is the right time? What's the right way to do it? Today we'll look at why property owners should start the eviction process and the right time to hand out the notice. Keep reading for expert insights from our Atlanta, GA, property management company!
Make Sure It's Okay to Evict
Before handing out an eviction notice letter, a property owner must have a valid reason for eviction. When dealing with a frustrating renter, it's common for a property owner to get impatient and want to rush this process. However, taking matters into your own hands would be a mistake.
A property manager and an eviction attorney can help you confirm that you have a legal reason to begin the eviction process, including:
- When a renter does not pay rent. This is the most common reason real estate investors remove a renter from a property. If a tenant doesn't pay their rent or fails to pay the total amount regularly, a property owner can start the eviction.
- If a renter causes unreasonable disturbances. For example, if your resident often has noisy parties and bother other people in the neighborhood, then they can be evicted.
- When a renter damages the rental unit. Whether intentional or accidental, a renter that ignores damage and refuses to pay for repairs can be evicted.
- If a renter violates the lease terms. Examples of this are allowing other people to stay on the property who are not on the lease or bringing home a pet when there is a no-pet clause.
After confirming a valid reason to remove a renter before the lease agreement ends, the next step is to give notice.
Deliver an Eviction Notice
In most cases, a property owner must deliver a written notice that these circumstances have occurred and let the tenant know that they'll start the eviction process if not remedied. Landlords must provide proper notices to renters to warn them about an issue and give them a chance to fix it before going to court. A property management company can help you outline the timing of the notices in the lease agreement, so residents understand the expectations and consequences.
What are the Different Types of Notices?
Which written notice should rental property owners use to begin the process? Property managers and attorneys typically recommend choosing from three different notices that fit the situation, including:
- Pay or Quit. A Pay or Quit notice is a formal warning to a tenant that states they must either pay the past-due rent or leave the property. This type of notice usually gives the tenant a set number of days, usually three, to take action. If the rent is not paid and the renter refuses to leave, investors can proceed with the eviction process.
- Cure or Quit. A Cure or Quit notice is similar to the Pay or Quit notice, but it deals with lease violations that don't pertain to rent. A property owner must give the tenant a set timeframe to fix the concern. Eviction can occur if the problem is not resolved at the end of this period.
- Unconditional Quit. An Unconditional Quit notice tells the tenant that they must leave the property immediately and that no payment or action can resolve the situation. This type of notice should only be used as a last resort and is usually given when the tenant has not responded to any other type of notice.
To follow state and local landlord-tenant laws, consult an attorney about additional notices that could be required—like the 30-day notice—before an eviction can move forward. Then, work with a reputable eviction attorney or a property management company to help you navigate the legal system. A property manager can also help you implement a tenant screening that may help you prevent the eviction process altogether.
Remember: an eviction notice letter should be in writing to document everything if a case has to go to court. The letter should note the issue outlined in the lease agreement and the tenant's requirements to resolve the issues, so there's no confusion about why the renter is being evicted.
Hire an Atlanta Property Management Company to Handle Eviction Notices
If you're not sure how to serve an eviction notice, a professional property management company can take on this task for you. A property manager can work with your lawyer to ensure everything is done correctly, and you can take a step back from a challenging situation with a difficult renter. Having an expert handle the eviction process can also help you protect the property and avoid putting your investment at risk because of a legal misstep.
Compass Property Management has experience with evictions and can handle the process for you! We also help property owners avoid evictions by placing quality residents. Reach out soon to hear how professional property management services can reduce the potential for evictions!
If you have more questions about serving notices, check out our free Tenant Eviction Checklist!