Home10 recommends for you to always be aware of eviction laws and the procedure for evicting a non-paying tenant. We recommend avoiding investments in states where eviction laws favor the tenant.
In the US, there are a number of ways a tenant can pay rent:
1. Physically appear at the property management company every month and pay.
2. Pay by bank transfer, or mail the management company a check.
3. The management company can send a representative to collect the rent.
What is the procedure in the United States when the rent is not paid? In some states, the law tends to favor the tenant, and this shows in the limited options the owner has for quickly evicting a non-paying tenant. In those states, it can take months to evict a tenant, during which time the debt just increases and is unlikely to ever be paid once the tenant leaves the house.
In other states, the law favors the landlord, and the eviction process is simple and easy: As soon as the tenant is late paying, the tenant is charged a late fee of $25 per day. If the tenant is very late paying, the management company is entitled to evict the tenant (of course, this depends on the tenant – there are tenants who are chronically late, and in their case, the management company will not rush into an eviction).
First, the management company will send the tenant an eviction notice, and then they will continue to the next step of filing a suit in court, giving the tenant a number of days to vacate the property (no need to worry – the management company takes care of this). Filing the suit is not a large expense – approximately $200–$500, including court and lawyer’s fees. If the tenant still does not pay, the court will issue a writ of possession, giving the tenant 7–14 days to vacate the premises. If the tenant does not vacate, then the local sheriff will evict the tenant.
The whole eviction process takes about 20–30 days at most, so usually the financial cost to the landlord is not too high, unless the tenant causes extensive damage to the property right before the eviction, and even in that case, the management company usually has two month’s deposit from the time of signing the lease. It is important to note that tenants will usually try to avoid forceful eviction, as it will be a permanent mark on their record and will make it difficult for them to rent in the future. Occasionally, tenants are just unable to pay the rent, and then the landlord has little choice but to evict them, as a property that is not being paid for is a daily loss (besides the taxes, there are utilities, insurance costs, etc.).
Please note that real estate is not an exact science, and it is important to take the possibility of such situations into account, and this is why it is imperative to know what the law is in such cases, as well as who the tenants in the area are, what their income is, and so forth.