Evictions are never pleasant, but if you’re a landlord long enough, you will likely find yourself filing for one. PBS reports that eviction filings have climbed by 50% over pre-pandemic levels. There were about 3.6 million eviction filings hitting courtrooms around the country just last year. It is a necessary step to take against those who are unable or unwilling to pay the previously agreed-upon rent.
There are times when a tenant may miss the payment deadline. In most cases, a landlord will have a set number of days for what’s known as a “grace period” to give the tenant time to submit their payment. If that payment isn’t received by the end of the grace period, a Late Fee may be charged for an other pre-agreed-upon number of days. Finally, if a tenant fails to pay their rent for a significant time, may be subject to eviction.
What Does it Mean to be Awarded an Eviction?
An eviction is the official legal term for removing a tenant from your property. While tenants have a number of legal protections, they can be may removed if they violate the terms of their lease and the judge awards an eviction.
A court will review the evidence presented by both sides to verify if the tenant has breached the lease. If they find the landlord’s claims accurate, they may award an eviction. This will effectively end the lease.
Can a Landlord Obtain Backed Rent?
Legal measures exist that may allow a landlord to attempt to reclaim rent that is in arrears. There are several different measures that one might take to try to make this happen, including:
- Take the tenant to small claims court.It might be necessary to get the courts involved yet again to try to reclaim backed rent. A small claims court can review the case and make a judgment in regards to back rent. If awarded, you may be able to recoup at least part of what is owed.
- Ask for wage garnishment.Another strategy that the landlord may pursue is to ask a court to explore the option of wage garnishment. This does require the former tenant to have an active income. If they do, the court can issue a judgment that allows for some of those funds to be diverted to the former landlord to help pay the back rent.
- Ask for a lien against a bank account or property. A landlord may also seek to have a court impose a lien against any property or on a bank account. Anything of significant value can be considered in these types of cases, and it is all up for grabs if the court determines this is the most justified course of action.
Ultimately, a court must weigh what is right in the sense of what is just and fair. It is a question that can only be answered on a case-specific basis. Landlords should attempt to pursue what they believe is fair and just in a court of law.
How Long Will the Process Take?
Prepare yourself for the long haul on this one. Unfortunately, the eviction process is not something that is done in a snap. Numerous legal hurdles must be crossed before it is all said and done.
Generally, you can expect the process to take at least a few months, though it is often longer. Keep in mind that the clock on this only begins once you have officially filed an eviction notice against the tenant. Therefore, you should try to stay ahead of this and get that notice out to the tenants once you realize they won’t be paying their rent promptly.
Frustrating though the process may be, it is sometimes necessary to go through all of this to get to the resolution. Take the steps you need to take today to begin the process if necessary.