What to Do After Evicting a Tenant
Going through an eviction is never fun for either of the parties involved. Landlords should know precisely what to do after evicting a tenant, however. It’s important to have a plan or a course of action once possession of your rental property is shifted back to you.
According to evictionlab.com, there were 3,255 evictions filed in Los Angeles city alone in 2016. There’s no doubt these numbers will soar due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This just makes it that much more important to get your step by step plan ready on what to do after successfully evicting a tenant.
Step 1 Change the locks to your rental property
The best time to change the locks to your rental property after regaining possession is the minute they drive off after the sheriff lockout. It’s a good idea to bring your trusted handyman or a professional locksmith with you to change the locks the same day after evicting a tenant.
You don’t know if the tenant themselves or anyone else has a set of keys to get back into your property. Don’t risk it. Make this your very first and most important step post eviction.
Step 2 Walk through inspection of your unit
After your rental property is safely secured, it is time to go back in and do a thorough inspection of your rental property. You want to bring a new copy of your walkthrough list and the move in inspection to compare. Take any photos you deem necessary especially if there is damage to your rental unit.
Oftentimes tenants cause damage to your property after losing an eviction case in spite of you, the landlord. Don’t worry though, there are ways to recover your damages.
Common areas to inspect are
- Check for mold in kitchen and bathroom(s).
- Wear and tear in carpet
- Holes in walls and repainting
- Check for leaks around the kitchen and bathroom faucets and toilet
- Broken windows and window locks
- Water heater and other appliances included with the rental property
Step 3 File a small claims case for damage (optional)
If your tenant has caused an exceptional amount of damage to your rental property after an eviction, you can file a small claims case and obtain a judgment to collect on those damages.
Fast Eviction Service has a fully staffed collections department that can help collect on your behalf. If you need help preparing the documents to file your claim, we can help with that too. Please call us at 1-800-686-8686 for more information.
Step 4 Prepare the rental
After assessing the damages after evicting a tenant, it is time to get your place back on the market.
If your evicted tenant didn’t cause too much damage, the normal wear and tear, you should already have a system in place to get your place ready to rent. Get your handyman in to repair minor details, steam clean the carpet, paint walls and a general deep clean.
In the case where your tenant vandalized your property before they left, then it’s time to think about considering remodelling your place to bring it above market value or making the necessary repairs to get it back on the market.
Step 5 Make any necessary changes to your process
Once your rental is back on the market, it’s important to learn our lessons as to not repeat them again. Can you pinpoint your mistake? Did you skip your thorough screening process? Did you “go with your gut?” Is there something in your lease that needs changed or addressed? Maybe a loophole your evicted tenant found?
All of these are important questions to answer before renting to a new tenant. You want to quickly patch things up in your process (marketing, screening, renting) to avoid future issues, which is exactly the next point. How to prevent evictions in the first place!
Preventing evictions in the first place
Evictions can leave a very sour taste in your mouth. They can get expensive and be time consuming. You always want to avoid evictions in the first place.
After all, it is a lot easier to reject a tenant during the application process than it is to get them out once you’ve handed them your keys. Experienced and successful landlords keep a few tips in mind to avoid being in court.
- Keep screening, background checks and interviews at the very top of your priority list. If for some reason your tenant makes this part difficult for you, it’s usually a red flag!
- Practice your business skills and develop a healthy relationship with your customers. It sounds weird but a tenant is your customer at the end of the day. Make it easy for your tenants to communicate with you. If you haven’t heard from them in 15 days, send them a text. It goes a long way.
- Keeping your rental property in tip top shape will usually yield better tenants. Good renters want nothing but the best. They won’t settle. Target the best tenants by keeping your property at rental market value.
Evictions are an inevitable part of business as a landlord. It’s important to keep your cool after evicting a tenant and follow the guidelines to get your business back on track as quickly as possible.
If you are going through an eviction or want to learn more, please contact us for a free consultation.
Filed under: Eviction Procedure