Finding the best tenants is always ideal for a rental property investor. However, the reality is that sometimes you will have a bad tenant who needs to be evicted.
The eviction process is not only time-consuming but can be costly, too. Whether you’re dealing with one or multiple rental properties, investors may wonder what does it cost to evict a tenant? This question is important to answer, so you can take the right steps to avoid one if possible. Our Jacksonville property management team has a breakdown of the eviction process in Florida and the average cost to evict a renter.
Understanding the Eviction Process
Evictions can occur for a variety of legal reasons, and bad tenants come in all types. In Florida, property owners can only remove a renter with cause during a fixed-term lease. Some of the valid reasons to terminate the lease include:
- The tenant didn’t pay their rent for several months.
- The tenant uses the home for illegal reasons (selling drugs, etc.).
- The tenant violated the lease agreement (i.e., has pets with a “no pet” policy, etc.).
Sometimes, you can work the situation out and come to an amicable agreement with the resident before completing the eviction process. For example, the renter may catch up on their past-due rent or stop the behavior that didn’t comply with their lease.
However, if they don’t, rental property owners can begin the process by filing a complaint. You will give the tenant one of the following:
- Three-day notice to pay rent of quit
- Seven-day notice to cure
- Seven-day unconditional quit notice
The first two eviction notices allow the tenant to remedy the problem, while the last one does not. If the tenant doesn’t remedy the issue, a formal eviction lawsuit comes next.
Ending a Lease Without Cause
Landlords may also evict a tenant without cause if they have a month-to-month lease agreement, but they must give a 30-day eviction notice. This is delivered 15 days before the end of the monthly term. Then there are an additional 15 days allowed for the tenant to find suitable housing, providing the 30 days total.
This option can help property owners avoid eviction when dealing with an uncooperative tenant during a monthly lease agreement. However, this option is not available for fixed-term leases.
What Are the Costs to Evict a Renter?
So, what’s the cost of eviction? Several factors play a part when determining what it costs to evict a tenant. If you only need to do the first step, such as filing the three-day notice to pay rent or quit, and the tenant pays the rent, then your costs will be minimal. However, if the tenant doesn’t pay the rent and you need to move forward with a formal eviction lawsuit, the eviction will be more costly.
Every case is different, depending on the circumstances. However, the following factors will give you a rough estimate of the average cost.
Going to court will have automatic fees and costs associated with it. These include the court fees and the filing fees. In addition, if the tenant disputes the eviction, you will have additional costs for motions and other filings. The court costs could be anywhere from $50 to $400.
Jacksonville property managers recommend hiring an attorney to assist throughout the eviction process. The costs for a good attorney vary, depending on the situation, how many times they must appear in court throughout the lawsuit, and how much time they spend on your case. However, if there are disputes with the tenant or you’ve never been through this removal process before, it’s money well spent to avoid more costly issues.
While you’re in the process of evicting the tenant, you won’t receive rental income from that property. If the tenant was already delinquent on their rent, this is an added loss (or cost). By the time the process is complete, you could miss out on rental payments for several months.
Filing a Writ of Possession
Once the landlord wins the eviction case, there is one more step left in the process before taking possession. You must file the writ of possession. This paperwork allows you to take possession of the property by force if necessary. The writ of possession may give the tenant three days to be off the premises. The cost of this filing is about $150.
Additional Recovery Costs
Once the tenant is gone from the house, property owners often incur costs that go into cleaning, repairing, and preparing the property for the next tenants. You’ll also spend money to list and market the home for better renters.
In addition, during the eviction lawsuit, you still have to keep up with insurance costs, HOA fees, utility bills, and other operating costs. However, working with a property manager and placing better tenants can help avoid evictions and the associated costs!
Avoid or Reduce Evictions with a Jacksonville Property Management Company
Instead of dealing with the costs of evicting a renter, working with a Jacksonville property management company can help you avoid evictions! The experts of Spectrum Realty Services put all applicants through a thorough screening process before placing anyone in a rental property. Doing this helps proactively stop an eviction before it starts. Reach out to us today for more information about how our property management services can help you avoid costly evictions!
Learn more about the eviction process with a free copy of the “Rental Property Owner’s Tenant Eviction Checklist.”