No landlord looks forward to evicting a tenant. For property owners like Joe, who manages half a dozen rental properties, the eviction process is a “nightmare”, especially since “you need to fill out the correct forms in the proper order. If there are any mistakes, the Landlord Tenant Board rejects the paperwork, and you must begin the process again.”
If you have no choice but to evict, a rent guarantee program can help simplify the complexities of the legal process, as well as ease the financial and emotional burden. In this guide, we’ll explain some of the real cost of evictions, common pitfalls you may encounter during the eviction process, and how SingleKey’s Rent Guarantee can help you avoid them.
The real cost of evictions
The cost involved with eviction proceedings is a major consideration for property owners.
In the United States, it costs an average of $4,400 to remove a tenant from your rental unit. If you rent out a property in Canada, the average amount you can expect to pay is $6,000. These figures include court filing fees, legal fees, sheriff fees, and lost rent.
There are instances where evictions have cost property owners upwards of $11,000, but expenses will vary depending on several factors. How quickly it takes to receive an eviction order is high on the list of deciding factors.
How long does it take to get an eviction hearing?
Like the associated costs, the length of time it takes to get an eviction hearing depends on many factors.
Each jurisdiction’s approach to handling evictions differs. Some regions impose longer wait times and require the completion of more documents. For example, in a state like Vermont, you must give your tenant a 60-day notice before even initiating an eviction.
In addition, you must also consider how efficient your local landlord-tenant board is in settling cases and issuing eviction orders. In some areas, these organizations face a massive backlog of applications and suffer from staffing shortages.
For example, in Ontario, you may receive a Notice of Hearing after five months of submitting your application (an improvement on the previous eight to ten month waiting period).
In New York, it generally takes one to five months to have the court address your complaint and issue a ruling on the eviction.
The hidden emotional cost
The cost and time involved in evicting a tenant can be significant. And for some landlords, the emotional strain can be too much to bear.
Just asking a tenant to leave can induce anxiety, not to mention the burden of having to assemble the necessary paperwork and scramble for money to cover the expenses. The entire ordeal can be overwhelming, especially if it’s your first time going through an eviction. You may experience bouts of anger, frustration, guilt, and despair, which can negatively impact all aspects of your life.
Common eviction pitfalls
Here are some of the most common stumbling blocks you may encounter while evicting a tenant:
Removing a tenant from your rental can be a huge hassle. You must perform a series of specific steps accurately and in a timely fashion for the court to consider your case. These include serving a written notice, filing an eviction application, gathering evidence to support your claim, and attending a court hearing. Going through the process from start to finish can be challenging if you work a day job or have other family or business priorities that demand your attention.
If you’re a budding landlord in the midst of an eviction, you may inadvertently breach local residential tenancy laws. These can include kicking out a tenant prematurely, replacing the door locks on your property, withholding security deposits, shutting off utilities, removing the tenant’s possessions, and entering the property without proper notice. Committing even one legal infraction can prolong the eviction and add to your costs.
Suppose your local landlord-tenant board lacks adequate staff, has suffered budget cuts, and is poorly managed. In that case, it may take months before you’ll have the opportunity to have your case heard.
Navigating the legal jargon and documentation involved in an eviction can be confusing and frustrating. In your haste to evict a problematic tenant, you may fill out a crucial document incorrectly or forget to submit it entirely. Such errors can delay your eviction application. In the worst-case scenario, the court may dismiss your case and render a verdict that favors the tenant. You’ll have to restart from the beginning, which means more time and money wasted.
While hiring legal support to assist you with your eviction can be a savvy move, it comes with a cost. Legal fees can quickly add up, draining even more of your financial resources. If you’ve exhausted your rental reserve fund, you may need to take out a loan or dip into your personal savings account to cover this expense.
Navigating evictions with the Rent Guarantee Program
With SingleKey’s Rent Guarantee, you won’t have to tackle these eviction pitfalls alone. You’ll gain access to top paralegal and financial support to help you navigate the entire eviction process with confidence. Some of the program benefits include:
- A dedicated paralegal to handle all the paperwork, ensuring each document is completed accurately and delivered on time
- Professional guidance on your rights and responsibilities during the eviction proceeding and an explanation of what evidence you need to win your case
- Tips to deal with unresponsive and hostile tenants, including how to serve eviction notices and other legal documents
- Help in negotiating a resolution with your tenant and a legal representative during the court hearing
It’s not only legal support that you receive:
- SingleKey will reimburse you for legal costs of up to $2,000 in the U.S. and $1,500 in Canada.
- You’ll also be covered for other costs related to an eviction, like lost rent and malicious property damage caused by a tenant.
Our final thoughts
Going through the eviction process as a landlord can be stressful, costly, and intimidating. Just one legal misstep can lead to your case being thrown out or to an even nastier legal dispute with your renter.
The good news is that an eviction is far less painful with the right tools and resources. SingleKey’s Rent Guarantee will put you in touch with a paralegal team who will do all the heavy lifting for you, from handling all the paperwork and acting as your legal advisor. You’ll also get financial assistance to cover legal expenses, lost rent, and property damage.
Learn more about how the Rent Guarantee Program helps landlords take the stress out of evictions.