A Norfolk Property Owner’s Guide to Preventing Evictions

Osprey Property Management   |   date March 2022

There are many reasons why a landlord-tenant relationship may deteriorate. Whether it is non-payment of rent, criminal activity, damage to property, housing an unauthorized tenant, or any combination of reasons, it can lead to a very unpleasant situation for both parties and result in the possibility of an eviction.

Rental property owners should consider evictions as a last resort and always try to work with renters before evicting them. However, when evictions become necessary, it's time to rethink your strategy. Today our Norfolk property management company helps you understand how to minimize the risk of losing money on eviction by preventing them from arising in the first place.

Apply a Rigorous Tenant Screening Process

Tenant screening is an important part of renter management. It helps property owners identify and avoid potential problems before they lead to eviction. When done correctly, tenant screening can help real estate investors avoid costly legal disputes and lost rental income.

Couple of angry tenants having dispute with real estate agent

Property managers recommend keeping a few things in mind when implementing a tenant screening process:

 

  • Background check: Landlords should use background checks to evaluate new tenants, discover any red flags, and help them pick the best renter for their rental property.
  • Employment verification: The screening procedure must include a tenant's current income verification and job confirmation. This not only ensures that they can pay the rent you set for your rental home, but it also confirms that the information they gave was indeed accurate.
  • Credit review: Checking a potential tenant's credit report can help you learn if they have a history of paying bills on time or a history of defaults or late payments. 

Also, make sure your screening process is accurate and complies with all landlord-tenant and FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act) laws. By checking references and conducting background checks for every prospective tenant, you can ensure that you're placing quality renters in your properties. 

Keep a Regular Maintenance Schedule 

Tenants may withhold rent from landlords if the property is not maintained correctly. However, by doing this, tenants put themselves in a precarious position because property owners can often evict a tenant if they withhold their rental payments.

It's best to avoid these situations by keeping a regular maintenance schedule so rental properties stay in excellent condition (and tenants don’t have any reason to withhold rent). Keep in mind that the best tenants are drawn to well-kept properties.

Build Good Relationships With Tenants

Maintaining a good personal relationship with tenants is essential to eviction prevention. Effective communication, clear expectations, and professionalism will help keep renters happy and compliant with the terms of their lease. To maintain good relationships, be proactive in addressing issues as they arise. By doing so, tenants will feel appreciated and respected.

Consider a Compromise

Before sending an eviction notice letter, property owners should always try to consider a compromise to resolve a lease violation or dispute. Tenants who are behind on rent or have violated the terms of their lease agreement can often be persuaded to leave or resolve the issue if the landlord offers an option. This might include waiving late fees, accepting partial rent payments, or agreeing to a payment plan.

By offering these sorts of solutions, a property owner can help a renter stay in their home while working towards resolving issues. Trying to understand a resident’s situation and finding a mutually agreeable solution can help avert an eviction.

Issue Tenant Warnings

Property owners should always warn their tenants about potential evictions in a clear and upfront manner (and in writing). This way, tenants are aware of your intentions, the violation, and the opportunity to resolve the issue before removal begins. 

Make every effort to avoid the eviction process with your tenants before taking any formal action, as this can avoid costly court proceedings.

Why Is It Important to Consult With a Lawyer?

Before starting legal eviction proceedings (or proceeding in the wrong way), a property manager recommends consulting a lawyer. The right attorney and property managers can provide sound advice on how to deal with tenants who violate the rules and what steps to take if an eviction becomes necessary.

Eviction notice document with gavel. Concept of financial difficulties

An eviction lawyer can also help you follow the correct procedures and keep you from practices that could lead to legal issues for you. 

Prevent Evictions With Norfolk Property Management Experts

Property owners make a tough decision every time they have to evict a tenant. However, by following the suggestions in this blog, you can avoid evictions and keep your rental income consistent!

It is important to have a tenant screening process to avoid potential evictions as a property owner. Osprey Property Management can help with the screening process to place better renters in properties. We’re also experienced in enforcing lease agreements and handling difficult situations to minimize your income loss and deliver peace of mind. Reach out soon to learn more about our residential property management services in Norfolk!

Download our free “Rental Property Owner's Tenant Eviction Checklist” for more insights into how to handle an eviction.

 

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