Coastal Virginia: The Average Cost of Evicting a Tenant

Osprey Property Management   |   date January 2022

There are several reasons why rental property owners may have to evict a tenant, whether for severe violations of the rental lease agreement, property damage, or a lack of rent payments. To avoid income loss (or a lawsuit), rental property owners need to be diligent in giving notice and carrying out the legal eviction process to remove a tenant and avoid eviction costs.

Eviction can be costly for property owners and may often require the help of an expert. Our Coastal Virginia property management team have insights into what does it cost to evict a tenant and how to work through the eviction process!

The Eviction Process 

The first step in the eviction process is to review the lease! If you have a valid reason to remove your tenant, the next step is to send them a notice to vacate the property. This notice should include the reason for the eviction, the date by which the tenant must leave, and the contact information for the landlord.

tenant eviction notice hangs on house door, front view

Your renter then has the opportunity to cure the violation within a given time frame. If they can pay all of their rent and dues within this time, they can stay in the home. However, if they cannot do so, the eviction process will continue. If the tenant does not vacate or resolve the issue by the date specified in the notice, the property owner can file an eviction lawsuit.

When starting the eviction lawsuit, property owners must file for eviction at the local courthouse. Owners must bring proof that the eviction notice was delivered to the tenant and file the document in court to begin the process. This helps prove that you delivered the notice correctly and that your tenant received it according to landlord-tenant laws.

A property manager also knows that property owners should bring details about the property (including the address and a description), and reason for eviction to court.

The Cost of an Eviction

So, how much does it cost to remove a renter from a property? The cost of evicting a tenant can vary depending on the specific situation, and it’s often more costly than real estate investors think. 

Evictions include involve legal fees, property turnover costs, and lost rental income. Additionally, landlords may also have to repair property damage from bad tenants. All told, evicting a tenant can be costly and time-consuming.

Court Costs

If you decide to take action against a tenant, you will need to start a court case. This involves filing a complaint with the local courts, serving notices to the tenant, and then waiting for the court date. Your local court will determine if you can remove the tenant based on the situation or if the renter can stay in the property.

Court costs are often about $100 depending on the complexity of the case and the jurisdiction. A writ of possession, or a court order evicting a tenant, can cost as much as $150. 

Attorney Fees

Since eviction processes can be complicated, hiring an eviction attorney is always best. Eviction attorneys specialize in these situations and can handle everything from filing paperwork to eviction hearing appearances.

sound block and small wooden toy house on court table

These legal fees will vary depending on the case's complexity, the number of hours billed by the attorney, and whether or not the case goes to trial. While it is impossible to give an exact estimate without knowing more about the particulars of a case, find a good attorney that doesn’t overcharge for eviction services. 

Unpaid Rent

Regardless of the court-ordered outcome, it’s unlikely that your renter will pay rent during the eviction process. Without rental income, you won’t have the cash flow needed to cover monthly rental property expenses. You’ll also fall short of your income goals while dealing with a bad tenant, eviction, and months of unpaid rent.

Rental Turnover Costs

After evicting a tenant, property owners typically incur additional expenses related to unit turnover. These costs include cleaning fees, repairs, and other miscellaneous charges. In addition, landlords must list their property in the market and pay for any marketing expenses (yard signs, online marketing fees, etc.). 

If bad tenants also leave you with property damage, that can delay finding a new renters for the property. Extensive cleaning and repairs will prolong the amount of time your property isn't generating income. 

Reduce the Potential for Evictions With a Thorough Tenant Screening

Tenant screening can help avoid costly evictions that take your time, cause stress, and make you lose money. A thorough tenant screening process includes rental history, credit score, and past evictions. If there are any red flags or the tenant appears to be a potential problem, you can deny them. 

A thorough screening process is the best way to reduce the potential for costly evictions! 

Avoid Losing Revenue Through Evictions with Coastal Virginia Property Management

The costs associated with evicting a tenant can be significant! Property owners need to contact a skilled landlord-tenant attorney who can help ensure that the process goes smoothly. Working with a property manager is also an excellent way to reduce the potential for evictions or navigate the process if it’s time to remove a renter. 

Our Osprey Property Management team can handle the tenant screening process for you! Reach out to learn more about our property management services for the Coastal Virginia area.

Learn more about the eviction process with a free copy of “Rental Property Owner’s Tenant Eviction Checklist.”

 

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