Evicting a tenant is one of the worst ways to spend your time. If you can possibly avoid going to court to evict someone, I suggest you do everything you can to avoid it. It will cost you a lot of money and it will take up a lot of valuable time. It isn’t worth it. As a professional property manager in Tampa, I have experience with evictions, but I make it a policy never to do them if I don’t have to, and never to spend the money hiring someone else to do it for me. There are always other options, and even if those options seem a little crazy, they are still better than heading to the courthouse.
Here’s what will happen if you have to evict a tenant in Tampa. First, you will have lost several months of rent that you were not able to collect. Then, you will have to pay at least $500 to file the lawsuit that starts the eviction process. Once they are legally evicted, you will need to pay $90 or more to have the sheriff knock on the door and inform them that they need to leave immediately. Finally, you have them out of your property and you can get a handyman to change the locks. That costs money too. And, you’re not done. You have to have all of the stuff they left behind hauled out of the house. This leaves you paying even more, and if you have to leave their personal belongings out in the front yard, your property ends up looking horrible. Instead of going through this expense and hassle, you should consider paying your tenants to move.
When you pay the tenant what it would cost to evict them, you can offer that money in exchange for a clean house free and clear of all the personal belongings you would otherwise have to remove. If you can talk to your tenants and get them to agree to this, you will save yourself a heap of time and money. You won’t have to worry about serving the notice or going to court or getting the sheriff involved.
This is something I have done before, and I find that if I can have a meeting with the tenants and work something out, everyone ends up happier. When a tenant is late on rent and unable to pay, instead of eviction I encourage them to move out immediately and peacefully. We will give them their a move out bonus when they leave the place clean. Most tenants are willing to wipe down surfaces and run a lawnmower in exchange for the money they obviously need. If you are really able to reach a deal, your outgoing tenants might be willing to show the place to new applicants so you don’t lose too much rental income during this unfortunate process.
Sometimes, I have to do an eviction on a tenant that we inherited from another landlord who did not properly manage his property or screen his tenants thoroughly enough. Even then, I do what I can to negotiate an agreed upon solution hopefully avoiding a full blown eviction to get the tenants out of the property. If you have any questions about how to do this, contact us at Cavalier Estates.