Evictions are the enemy of a real estate investor. They drain profits, damage tenant relationships, and can turn a well-run property into a stressful, chaotic nightmare.
One of the best ways to handle an eviction is to plan ahead so you'll have a thorough understanding of the costs and options before you're faced with making some difficult decisions.
In this article, we'll take a look at the costs of the average eviction, and we'll explain a couple of options that can help you avoid the process altogether.
What Are The All-In Costs to Evict a Tenant?
Evicting a tenant is a complex process that involves multiple steps and various costs. Not only will you have to consider legal fees and court costs, but you'll also need to account for lost rent, property turnover, and potential property damages.
The Process of Evicting a Tenant
The legal process can be confusing if you're trying to file on your own, so it's best to work with an attorney or experienced property manager to avoid errors that can give a non-paying tenant more time to stay.
Keep in mind that this isn't legal advice and is merely meant to give you an idea of the general process that lies ahead if you're facing your first eviction as a landlord in the San Antonio/Bexar County area.
Step 1: Written Notice to Vacate
Step 2: Filing of Eviction Suit
Step 3: Attend the Scheduled Hearing (Judgment)
Step 4: Optional Tenant Appeal
Step 5: Removal by Force if necessary (Writ of Possession)
The Cost Break Down
When we add up all the days above, we can see the total cost of eviction in San Antonio. Let's look at the additional costs below.
How much are the legal fees for an eviction?
Legal fees can vary significantly depending on your location and the case's complexity. However, an attorney's fees can range from $300 to $1,000 or more for complex residential evictions.
How much are the court costs for an eviction?
Court costs, including filing and serving fees, usually range from $190 to $500. These can include miscellaneous filing fees and the cost of a constable to physically remove tenants from the property after a write or possession is granted by a judge.
How much does it cost to evict someone in terms of lost rent?
The eviction process can last several months. During that time, it's unlikely that you'll receive any rent from the tenant being evicted. Beware of partial payments, too, as they may reset the process and allow the tenant more time, depending on the details of the situation.
You can expect the average eviction to last for 6-8 weeks, so plan accordingly.
How much does it cost to evict someone in terms of property turnover?
Once the tenant has been evicted, you must prepare the property for new tenants. This can involve cleaning, conducting repairs, advertising, and potentially real estate agent fees, totaling anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000.
How much do property damages cost in an eviction?
If the tenant has caused significant damage to the property, repair costs could run into the thousands. If the tenant is unable or unwilling to pay rent, it's safe to assume they're not taking care of the property as they should.
Hopefully, you'll only have to deal with some deep cleaning and minor issues, but fixing holes in sheetrock, replacing glass, and rehanging doors are all par for the course when it comes to eviction damages.
The Total Cost of Eviction (and Our Eviction Guarantee)
Added together, the total cost of an eviction can easily exceed $1,000, and in some cases, it can reach $2,000 or more in more complex cases.
If you're considering hiring us to handle a problem property or just want peace of mind regarding evictions, we offer an eviction guarantee for rentals in the San Antonio area, call for details. You can learn more about it here.
Prevent Evictions Before They Happen
The best way to handle an eviction is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Careful tenant screening, clear communication, and prompt response to maintenance requests are all key strategies to maintain good landlord-tenant relationships and minimize the risk of eviction.
Our eviction rate is lower than the average, and we credit that to our diligent screening process.
Alternatives to Eviction
In some cases, alternatives such as cash-for-keys agreements or mediation may be more cost-effective than eviction. These methods can quickly and amicably resolve disputes, saving time and money.
"Cash for keys" is a strategy that can prove beneficial in resolving landlord-tenant conflicts, especially when an eviction seems imminent. It entails offering the tenant a monetary incentive to voluntarily vacate the property, thus avoiding the lengthy and costly eviction process. It could be money, covering the cost of a moving truck, etc.
The key is to get the tenant to leave sooner and at less cost than if they stayed through the entire eviction process.
Evictions can be a challenging and expensive affair if not handled correctly. They are, however, sometimes a necessary part of property management. The key to managing evictions effectively is to be well-informed about the process and costs and to know when it's better to opt for alternatives.
With diligent tenant screening and a solid communication strategy, it's possible to prevent many evictions from ever happening. However, when they do, it's crucial to act swiftly and legally to minimize losses.
Finally, consider contracting the services of a professional property management company that offers eviction guarantees, lessening your risks even further.
While our screening process ensures we don't have to evict many people, we're experts when it counts. If you're dealing with a problem tenant and need a hand, we'd welcome the chance to discuss the issue with you. Reach out to us here, or give me a call directly.\
PMI Profit Realty