5 Steps to Help Ensure your Eviction Case Goes Smoothly
So you had to file an eviction against your tenant. It can be a difficult thing to do, placing someone out of their home is never an easy decision to make, but, your rental property is a business and it cannot be a personal decision.
- Accounting – Make sure that the tenant ledger is clear and complete. The judge is going to ask for a copy of this in court and it needs to be clear and accurate in order for you to receive a verdict based upon this. I suggest bringing the entire ledger with you from the day the tenant moved in up until the court date.
- Evidence- If you are evicting the tenant for anything other than non-payment of rent you are going to need clear evidence of the issue. This cannot be photos or texts on your phone or in your email. The judge has to have something that can be handed to them and kept in records. Emails on a phone or laptop must be printed before hand, the same thing with photos. This could delay the verdict or push the judge to dismiss your case if you don’t have these items ready. This also include the lease. always take extra copies of the written lease.
- Attitude- Stick to the facts. This is not the proper place for hashing out why you and the tenant cannot get along and the judge is going to be looking at how you purport yourself in court. If the tenant claims you are terrible to deal with and make it difficult for them to pay rent and you begin yelling and screaming at them in open court or making rude comments about the tenant, this is not un-noticed. Remember that the judge does not know you or the tenant and has to make a decision based on what is in front of them. If you do not act like a sane and reasonable person the tenant may seem much more reasonable. Your attitude matters.
- Attendance – Make sure you show up! Traffic is terrible, so is parking anywhere near the court hose. Going through security at the court house can take time and involve a long line. Make sure that you are early for court. In the morning right the judge will hold roll call and see who has shown up to court and who is not present. If you do not want your case to be dismissed you need to show up and be present. Most judges do not allow texting, having your phone out or even reading the paper in their court rooms. Plan on making a good impression and being respectful of the court as well.
- Maintenance- I suggest doing a property inspection prior to the court hearing and making sure that you have photos to prove that the property is in tip top shape. Don’t decide not to repair the oven, heat etc because the tenant has not paid rent. The judge could decide that the tenant is not getting full use of the home and you could end up losing out on the money you are trying to reclaim in court. You need to be able to show that there is no reason or excuse for the tenant not paying rent to you in a timely manner.
Comment below let every one know anything else that would help make the eviction go smooth.