Hey Mario Gonzalez with Navy to Navy Homes. On today's blog we're answering a very important question we get a lot -- "Who pays for the eviction?" That's an important question because it can be very expensive. If you come to that uncomfortable place where you have to evict a tenant, who pays? We'll most more than likely, it is going to be the owner’s expense. Most of the leases are written from the owner to the tenant. So the lawsuit that ensues is actually between the owner and the tenant.
EVICTIONS CAN BE COSTLY
It can be expensive here in Florida. I can speak that the average eviction, uncontested runs between about five to eight hundred dollars; it takes about thirty days from the start to give the eviction process -- thirty to forty days. Now depending upon the way your lease is written, think about the additional expenses in this. The lease is written to maybe give a four-day grace period to pay rent, so it’s due on the first, four or five days and then you have a three day notice, so you're half way into the month before you even start the process -- thirty days after that. When you go through an eviction, you need to worry about the cost of the eviction, and the potential time in this, and losing one to two months of rent at a minimum and then paying to re-lease the home.
WHAT HAPPENS IF IT GOES TO COURT
It can be very expensive to actually perform an eviction. However, there are some companies out there, Navy to Navy, we offer eviction protection for our owners, for our landlords. Basically for a small monthly fee, we'll cover that five hundred dollar amount under fees in the unlikely condition that we have to evict a tenant. Where that helps the owner, is the owner doesn't have to worry about that additional expense -- something goes wrong; tenants paying late; stops paying; they give us permission to say, "you know what, just go for it, get them out of there," and we can do that. However, let me address this piece -- if it actually goes to court, meaning if it is contested and the tenant wants to go to court, then the fees get very expensive. So your lease has to be specific on this. A good lease will say that whoever goes to court, the prevailing party will actually cover the other lease, the other expenses, and lawyer expenses. Well most tenants think that if they drag you to court and they win, that you're going to pay all their expenses -- not necessarily the case. What’s going to happen is, because you're going to be represented by a lawyer, and it’s really going to be expensive because lawyers work by the hour, the lawyer is most likely going to counter sue for something. So you can go back and forth, literally, we haven't seen this tremendous thing. We have great tenants. But I've heard through the industry, that people have racked up ten and twelve thousand dollars per side in legal fees to fight over five hundred dollars. It’s ridiculous.
Aside from that, how do you protect yourself in this? Well, take a look at our other blogs as far as how to screen tenants; how to protect yourself; your investment; what to do if there's late rent; what to do if this tenant stops paying because the biggest thing in this, for eviction, is really to protect yourself upfront. And that is to properly screen a tenant, work with the management company that is very serious about this, that has written guidelines as to how they, procure and screen like residential selection criteria, how they screen the tenants. And you want a property manager that is always engaged during regular inspections; keeping good communication. The owner and the tenant know that they are there all the time. And that really will help minimize your chance of ever getting to an eviction. So please see our other blogs with regards to that, again, screening tenants; how to handle late fees; what to do if your tenant stops paying etc. And at any time, feel free to give us a call. We're happy to help answer any of your questions here at Navy to Navy. Thanks.