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What Should I Keep In Mind When Evicting A Tenant?

What’s up, everybody? Alex Smith here from Evernest. Today we’re going to answer common questions we get from owners, including “What should I keep in mind when evicting a tenant?” 

A quick disclaimer, I am not an attorney. This is not legal advice. If that is what you are looking for, I would definitely consult with an attorney in your area.

Question #1

How long does evicting a tenant take?

Tennessee is a landlord-friendly state. It can take about a month from start to finish. In other states, like Alabama, it can take up to four months. There are some areas I’ve heard of in the northeast where it can take up to 12 months. Because it varies from state to state, you’ll have to look up specific eviction proceedings in your area.

Question #2

How much can I expect to spend on an eviction?

That also depends on the state. In Tennessee, you are looking at around $800, including the set-out. 

A set out is eviction lingo for when a sheriff shows up to supervise the tenant as they move out of the house.

In some areas, it can add up to thousands of dollars for attorney fees and court fees, all that kind of stuff. Including lost rent for several months and it can really add up.

Question #3

What happens if I don’t have a tenant under a contract or on a lease?

Generally, if you are going to court for an eviction, bring every piece of paperwork you can about the tenant. The more you can back up your actions the better, and paperwork is usually the best way to do this. If you don’t have an official signed contract, then bring copies of text messages, emails, and anything else that points to your arrangement, even if it was a casual one. 

Question #4

Where do I get an eviction letter?

Before the process even starts, you have to serve your tenant with an eviction notice.

We are set up to do all of that in-house here at Evernest. So, if you don’t want to fool with it, we can definitely help and also answer any questions.

You can also get them from an attorney in your area.

Question #5

How can I avoid eviction by avoiding bad tenants in the first place?

Great question. Here are a few options.

Be diligent and do thorough screenings.

I used to show houses to potential future tenants, which can add up to a long, frustrating day.  You can spend all day in the house and people sometimes won’t show up at all. It’s exhausting.

When things do not go as planned, it’s easy to get frustrated, and because of the frustration, there is a tendency to relax a little bit on the screening criteria. This never ends well for the landlord. 

I’d love to help, reach out if you have any questions. Thanks!


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