When you’re in the property management business long enough, you’re eventually going to have to handle an eviction. Today, we’re sharing 10 tips on how to handle the Georgia eviction process effectively so you can reduce your loss, minimize risk, and get the tenant out as quickly as possible.
Verify the Laws in Your Area
Different states, cities, and counties have their own eviction laws and processes. Make sure you know what’s required in your municipality.
Document Everything in the Process
Most importantly, document everything in writing. If you send something to the tenant, send it by certified mail as well as email so you have documented proof. Have your leases in order. If your eviction makes it to court, your documentation can protect you.
Use a Checklist
Have a checklist in place. Don’t wait until you need to evict someone to start this checklist; do your research and put one in place. You can take some classes from local associations. The National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM), for example, offers good local courses that cover these topics. Get a checklist ready in advance so you can move easily through the process.
Send a Legal Notice
In our area, the first thing we need to do is send an official notice called a Three Day Notice to Pay or Quit.
Include the Proper Language
Your notice has to have specific verbiage in it. Make sure you’re using the proper forms and notices. Send this the first day rent is late so you can start the process. It doesn’t necessarily mean the tenant will be evicted. If your tenant pays rent and late fees, everything is cleared up and you’re okay.
Send the Notice Properly
We recommend you send your notice by email, regular mail, certified mail, and then tack it on the tenant’s door. In court, we can tell the judge that we sent it four different ways. Legally, that’s proper notice.
Try to Stop the Loss
Focus on stopping your loss. Be professional and tactical, and make sure you’re communicating with the tenant. Offer better options like cash for keys. Don’t upset the tenants so much that they get stubborn and use every possible legal tactic to delay the eviction or damage the property on their way out. See if you can get the tenant out quickly or work with the tenant to get rent and late fees paid to stop the eviction process.
Pay Attention to the Filing Process
If your tenant has not responded, not paid rent, or not done what they promised to do, you need to file for possession of the property. It’s important to file for every adult tenant on the lease. If three people are living in the property and rent isn’t paid, file for all three people separately. At this point, the eviction is more serious, but you’re still not at the point of no return. Tenants can still pay the overdue rent and the late fees and stop the process.
Consider Professional Legal Help
At this point, you need to decide if you want to use an attorney or a professional eviction service. Make this decision based on your knowledge of the situation and the amount of cooperation you’re receiving from your tenant. If everything is easy and you have a lease in place and all the documentation you need to prove the tenant has not paid rent, you might have an easy time in court, and you may be able to handle it yourself. However, you should always get advice from an attorney first. We cannot provide legal advice, and we always recommend you work with an attorney.
Put Together a List of Providers
Have a list of providers you can count on before this process begins. You’ll want an eviction moving company so you can get rid of a tenant’s belongings. You may need to have storage available depending on your laws. You may have to hire a sheriff’s service. Have some knowledge and forethought so you aren’t looking for help halfway through the process.
Again, this is not legal advice. We’re using our expertise in Alpharetta property management to offer some tips and advice. If you have any questions, please contact us at Key Locations Property Management.