When you’ve finally had enough – how do you evict your tenant from hell? Non payment or late payment of rent, noise, illegal activity, unregistered guests or pets, are all reasons for eviction.
Despite your best efforts with your screening and application process, you may still end up with a bad tenant. The best RX is to focus on evicting the tenant as quickly as possible. But the question is, once you’ve made the decision to oust them, how is it done?
Once you’ have grounds for eviction you can begin.
Grounds for eviction gives you 2 options:
Option 1: You need to get paid now – what can you do?
1. You can call an eviction service and have them file “landlord distress.” This means, if the tenant has something of value to seize that is on your rental property, the eviction service may be able to seize it, sell it, and give you the money. You can then use that money towards rent that is in arrears. Or, if the tenant wants their seized property returned – they have to pay rent and costs before being allowed to retrieve it.
There are several very important distinctions here:
*** For an eviction service company to be able to seize the property – the tenant still must be residing in your property. If you’ve evicted your tenant and they are no longer living in your property – you cannot file landlord distress and cannot seize their property because they are no longer your tenant.
***Only a landlord eviction service can seize the property – NOT YOU!
If you go in to your rental property guns ablaze and seize their property – you will be fined $50,000 – not up to $50,000. You will be fined the entire $50,000. So unless you have money to burn, don’t do this yourself – ever!
***Seizure must be affected before a 14 day Notice of Termination is up
If the tenant doesn’t have anything of value to seize you can proceed to option #2.
Option 2: Eviction – You want them out ASAP!
With eviction you must;
1. Serve a 24 or 48 hour Demand Letter to to the tenant. Post it on their door and take a date/time stamped picture to use as evidence.
2. At the expiry of the Demand Letter, if no arrangements have been made to start the eviction process, fax the eviction service the following documents:
a. Lease (if you have one)
b. Demand notice
c. Any past Demand or Eviction notices
d. Copy of the tenant ledger printout
3. Once this is done – the eviction service will take care of the rest
Once you’ve initialized this process -how can they evict your tenant?
1. Eviction service completes an affidavit signed by landlord or property manager
2. Eviction service files affidavit along with Notice to Tenant at the court house
3. Eviction service serves affidavit and Notice to tenant
4. Eviction service attends court on landlord’s behalf
5. Court determines;
a. Date tenant must be out – generally 10-14 days after court
b. If a specific payment schedule must be met by tenant
6. If tenant misses payment or refuses to leave – contact the eviction service that tenant is not out by specific date and payment was not made
7. Eviction service then completes 2 affidavits and submits them to court with the Eviction Order
8. Writ of Possession (eviction order) is received by eviction service in 1-2 days
9. Bailiff will remove tenant in 2 days, within that time he can;
a. Change locks immediately
b. Tenants have 7 days to retrieve their property – if after 7 days they have not retrieved it, if it’s valued under $2000 it can be thrown out. Take pictures before discarding property
c. Allow tenant 24 hours to move out
Typically the eviction process takes 3 weeks:
· 1 day to get into court
· 10-14 days for tenant to move out
Below is a comparison showing pro’s and con’s of serving either a 2 day Demand Letter or a 14 day eviction notice (as recommended by the RTA)
14 Day Eviction Notice
1st day rent is due
1st day rent is due
2nd day serve a 48 hour Demand Letter
2nd day serve a 14 day Notice
5th day fax documents to eviction service
17th day the 14 day notice expires
6th day sign and file in court
11th day fax documents to eviction service
14th approximate day in court
19th day sign and file in court
28th approximate day tenant has to vacate
27th day in court
11th day of the following month, approximate day tenant has to vacate
This comparison shows if you serve a 14 Day Notice and still do not get paid, the 3 week process doesn’t evict your tenant until the next month. This allows the tenant yet another free month of rent at your expense!
In extreme cases such as dealing with a drug related problem, violence or threats of violence, the courts will usually give the tenant less than 2 weeks to vacate, possibly as few as 2 days.
Can you still get rent money after the tenant leaves?
Possibly – if the tenant is working and you know where they are working, eviction services can Garnishee them for the amount of the outstanding judgement.
There you have it in a nutshell – the process for hiring an eviction service to evict your tenant from hell.
What are the costs?
1. For Court of Queen’s Bench Eviction Service approximately $799 (includes GST and lawyer).
Duration: about 1 week & possession in about 2-3 weeks
2. For RTDRS (Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service) $525. (includes GST)
Duration: varies – 2-3 weeks before hearing date and possession 2-3 weeks after hearing date
Evicting your tenant yourself and hiring an eviction service will both cost you money and time. The deciding factor for most is which process will give you the best results and the least stress.
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Nelda Schulte is a property investor who is passionate about helping investors who self-manage have profitable investment properties through resources and education. If you struggle with the wrong landlord forms, or worse yet, no landlord forms check out Nelda’s 10 Essential Editable Landlord Forms that help you separate the good tenants from the bad and increase your property’s profitability.