After a tenant has been evicted, landlords need to have a well-rehearsed protocol in place to mitigate risk and smoothly transition the unit to the next resident.
Step 1: Secure the Property
The first step is to immediately change the locks on the property once the Sherriff completes the formal lockout process. Coordinate with a reliable locksmith to be present on the same day in order to prevent the risk of unlawful reentry by the former renter.
Step 2: Conduct a Walkthrough
Once the property is adequately secured, the next task is to conduct a thorough walkthrough of the property and document any damage incurred during the prior lease term. If the former tenant caused a significant amount of damage on the unit, there is the possibility of filing a small claims case in order to obtain a judgment to collect compensation for the funds needed to repair the damage.
Step 3: Relist the Property
Following the completion of any needed repairs, it is time to get the property back on the market. Before doing so, however, it is always wise to reevaluate your business practices. Hindsight is 20/20—is there any improvement you can make on your tenant screening protocol? Does the lease agreement need to be modified to prevent certain issues from arising again or mitigate risk for the landlord?
Keep in mind that evictions are an unfortunate—yet inevitable—aspect of the real estate investment process. A landlord’s main focus should be on implementing guidelines and practices that enable them to adequately mange the risk of evictions and mitigate any negative consequences in the event one occurs.
The team at Geraci Law Firm is ready to work with you to protect your assets. Contact us today to learn more.