First time eviction

So I’ve been renting out properties for 5 years now in northwest Arkansas and I’ve been lucky enough to not have to legally evict anyone, but now my luck has run out and I have a tenant who is refusing to leave, won’t be bought out, and is in and out of jail on weapons charges and such.

I have this property under property management and they put up 10 day pay or quit notice last month, and during that time he went to jail so no response. After the ten days, the management company went and changed the locks and started the get ready program. The tenant got out of jail and contacted them and said he wanted his things from the house and they agreed to send someone to supervise him as he cleared his things out. The morning they went over to meet him, they found that he’d jimmy’d the rear door and had broken in and was squatting, refusing to leave, saying that his lawyer said he wasn’t given ample amount of notice to vacate since he was in jail. The management company called the police and the police said that it wasn’t a case of breaking and entering because there was a lease involved so they wouldn’t get involved. I had the management company offer him $500 to vacate and he said no.

So I asked what the procedure was and I was told that first, a lawyer would need to put up a 3 day vacate notice, which I had them do and that didn’t have any effect. So now I’m being told that I need to file an unlawful detainer lawsuit which will cost between $700 to $1300 if everything goes alright, but if he attempts to stay or presents an argument in court, the costs will continue rising from there. I’m already out $1800 from this month and last month and I’d like to stop the bleeding on this one. Anyone know if there’s an easier way than what I just mentioned above??

I don’t think there is any easier way than to follow the procedure, but this whole story pisses me off…

People spend their lives saving for investment properties just to have some loser take advantage of them and not care.

Many people have no respect for landlords.

It sucks.

I’m surprised you got 5 years into it without having to deal with this.


Albeit for unfortunate reasons…We are glad to see you active in the Forums again. :beer

I’m not sure if your management company is incompetent, or just lazy, or both.

First they posted a 10-day notice to pay or quit, and the tenant didn’t respond, so they changed the locks, but they didn’t assume the house was abandoned and empty it? This is stupid.

They should have immediately emptied the house, and placed the items in storage, and waited for the tenant to call to retrieve his crap, after reimbursing the PM for storage costs. This is clear abandonment, regardless of the reason.

The important thing is to empty the unit FIRST and as fast as practical. Possession is still 9/10ths of the law.

Otherwise, what is the PM waiting for? Every day that goes by is lost rent.

Now, the PM is saying an attorney needs to post a 3-day notice to vacate, on top of the 10-day notice? Really?

The 10-day notice should still be in effect, if that’s even legal, in order to initiate the unlawful detainer.

BTW, the cash for keys you’re offering is the opening salvo, not the final offer. Otherwise, he can’t afford to move. If he could, he’d be paying rent. So, you know the guy has no money to pay rent, or put up a deposit and rent something else. So, you’ve got to make it worth his time to do anything, but squat in your house, until the last ‘free’ moment, when the police show up and dump his crap on the lawn.

So, you offer this deadbeat $1,300 (give or take), or whatever you would be paying an attorney, but only if he’s out by 5 p.m. on Friday, and the place is left clean. And no money until he delivers the unit to you clean.

You need to take this on personally.

Inform the deadbeat that if he doesn’t accept your offer you’re going to…

  • Sue for unlawful detainer action and win.
  • Receive a judgment award for the unpaid rent.
  • Put the judgement to collection, and continue to damage his credit until he pays, or files for bankruptcy, and you could care less which happens first.
  • Make it impossible for him to rent anything decent for the next five years.
  • Damage his credit rating for seven years.

So, he’s got a choice. He moves and gets $1,300? Or you screw him six ways from Sunday?

Of course, the place being left clean is beside the point. You just want the fastest, cheapest repossession you can negotiate; not get a free rental cleaning.

So, to your PM, which is it? A 10-day notice to pay or quit, or a 3-day notice? It’s not both.

And once they’ve (or you) got the deadbeat out of your house, you fire this management company for being so stupid, unprofessional, and unprepared to handle a routine abandonment/eviction procedure in a cost-effective manner.

That’s all I got. Offer more money, and shorten the vacate schedule. Just saying.

Thanks for the replies, I was pretty busy so didn’t reply until now. I do feel that the PM has been falling down on the job lately, The main management team has changed and their turn over rate for their maintenance managers has been crazy over the last several months. I think there’s been 4 different ones since last summer. Maybe their team just can’t handle all the properties that they currently have. I had an issue that was called in last August that didn’t get fixed until February of this year. They apologized profusely and paid for half of the repairs and I figured it was a fluke, but I’ve been seeing more and more lazy attitudes towards issues that come up and they have one go-to restoration company they get quotes from for almost everything. Sometimes the quotes seem ridiculously high. There was a plumbing leak at one of my houses right around Christmas that damaged the laminate floor and they came back with a quote of $7000 for a pretty small space. I figured if it was that serious I should file an insurance claim, which I did and the insurance said no more than $3900 total including my deductible, so the same company quoting me $7000 through the PM said okay, we can do exactly what we quoted you $7000 for $3900 which doesn’t feel exactly right to me. Anyway, I think I just went on a little rant about the PM company.

But there was a turn of events with this particular renter I was originally asking my question about. That night I decided, against the better judgement of my wife to contact him with an offer and texted him a one time offer of $500 to leave by today. I said I’d have paperwork written up and to be signed and notarized. He was to have the house cleaned out and if he were to return after signing it would be considered breaking and entering and would be dealt with accordingly. I told him I needed to know before the night was up otherwise I would file unlawful detainer the next day and he would soon be physically removed without $500 in his pocket. He got back to me pretty quickly and said that he agreed. We met today, signed papers, and I handed him $500 and he told me he was leaving right then, headed to Texas. So hopefully I’m in the clear and can start bringing the place back up to speed.

So that brings up the question of why did $500 work now and not when the PM offered it. I believe that would be because they never actually offered him a set amount although I did tell them I would pay him $500. They just said something along the lines of the owner may be willing to pay you to leave. So, knock on wood, I think I dodged the going to court bullet this time even though it was a pretty big pain.

Fantastic result, considering the PM’s incompetence.

Time to find a new PM. They’re waaaaay, too expensive, considering your losses.