Evictions are easily one of the most expensive and stressful situations a landlord can find themselves in the property management industry. They are costly, time consuming, and must be carried out perfectly and with proper legal counsel to be valid. Private landlords and professional property management companies in Sacramento can do their homework for hours on tenants; checking credit, verifying income proof, checking personal references, and conducting background checks, but the truth is, an eviction can fall on even what appears to be the safest and most reliable tenants. Life happens, income can be uncertain at times, or tenant circumstances and lease agreement compliance can change. There is no guarantee that you will be eviction-free as a landlord. But there are some precautions that landlords can take to protect themselves.
Screen Thoroughly and Rigorously
If you have experienced the leasing phase of property management, you know that with each application, comes a new scenario. You may think you have found the perfect tenant, but as you run their application, you find their credit score is in the high 500’s. Or their income is not sufficient. Or they have had an eviction on their record within the past seven years. You find yourself getting frustrated and desperate to lock in a tenant. Do not fall victim to settling for a tenant who does not qualify. Property management companies in Sacramento warn landlords to keep their tenant screening standards high, regardless of how long it takes to find a tenant. Below is a list of some of the most common reasons you can legally deny a tenant application:
- Low credit score: If a credit score is lower than 620, you can reject a tenant application. Credit scores show landlords if tenants pay their bills in full and on time.
- Insufficient Income: A good rule of thumb is to require a minimum of at least three times the rent amount. If rent is $2195, the tenants gross household monthly income must be at least $5,268. This ensures your tenants makes enough to not only pay rent, but also pay their monthly bills and everyday expenses.
- Failure to Provide Income Proof: Property management companies in Sacramento state that sufficient income proof is defined as the following: two most recent pay stubs, previous year’s tax return documents, six months of bank statements, an offer letter on official letterhead, or a social security benefits statement. Always verify the income by contacting the human resources department of the applicant’s employment.
- Pets or Smoking: If an applicant states that they have a pet and you have a no pet policy, you can legally deny their application. Be careful that you do not deny a service animal. Cigarette smokers are not a protected class. You can have a no smoking policy in your lease agreement without discriminating against any protected classes.
There are many more legal reasons you can deny a tenant application, but the ones mentioned above are the reasons landlords see most often.
Property Management Companies in Sacramento Handle All Eviction Correspondents Legally
Evictions are often unexpected, but always stressful. As a landlord, it can be frustrating to not handle things your way. Evictions must be carried out in accordance to the law. Legal counsel will often advise landlords to have no verbal contact with their tenants during the eviction process, as this could halt the process. If you have a legal reason to evict a tenant, counsel with your lawyer. Here are a few reasons that property management companies in Sacramento can legally evict a tenant:
- Failure to pay rent on time
- Criminal activity
- Causing damage to the property
- Unapproved pets
- Unauthorized tenants
- Indoor smoking on the property
- Subleasing of the property
- Nuisance complaints
- Threats against other tenants
Evictions can take as long as four to six weeks to be completed and can cost upwards of $5,000 if the tenant decides to contest the eviction in court. If no contest from the tenant, court fees can cost between $400 and $750. This does not include the loss of rent during the eviction, cleaning fees, or hauling fees if the tenant fails to remove their personal items from the property.
RPM SAC-METRO’s Eviction Protection Program
Property management companies in Sacramento know that the eviction process takes an emotional toll on landlords. That’s why Real Property Management SAC-METRO created the Eviction Protection Program. This is a program that costs property investors a low monthly fee, that protects them if an eviction occurs at their property. This low monthly fee pays for the filing, legal fees, and court costs in the event of an eviction. It does not cover a writ of possession or the move out costs of the tenant.
Why You Need SAC-METRO
Collections and evictions are part of business in this industry. With SAC-METRO, you get trustworthy service from professionals who have more than 30 years of experience in property management. Whether it is an eviction, lease compliance issues, or you simply need help finding the right tenant, we have your back. There is a reason we are ranked as one of the top property management companies in Sacramento. Call us today.