We just got out of court, and we have a big lesson for you if you’re a landlord or a property owner: Don’t manage crappy houses.
If you do have a crappy house, get rid of it. Or, fix it up before tenants move in.
Today, we’re sharing our court story as a cautionary tale and a learning experience for landlords, investors, property owners, and even other Tampa Bay property managers.
Following Eviction Procedures
We inherited this property and the tenants in it, so we didn’t have much control over the condition of the home, and we couldn’t apply our tenant screening standards to the residents currently in place.
A few rent checks from the tenant bounced. So, we had to begin the process of eviction. We served a Three Day Notice, as required by law. The next day, code enforcement was called to the house. They presented a laundry list of things that needed to be done in order to bring the property into compliance. Some of the things were tenant-caused and their responsibility. But, we were also hit with a few things.
We don’t own this property, but we knew we had to make things right for the owners, so we followed through and filed for eviction.
Filing for Eviction in Court
The tenants contested the eviction filing. We thought we were dealing with the people the house was actually rented to, but it turns out we were dealing with the tenant’s son and daughter. This complicated some of our communication efforts.
In Florida, if you are an LLC and you own a property, you have to have representation in court during an eviction. So, the owner had to hire an attorney, and we went to court as witnesses and to testify on behalf of the owner.
We were able to settle with the tenants five seconds before the judge walked into the courtroom. Overall, that’s good. But, no one really won in this situation. If the tenants had communicated with us, all of this could have been avoided. We have six phone numbers and four email addresses. We had all of our contact information on the notice we posted.
Try to avoid placing bad tenants. Try to avoid purchasing bad properties. It will save you a lot of time and money.
If you have any questions about how to find better rental properties and better tenants, contact us at Cavalier Estates.