What to Do When a Tenant Stops Paying Rent
What to do when a tenant stops paying there rent is a tough question that every landlord will face at some point in their career as a real estate investor. Here will cover a few points that will help.
Every rental property owner in Baltimore makes every effort to avoid this situation but sometimes it is inevitable.
Despite having put every last one of your tenants through screening, there comes a time that at least one of the tenants fails to pay the rent.
Here is what you should do to resolve the situation.
Try To Reach An Understanding with Tenants
This is the easiest and cheapest method of dealing with a tenant who has failed to pay rent.
You can try to come to certain terms on the payment or ask them to move. You should make the tenant understand that even though you understand his/her plight, you have a business to run and cannot risk losing money.
If the tenant agrees to some form of payment, make sure that it is properly documented, signed and witnessed for future reference.
If the tenant cannot be reached or they will not agree to your payment terms, then you can take the matter to the courts and file a claim for eviction.
The eviction regulations vary over different jurisdictions in Maryland, and for this article, we will focus on Baltimore City.
You should follow each legal stipulation to the letter to avoid delay and inconveniences.
The case should be filed on the 6th of the month. This way, a court date can be set from anywhere between the 20th and the end month of the same month. This costs around $25 within the city and could be more if you use a rent court agent.
If after four days the tenant still hasn’t paid the rent amount and late fees that the Courts determined were due, you can file for a warrant of restitution. This costs approximately $50. Once again this cost will vary depending on the number of tenants and if you use a rent court agent.
After you have filed the warrant, you must wait 10-15 days to receive a copy from the District Court. After receipt of the warrant, you may start calling the Sherriff’s office to schedule a date for the eviction.
Once you have a date for your eviction, a notice must be properly sent to the tenant advising them of the case number and several other requirements, including their options prior to eviction and potential resolution of the failure to pay rent case that leads to the eviction.
Assuming you’ve done all of this properly, the Sheriff will complete the eviction on the date scheduled (weather can affect the date of the eviction). You’ll need to be there to meet the Sheriff, change the locks, and dispose of any leftover property from the tenant.
After The Eviction
If you have screened your tenant properly, you should have identifying information such as a drivers license number or social security number. You should also know where they work.
With this information, you can hire a collections attorney that will be able to help you obtain and enforce a judgment on your evicted tenant.
It is important to get legal help with dealing with Baltimore tenants who fail to pay rent.
Failure to properly manage the situation could cause you to pay for damages caused by your evicted tenant.
Contact us today for help dealing with your tenant troubles! We will be able to help you no matter what situation you may be in.