Recovering from Broken Promises
Like many other landlords in Richmond, VA, you're working hard to see your investment pay off. In addition to the constant challenges of property management, you've no doubt also noticed that people problems are some of your biggest roadblocks. Property investment is a bit unique in that it often ties you close to another individual or group of people in a highly intimate business relationship. Your tenants become what amounts to contractually bound partners in your business! You provide them with a quality place to live in the Richmond area, and in return, they agree to pay a set amount of money for an agreed-upon term.
The landlord-tenant relationship is vital to the success of your investments, and it can be incredibly trying when something goes wrong. What can you do as a landlord if you're looking at a worst-case scenario? What can you do when a tenant fails to keep to the terms of the lease? What can you do when they've left you on the hook for weeks or months of lost income?
Why Would a Tenant Violate Your Lease Terms?
In most cases, tenants don't sign a lease intending to violate it. Despite all the best intentions, many things can arise during the year and cause even the most reliable tenants to slide downhill. You may also find yourself in the unfortunate position of needing to evict your tenant. Let's take a look at a few common reasons why a renter may begin violating lease terms.
A tenant can break a lease without being on the hook for anything legally or financially for a few reasons. These scenarios will generally fall into one of three categories:
- The unit is uninhabitable. A tenant may break the lease and move elsewhere if the rental property or unit is deficient in some significant way, such as being unsafe or in violation of health codes. These scenarios must be genuinely significant (think lack of heat or water) to apply. Virginia requires tenants who do this to follow a specific process.
- You have committed a harassment or privacy violation. A tenant may also legally break a lease if you have committed a breach of the tenant's privacy or are behaving in a way that they could construe as harassment. Remember that Virginia requires 24 hours notice before entering a property.
- The tenant is performing active military service.
Of course, the tenant may not always choose to leave early. When a tenant begins violating the terms of the lease and backlogging rent, they remain on the hook for any rent that they owe. That said, collecting on rent that a tenant owes may require you to take legal action, and nothing is guaranteed.
Many landlords wonder how an initially promising agreement between them and their tenants could lead to eviction. Perhaps you didn't screen a tenant well, and they've been a challenge from the start. Maybe a tenant started as a dream come true, and something flipped halfway through the lease. Whatever your reason, evictions are a fact of life as a landlord and can often be the most challenging way that you have to navigate an early end to a lease. Some justifiable reasons to pursue eviction might be:
- Unpaid or frequently past-due rent payments.
- Damage to the property beyond normal wear and tear.
- Disturbing other tenants or disrupting the peace.
Another reason you might have to pursue eviction is the opposite of breaking a lease—a tenant might refuse to leave!
What Does Eviction Protection Do for You?
Despite your best efforts at setting clear expectations, reaching out to your tenants and keeping up with their needs, you'll never be able to ward off every problem. You can accept these occasions as the reality of investing in real estate, or you can take steps to prepare yourself in the event of the unexpected.
When the unexpected does happen, you can count on Mission Realty Property Management's optional Eviction Protection Program. Mission Realty is committed to screening effectively and only placing the best tenants in your properties. Our leases hold tenants accountable for the term of the contract. If a tenant does happen to violate a lease to the point that eviction might be necessary, our Eviction Protection Program fee of only $25 per month covers the necessary documentation and fees. Plus, it also covers attorney time for an appearance at one hearing. We also file the Writ of Eviction if the tenant does not comply with the judgment handed down by the courts. You don’t have to worry about court appearances or communication with the tenant—we take care of the whole process and keep you informed.
Mission Realty Property Management Has You Covered
Should you find yourself dealing with an unexpected tenant issue, an expert property manager is a great place to turn. Mission Realty's pricing plan offers the Eviction Protection Program, which is an unbeatable way to safeguard your investment in the event of a worst-case scenario. Mission Realty works hard to place only the best tenants in your properties and keep them filled and earning money. If you're dealing with unexpected tenant issues, or think they're on the horizon, reach out to Mission Realty Property Management.