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Legal Matters: Calculating Eviction Costs in Property Management Agreements

Legal Matters: Calculating Eviction Costs in Property Management Agreements

The eviction process is the most unpleasant and complicated experience of landlord-tenant relationships. It is a legal matter that should be dealt with carefully and with the help of a professional. Even if you work with experienced property managers, it’s best to seek help from an attorney during the eviction process, as if the situation gets out of hand and reaches the court, only a lawyer has the right to represent you.

No property owner wants to deal with an eviction process, as they may be losing money most of the time. Calculating eviction costs in property management agreements involves considering various expenses and fees associated with the eviction process. These costs can vary depending on the location, the complexity of the eviction, and the terms outlined in the property management agreement. Let us break down the eviction process expenses a property owner might have to deal with.

Legal Fees

As previously mentioned, no matter how much of a professional your property manager is, in most cases, only an attorney can represent you in court. Usually, eviction doesn’t become a court case, but if you are dealing with a challenging tenant, you may have to hire an attorney. Therefore, as a property owner, you need to be steps ahead. 

Property management agreements often specify whether the property manager or the property owner is responsible for covering these legal expenses. Legal fees may include attorney fees for filing eviction notices, court appearances, and related legal paperwork.

Court Costs

In the case of the eviction process leading up to a court case, you might have to deal with filing fees and other court-related expenses. These expenses vary depending on the jurisdiction of your region and the type of eviction. Eviction proceedings can be distinguished by the cause, such as non-payment of rent or lease violations. 

Although your property management agreement may obligate a property manager to deal with legal issues, it will most likely be a property owner’s responsibility to pay the expenses and cover the costs.

Process Server Fees

A property manager must send eviction notices to the tenant to give them enough time to find a new place to live and move out. There may be fees associated with hiring a process server to deliver these notices. The property management agreement should clarify whether the property manager or owner covers these costs.

Property Manager's Fees

Depending on the property management agreement there may be some additional fees the owner has to pay in case of an eviction. The eviction process is complicated and requires more work than usual. This can include fees for coordinating with attorneys, managing court appearances, or communicating with the tenant during the eviction process.

Tenant Relocation Assistance

Depending on the location of residence, some jurisdictions require landlords to assist tenants in relocating. Meaning, a property owner may be required to help the tenant move into a new accommodation financially. 

This is the case only when the tenant is evicted for certain reasons, such as no-fault evictions. For example, if the tenant is being evicted because the property owner has decided to sell the asset, the landlord may have to assist the tenant financially in relocating.

Security Deposit Handling

Property management agreements should be thorough regarding the eviction process, as there may be multiple complications. The agreement should detail how the security deposit is handled during the eviction process. This could involve deducting unpaid rent or damages from the security deposit and specifying the timeline for returning any remaining funds to the tenant.  It’s best to thoroughly plan out such instances beforehand and ask for legal advice from professionals. 

Final Thoughts

The eviction process is complicated and rough. It can be stressful and challenging for property owners, property managers, and tenants. Therefore, thorough planning is necessary. It's crucial to carefully review and understand the property management agreement to determine how eviction costs are allocated between the property owner and the manager. Additionally, consult with legal counsel or a property management professional to ensure that the agreement complies with local laws and regulations governing eviction procedures. Eviction laws can vary significantly by jurisdiction, so it's essential to stay informed about the specific requirements in your area.