INVESTMENT

Do I need a lawyer to evict tenants?


This week’s question comes And Upstairs Real Estate Rookie Facebook Group. Dan asks: For those of you who have been through this Eviction process, Did you go to the small claims court alone or did you hire a lawyer?

Although Tony (fortunately) has no experience evicting tenants, Ashley does Many had to be evicted from his personal Investment properties As well as managing from assets when he was a full-time property manager. He describes There are several ways you can evict a tenant, All of which will depend on the situation the tenant will present you with.

If you want Ashley and Tony to answer a real estate question, you can post on the Real Estate Rookie Facebook group! Or, call our Rookie Request Line (1-888-5-ROOKIE).

Ashley Kehr:
This is Real Estate Rookie, Episode 104. My name is Ashley Kehr and I’m coming to you from Bigger Pockets headquarters with my co-host Tony Robinson.

Tony Robinson:
And for those of you who haven’t listened to last week’s episode, we’re filling in one of Ashley’s bucket list items by recording in talk show style at the BP head office here.

Ashley Kehr:
Oh, just pick up my cup of coffee and let me have a sip.

Tony Robinson:
But yes, we’re here in Denver for a few days. Ash and I are chatting with the crew here. Every few months we try and come out and spend some time. We are literally far from each other, I think you can probably get on a map. So it feels good to be able to get together in person at once.

Ashley Kehr:
Yes. And we’re working on some really exciting topics, maybe some more personal facts, all sorts of different content to really find out as much real estate investment knowledge as you have and the best way to get it to you. And we love everyone here who works at the headquarters. These are great and we have a great time every time we come.

Tony Robinson:
We’re not here to talk to you today about how much we love BiggerPockets. We are here to talk to you about real estate investing. We received a question from the Facebook group today. Today’s question came from Dan Rodriguez. And Dan’s question is, “Did you go to small courts alone or did you hire a lawyer for those of you who have gone through the eviction process?” The local court advised me on the next step. I’m just wondering if I should spend extra money on this problem even though the tenants have already suffered. Dan added that the tenant already has a warrant for his arrest so he thinks it might take some action from the tenant who did it himself. So I never had to evict anyone before. Ashley, I think you had some great experiences with it so why don’t you tell us your experience and how it went for you.

Ashley Kehr:
Well, at first I was going to say that when I worked as a property manager, I had no experience. There was no one to guide me. I was learning everything on my own. And so it came up that I had two evictions and the investor I was working for said, “Oh, you can do them yourself. Just figure it out. You can do it. We do not need to hire a lawyer. ”So it’s a very small town and the city judge made me cry because I made it so bad. I brought the paperwork and the tenant is there and he says, “This date is wrong. It should have been served at this point, ”and blah, blah, blah and I try to hold back the tears. I was very upset and he said, “Dismiss the case. It’s going anywhere. “Okay then the next case was right with the next tenant and before the tenant came, he said, ‘I’m just talking about dismissing his case.’ I’m not going through all the mistakes you’ve made. So this was my first experience with eviction. So after that-

Tony Robinson:
Wait, can we take a break really fast? So this kind of story that as a rookie, you don’t always hear. It’s good to share because I think people see you and they see Ashley as this very successful, you’ve been killing in the game for a long time, but they don’t see the steps and struggles they had to go through, go there, do they?

Ashley Kehr:
Yeah Al that sounds pretty crap to me, Looks like BT aint for me either. So I did some more research. I talked to a few attorneys and I realized that going with an attorney is the best route, at least for me in New York. And so the next eviction I had to do that actually went all the way working for the apartment complexes. It was very frequent that we would give a notice that if we did not pay them we were going to be evicted and many times that threat intimidated enough people. And then when they actually get the court date, they used to pay a lot of time before the court date came. And then if they get a court date, they will usually pay the original money or they will just run out and return the money to us. So for my own personal property, I had to evict two. And the first was the first property I bought, which we said a few episodes ago.

Ashley Kehr:
This property was actually an employee of my partner in this property. And we started the eviction process and we used an attorney and we went to court and they didn’t have the money to pay so they were judged. So the verdict is for 10 years, so if they ever try to sell anything they own, the money from it will go to us if there is any money from there to cover the verdict. We didn’t see anything and it could be five years, but from there they dumped the house and they left on their own. Our sheriffs do not have to come after the court date and hand over their eviction papers. They went outside, threw a lot of rubbish. But about a week later, I saw them buying a brand new iPhone at the Verizon store and the guy waved at me like, “Oh, hey, how are you?” I was in such disbelief. I’m sure my jaw is open and [inaudible 00:05:00] Like, “You owe me all this money and here you are buying an iPhone?”

Tony Robinson:
Priority. Priority. But I think even though you came up with a good thing, Ashley is that the first time you did it, you tried to do it alone which is completely okay because some people, they can do it and they can swing and it works for them, But obviously it didn’t turn out the way you wanted it to for the first time.

Ashley Kehr:
Yes. And I didn’t save money or the investor I worked for didn’t save me doing it. It would have been faster and probably cheaper because people would have been evicted and the attorney would not have had to wait until our next court date to do it. So to me it was a big lesson sometimes, even if it seems like it makes more sense now that it’s actually worth it in the long run than trying to find yourself.

Tony Robinson:
So Dan’s question, he said, “I’m already at a loss with this tenant.” So he’s just thinking about this one tenant, but my question is, Dan, if you plan to scale your portfolio and maybe it’s a house, maybe you want 50, maybe you want 100. Having a little money to hire an attorney to show you the actual process so that it comes next time, you probably won’t have to do it then because you’re trained and trained and you know the process. But if your goal is scaled, maybe don’t think of this one tenant at the micro level, but the macro level of your entire portfolio.

Ashley Kehr:
And for the attorney I use now, it’s as simple as leasing, a copy of the lease, a detailed report of their account that is shown, and then they take care of the rest. I don’t have to do anything until the court date. And luckily I just did another eviction where I had to get the real sheriffs, but I had an attorney and they were pretty easy. So I would say it’s worth the investment to hire an attorney for eviction to get it done right the first time. And then Dan also mentioned the small claims court. So in small claim courts, if you don’t actually evict and you’re just going to judge them, for money, it’s an easy process. You can actually just go to the clerk, the court clerk, and have a form and you fill it out and then it goes to the judge and then they set the court date. But it is actually a much easier process than paperwork for eviction.

Tony Robinson:
Got it. So Dan, hope you got some value out of it, bro. Hopefully Ashley has given you do’s and don’ts so you know which way to go.

Ashley Kehr:
Am I terrified of you? [crosstalk 00:07:22]. We don’t want you to cry in court, Dan.

Tony Robinson:
So, hopefully you bought something, bro.

Ashley Kehr:
And the only thing to add to that is, if you don’t really want an eviction, you don’t want to hire a lawyer, you can cash in for the keys. I find this quite common, especially after Kovid when there is no eviction that you can do is hire cash paying people. If you leave on this date, we will come here and we will give you $ 500 and in return, you are all leaving and you will give us the keys and then you will also close the lease between each other. So it seems to be growing that investors are using it because it can be cheaper than waiting until you can evict or until you get a court date or pay an attorney. So always look at something too.

Tony Robinson:
Liked it. I have nothing more to add, Dan. It was great.

Ashley Kehr:
So when Tony gets a squatter in one of the short-term rents, he knows what to do. Well, thank you so much for listening. I’m Ashley @WealthFromantals and she’s Tony Ony Tony J. Robinson, and we can’t wait to see you at BP Con in New Orleans this year. So make sure you get your ticket and we’ll meet there in October. Have a great week.



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