How to build the perfect eviction checklist

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There’s no way around it, eviction is always a painful process. It’s awkward, time consuming,not to mention the need to dig through your records, hoping you didn’t miss anything crucial. However, there are steps you can take to make it better. In this article we’ll be discussing our favorite one, an eviction checklist.

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The best perk about having a solid eviction checklist will come at the time of hearing. As I’m sure you know, you can’t forget any key documents or pieces of evidence. If you’re lucky and have a solid ​ tenant screening SOP​, you won’t really need to evict tenants often. That also means the steps won’t be fresh on your mind each time you need to go through them. Having a checklist will make sure you’re prepared. That’s not all.

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The eviction process can be extremely awkward, still, you can’t have someone staying for free or destroying the property. An eviction checklist can help you keep things focused on business.

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Has this ever happened to you? You go to the bank for some important transaction. They ask you for a ton of paperwork, and naturally, you missed something. So you ask “Can we start the process and I’ll bring the document another time?”. They always tell you the same thing “I’m sorry, but the system won’t allow me to continue with the transaction without all the requisites” It’s not personal it’s just out of their hands, right?

The same idea can be applied to your eviction process. You can take the “personal” out of those awkward steps. After all, you’re just following your checklist, there’s nothing personal about it.

Never self-evict and always try to avoid it

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We did a lot of research when making our eviction template and there were two points that every single publication shared in common. The first one is don’t attempt self eviction. Tenant law might vary, still, attempting self eviction is prohibited all around.

The second point we saw everywhere was that you should always try to avoid evicting a tenant. The fact is, there are no winners when it comes to eviction. Even if you prepared a thorough checklist, made it to the hearing with everything you needed, got the eviction warrant including past-due rent… You would have still lost a ton of time and effort. Have a serious talk with the tenant, it might end up saving both of you a ton of trouble.

These two points should always be at the beginning of your checklist. You might think that it’s too obvious for you to forget. That might be the case, still, think about when it’s time for growth and you start delegating more tasks. What’s obvious for you might not be that clear for a new
team member.

Don’t reinvent the wheel, use a template

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Remember that crafting your checklist is all about saving you troubles and that starts from the beginning. Using the right template will save you time and it will lay out an organizational paradigm in case you need it. Here are the points we cover in our template.

Eviction Checklist template

Prepare your eviction Case

  • Understand that this is a general template and should be edited accordingly to your specific state laws.
  • Gather evidence about the issues.
  • If the case is not clear consult with a lawyer.

Notice of eviction

  • Draft a notice of eviction with a clear deadline.
  • Pin the notice of eviction to the tenant’s front door.
  • Send the notice of eviction through certified mail (Hold onto the receipt).
  • Wait the time defined on your state laws. If the tenant has not complied with the notice of eviction continue to the next step

Take the matter to the court

  • Get a court order
    • Gather the relevant documents
      • Lease agreements
      • Bounced checks
      • Records of payment of any kind
      • Records of the communication between you and your tenant (phone and email records).
      • A copy of the written notice that you provided your tenant. Dated proof that the tenant received the notice (a signature from the tenant, or receipt from the Post Office)
    • Please revise your specific state law for any additional requirements.
  • Attend the court hearing
  • Wait the time defined by the court. If tenant has not complied with the court-mandated eviction continue to the next step.
  • Call the authorities so they can handle the forced eviction

Collecting Past-due Rent

  • File a lawsuit with small claims court
  • Gather the relevant documents
    • Lease agreements
    • Bounced checks
    • Records of payment of any kind
    • Please revise your specific state law for any additional requirements.
  • Attend the court hearing

We’re always looking to improve our templates. If you have any suggestions for improving our eviction checklist template please share them with us by commenting on this post.

Customize your eviction checklist

It’s important to keep in mind that most eviction templates will need some tune up. Eviction laws vary from state to state and from country to country. Make sure to customize your checklist according to your specific tenant law.

If you’re in the States, the american apartment owners association prepared a ​ generalized Landlord tenant act​ that will help you with that. There will still be a few details that vary for each state, you should review your state’s legislation anyway. This is not an exception for landlords outside the US. For example, if you’re in the UK there will be a different ​ Landlord tenant act​ .

Don’t miss a thing with Manifestly

Now that we know the important parts about the structure and contents of your eviction checklist let’s talk about implementation. You didn’t expect us to recommend you handle this with pen and paper, right? Manifestly’s ​ features​ and ​ integrations​ will give you much more than a nice template. Let’s look at some examples that apply to your eviction process.

Time for the eviction hearing

Just as we discussed above, the most crucial point of the eviction process is the hearing. Missing anything that day might cost you the past-due rent or worse, you might end up forced to put up with a terrible tenant. Manifestly has two key features that will help you avoid the risks.

Manifestly’s ​ Historical Data​ feature will mean that every single checklist you completed will be available to you at any time and from any device. This means that every single inspection, miss payment, and step on your eviction process will be properly recorded and there when you actually need it.

Now, a note that it happened won’t be enough in most cases, if you don’t have pictures or the proper documents it might not mean much. This is when Manifestly’s ​ embeddings​ will really come in handy. You can add to your checklists documents like lease agreements, bounced checks, records of payments, records of communications, the written notice of eviction, pictures of property damages, and more. All of that will always be one click away.

Don’t let your team miss a thing

If you’re doing well it’s likely that you’ll start delegating some of your tasks. Even something simple like cashing and deposit checks could bring you trouble when it’s time to evict a bad tenant if the bounced check wasn’t properly added to the records.

Using the ​ assignments​ feature will directly introduce an element of accountability. Problems like these tend to happen because a new employee forgets the full scope of responsibilities. Assigning them all the steps will make sure they remember. Worried assigning each step will get tedious? ​ Role Based Assignments​ will let you do it with a single click.

Another feature that will do wonders when managing your team is the ​ Data collection​ feature. When customising your template you’ll have the option of requesting information on any given step. You can also make it a requirement for checking the step. Inspections are a great example of this. You can assign the step of visiting the property and make a requirement for Image files, that way your team won’t misplace any pictures of property damage.

Other features that will help you

There are also other features that will help you with all your SOPs. Let’s take a look.

  • Already using an eviction platform? Manifestly’s integrations features will help you seamlessly leverage external platforms for your SOPs.
  • Manifestly will let you see ​ multiple checklist runs​ on the same page. You won’t even need to open them one by one.
  • Repeatability of checklists thanks to ​ templating​, as well as modifications that are immediately integrated into your workflows.
  • Visibility that comes from digital alerts and integration, so you’re always on top of in progress checklist runs and progress.
  • Improve and update your workflows easily. You don’t need to come up with all the ideas, leverage all the ideas of your team with the process ​ improvement through feedback feature.

We hope this helps you start using or even improve your eviction checklist. As you can see there are just too many benefits for you to ignore. It will help you be prepared when it really matters, it will help reduce the wkwardness of the process, and it will help you avoid mistakes from your team. Are you ready to build your perfect eviction checklist? Start your ​ free trial​ now!

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