Today we’re tackling the very taboo subject of evictions. At Moxie Property Management, we have some bragging rights when it comes to evictions. In the last two years, we have filed only two evictions on tenants we have placed in properties. We credit our low eviction rate to the fact that the application screening process is very thorough. When owners call and their immediate concern is evictions and they worry about the number of evictions they’ve had at their own property in the last couple of years, I really start to question their screening process and whether it’s thorough. If you don’t weed out the bad apples in the beginning, you’re probably placing a bad tenant in the property from day one and that’s naturally going to turn into a problem.
Three Day Notice
When we have not received rent by the sixth or seventh of the month, depending on when the due date falls and if there are weekends involved, we send out a Three Day Notice or a Notice to Pay or Quit. That says the tenant has to pay what is due by a specific date or we will file an eviction with the court.
Once we send that notice to the tenants and we don’t have the rent paid, we file with the court. The Three Day Notice allows us to file by the 10th of the month. Historically in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, courts schedule eviction hearings within two to three weeks of the filing.
Courts and Precincts
We’ll look at Tarrant County as an example. This county is divided into eight precincts and each precinct has its own justice court. That’s where the evictions are heard. Those eight different precincts have eight different judges, each with their own procedures and personalities. When we file, we verify that it’s the correct court and then we have to remember that there are special requirements in each court. Some judges want to see the written Three Day Notice with the filing and others don’t need it until we are in court. We attend the eviction hearing on behalf of the property owner, and there are various requirements. Some judges require plaintiffs to read from a script so it feels staged and we are simply reciting facts off a statement. Other judges don’t need to hear anything from us because they’ve seen the filing. They’ll tell the tenant they can pay and stay or otherwise they need to go.
Eviction court is not a horrible place. We don’t have to go very often, but when we do have to file, we are comfortable there.
If you have any questions about eviction or you need help with a tenant who isn’t paying rent, please contact us at Moxie Property Management.