How not to lose your eviction cases
05/30/2014 | Author: Editorial Staff
Judge Al Cercone has presided over thousands of eviction suits in his 22 years as justice of the peace for Precinct 3-1 in Dallas County. Here’s his advice for landlords and property managers.
How to prevent evictions in the first place
Two things can help you avoid many eviction proceedings before you hand over the keys:
- A clear and unambiguous contract and
- Thorough tenant-screening practices.
"If you screen tenants and look for red flags—instead of just filling your property with a warm body—you won't find yourself involved in as many eviction proceedings," Judge Al Cercone says.
Know who you're dealing with
Evictions are handled by the justice of the peace court for the precinct where the property is located regardless of the dollar amount.
Follow the correct procedure
To evict a tenant, you must first deliver the notice to vacate in one of three ways:
- By mail. Doesn’t have to be a certified letter.
- In person. Deliver it to someone who is at least 16 years old.
- By posting it. Attach the notice to the inside of the main entry door.
Tell them why they have to leave
The notice to vacate must include your reason for seeking possession of the property. This could either be because of a breach of the contract or a lawful reason. If there are multiple reasons, Cercone says you may want to reserve at least one in case you lose your first eviction attempt and want to try again.
There's much more to know
Read all of Judge Cercone’s tips about the eviction process in “Before you take your tenants to court …” from the May issue of Texas REALTOR® magazine.
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