How bad is it? Eviction is a last resort. Probably the rent payments have been spotty and your frustration level has reached the breaking point. Maybe the rent payments have stopped altogether. That’s more serious and demands immediate action.
There’s no in-between. Once the eviction process is started it must be followed to completion. That’s not the legal requirement, but the voice of experience talking. If your renter has been slow to pay on time, or their check often bounces or there’s no end of excuses why rent is late, then moving to evict sends a strong message that their behavior has gone too far. The legal process costs you money and takes time. So even if they pay up and promise to stay current it’s a bad idea to stop the proceedings.
Evictions usually go relatively smoothly. Most renters will not show up on the court date. You’ll get a judgment which enables you to take the next step. Your renter will pack up and move out when they’re supposed to. They will turn over the keys and provide a forwarding address because they want their security deposit back.
In rare cases a tenant is more stubborn. They may have experienced eviction before and know they have some time on their side. The law provides for their belongings to be removed from the property and the locks changed but only when the required time has passed. In these cases there may be several months of unpaid rent and even property damage. If you find yourself in this situation, I strongly recommend getting professional help. Contact us or seek a property manager with substantial eviction experience.
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Washington DC Evictions