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I hope you and your family are healthy and surviving this tough social distancing period. Today I’m discussing the state and federal laws that have been put in place in response to the coronavirus, specifically the hold on evictions mandate. With the stimulus package President Trump passed, evictions are on hold for 120 days. The houses that are covered under this are the ones collecting rent under HUD, Section 8, Victims Against Crime, or any house with a mortgage backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, meaning it’s federally insured. Be aware: Just because you’re paying Wells Fargo, for example, doesn’t mean it isn’t federally insured.
I’ve been getting a lot of questions about how to find a good rental property, so I wanted to go over our process with you today. It all starts with making a list of all of the properties that fit the criteria of what you’re looking for. Then, we determine the ongoing costs of owning that property, calculating everything from the monthly HOA fees, to the property taxes, to the average utility costs. Once we figure out what repairs need to be made and how much can be collected in rent, we can come up with a good purchase price and get a better idea of the ROI.
Recently, I’ve had some questions broached about our vacancy rate and how long our tenants stay, and I feel it’s important we discuss how we reward tenants who are doing the right thing. Recognizing these tenants, in turn, makes them want to stay longer, or stay within our company.
We do preventative maintenance twice a year (in a future video, I’ll discuss the details of that process), and when we perform these maintenance checks, we also enter certain tenants into what we call the “tidy house drawing”.
There are six criteria tenants are rated on, and if they meet all six, they’re entered into this monthly drawing. At the end of the month, we do a live Facebook stream (this ensures full transparency) and draw a name; that particular person wins $250.
I wanted to add in a positive interaction with our tenants.
Now, I’ve had people ask me, “Why would you reward someone for doing the right thing?” Well, I’ve realized that in property management, the only time tenants would ever hear from me is when they did something problematic—late payments, tenant-caused repairs, evictions, etc.
I wanted to add in a positive interaction with our tenants; that way, those who are doing everything right and would otherwise never hear from me can feel acknowledged. Once they win the drawing, we arrange a time to come to the house and present them with the gift card, a certificate, and a letter of recommendation should they ever decide to move.
At that time, we also open up a relaxed conversation about things they may want to see improved on the house. If there are things they want, the owner gets a call from us, and we let them know about their tenant winning our drawing.
If you have additional questions about the information covered in today’s message or property management needs, feel free to call or email me. I would love to speak with you.
If a tenant files an answer to your eviction notice, what should you do? Today I’ll cover what comes next and how to handle the process.
First, the court will give you a court date. Before that date, I recommend that you get three copies of the ledger, the work order, and the lease agreement. I also suggest creating a ‘cheat sheet’ detailing all of the tenant’s unpaid charges. This will make it easier for the judge to understand what the tenant owes so they won’t have to go through the entire ledger.
Suppose that the tenant doesn’t show up to the court date—what’s next? In that case, the judge will automatically grant the eviction and then you can file the lockout.
If the tenant does show up and hands you the keys in front of the judge, the judge won’t grant the eviction. Instead, you’ll gain possession of the property there and then, and the tenant gets to go without paying the balance and with no eviction on their record.
Sometimes, the tenant will have the money they owe, in which case, they can remain in the property and you get your rent. If it’s close to the beginning of the next month, the judge may also ask the tenant to pay the current month’s rent or to give a date when they can pay it. If they don’t end up paying, the judge will likely grant the eviction.
My goal isn’t to make someone homeless—I’m open to other solutions to the problem that brought us to court in the first place.
Other times, a payment plan can be set up, and courts often support that. If at any point the tenant falls short on the payment plan, you can call up the court, who will grant the eviction.
I’ve been doing this for seven or eight years now, and in the beginning, I was having trouble getting the judge to rule favorably or fairly; it felt like a zero-sum game. Once I watched how the pros do it, I realized that I needed to change my approach so that judges wouldn’t see me as vindictive or punitive.
Forming a relationship with the judge will also help in cases where tenants lie about things like having called in a work order when they didn’t or having answered our phone calls when they didn’t. The judge can see through these lies and rule fairly for both parties. My goal isn’t to make someone homeless—I’m open to other solutions to the problem that brought us to court in the first place.
Hopefully, this gives you a little bit more insight into what to expect if an eviction case is brought to court. If you have any questions about property management, feel free to reach out to Guardian Realty Investment & Property Management. We hope to hear from you soon!
For the previous video in my series on evictions, we touched on the associated costs and briefly explored the steps involved in the process, but today I’ll go into more detail.
When a tenant doesn’t pay rent, and the final date has passed, we file a 7-day pay or quit notice. In July 2019, Nevada legislation changed the 5-day pay or quit notice to a 7-day. You wouldn’t think that two days make a difference, but it does because we end up going through two weekends on a 7-day pay or quit.
This notice is filed with the process server, who will post it on the tenant’s door as well as send it through certified mail. Then, we’re sent the proof of service for our records. Should we have to continue with the eviction services, we would then file the eviction paperwork with three justices.
Keep in mind that we have three townships here in Las Vegas (Las Vegas, Henderson, and North Las Vegas), and each one does things a little bit differently when it comes to the paperwork.
You wouldn’t think that two days make a difference, but it does because we end up going through two weekends on a 7-day pay or quit notice.
If the tenant doesn’t pay their rent by the end of the seventh day, then eviction paperwork will be filed in the court on the eighth business day. The judge typically takes 48 to 72 hours to review the documents and grant the eviction, so long as the tenant doesn’t file an answer. If the tenant does file an answer, it means we have to go to court.
If no answer is filed, then the judge sends the order to the constable. Though we use a process server for the 7-day pay or quit, we’re mandated by law to use a constable for the actual lockout. The constable will post the lockout instructions we’ve provided them on the tenant’s door, and within 24 hours of posting, we’ll move forward with the lockout using a locksmith.
In the past, I’ve been able to get this entire process done in two weeks, but if the courts are fairly backed up, it can creep into the three- or even four-week range.
If you have further eviction-related questions or property management needs, please feel free to contact me via phone or email. I’m always glad to help.
I receive many questions about evictions, so I’m starting a series of educational videos about evictions. Evictions are never enjoyable and are often made even worse by the hassle. Today in part one I’m discussing the costs involved with filing for evictions.
Many property managers will hire a processing/eviction service company, and they charge you a premium, which sometimes costs up to $1,000. I am able to get the price down to below $200, and here’s how I do that.
We have three townships here in the Vegas Valley area: Henderson, Las Vegas, and North Las Vegas. They all do things differently, but costs tend to stay the same. For the filing of a civic seven-day pay or quit, I use a process server, and he charges me a $45 flat rate to post the seven-day notice on the tenant’s door, as well as send it in the mail.
Vacancy is your most expensive cost.
Then if the tenant doesn’t pay, we have to file the actual eviction packet with the courts. Between the three townships, it’s roughly between $71 to $76. So now I’ve spent about $120.
Once the courts approve the eviction, then we have to file with the constable. The constable does the lockout of the tenant. The constable charges per mileage, so the cost depends on how far your unit is, though $75 is about the average.
Adding all this up, it’s approximately $195 for all the filing fees. As you likely know, vacancy is your most expensive cost, so anything you can do to cut down on costs through this process is helpful.
If you have any questions or property management needs, you’re more than welcome to contact me by phone or email. I would love to help you.
Have you ever wondered why you’re not supposed to drink the water in Las Vegas? It’s because the minerals in our water can rust out pipes, faucets, and water heaters. That’s why it is imperative that you flush your water heater out—it keeps the minerals from collecting in the bottom of the heater and rusting it over and prevents you from having to replace it again and again.
As an investor or homeowner, either you or your property management service can have your water heater flushed—it’s worth not having to spend lots of money replacing a rusted unit.
If you have any questions about property management in the Las Vegas area, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d love to hear from you.
How do lease agreements differ from each other? Lease agreements, as with any contract, differ from property manager to property manager. Some property managers use the GLVAR lease agreement, which creates a contract between the owner and tenant, leaving the agent to be the designated intermediary. Other leases create a contract between the property manager and the tenant. The crux of the matter is that, should the tenant bring legal suit, the contract is structured to determine who they can legally sue. If the contract is between the property manager and the tenant, the tenant must sue the property manager—they can’t sue the owner. This is important to know that your property manager is protecting you. Knowledge, after all, is power.
If you have any questions about this topic or you have other property management needs, feel free to call or email me. I’d be happy to help you.
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