How Much Does It Cost to Evict a Tenant? [Boston Property Management Insights]

Updated August 31, 2022

While property owners hope it never has to happen, there are several reasons why you might need to evict a tenant from your investment property. For example, they may have failed to pay rent for several months, be using the property for illegal activities, or have violated their lease in some other way.

No matter what the reason, it will cost money and time. What does it cost to evict a tenant? Our Boston property management experts answer this important question.

Men with financial stress at home (R) (S)
What is An Eviction?

Before we get into the cost of eviction, it's crucial to understand how the eviction process works.

Many difficult resident situations can be resolved without evicting, but sometimes the worst residents must be removed. Legal reasons for landlords to terminate their tenants' leases can include:

 

  • Non-payment of rent or consistently late payments
  • A lease violation
  • Being a disturbance to neighbors
  • Illegal activity

Of course, before filing an official complaint against a tenant, it is usually preferable to handle your issues with them directly. If you can settle your case without going to court, you will be able to save a lot of money. This approach, however, does not always work. If you're not sure what to do about a renter, consult your attorney. It's also a good idea to hire Boston property managers to handle the eviction process for you.

How Much Does It Cost to Evict?

So, how much does it cost? While the financial toll of an eviction can vary depending on the circumstances, consider the following aspects of the process that will impact your bottom line. 

Court Costs

After you deliver a written notice to quit or a 30-day eviction notice and your tenant fails to respond appropriately, the next step is to work with your lawyer to file a claim with your local court. This step involves filling out forms and paying court filing fees. The cost of filing a court case is usually between $50 and $200, depending on location.

Once you complete the court paperwork, both you and your tenant will receive notice of the claim. Some jurisdictions will send this information by mail, but others can involve a sheriff's officer serving a tenant notification. If your case requires a sheriff or law enforcement officer, the fees can be an additional $50 to $100.

Attorney Fees Pile Up

Next, you must decide whether or not to get legal advice from an attorney. The best Boston property management experts recommend having a reliable eviction attorney walk you through this process. In addition, many states provide mediation services that are far less expensive than hiring a lawyer. However, mediation won't always resolve the issue without the guidance of an attorney.

Some attorneys may charge a flat rate for making one housing court appearance and filing any required paperwork on your behalf, while others may charge an hourly fee that can be expensive. If the court allows a jury trial, the price could run much higher.

Lost Rent 

One of the most costly aspects of eviction is lost rent while the case goes to court. It can take time for the eviction process to play out, leaving the landlord with unpaid rent that accumulates. Whether it takes a few weeks or three months from the date of the first notice to the time the court reaches a decision, and you can replace the tenant, you could be without rental income during that time. 

Getting Ready for a New Tenant

After the court process results in a successful eviction, it's time to place a new quality resident! In some cases, turning the unit requires only a few gallons of paint and perhaps some new carpeting. However, when dealing with an eviction case or a tenant that left extensive property damage, anticipate your costs to be higher than usual.

You may have to pay to remove the tenant's possessions. You'll also have marketing costs associated with renting the home again. However, the good news is you might be able to use the tenant's security deposit for property repairs. Check with an attorney or call a Boston property management company about ways you can use the security deposit.

Man in suit with an eviction order (R) (S)
Who Pays for the Eviction Process?

Who pays the cost for the eviction process? Unfortunately, it's you: the property owner.

Without enough cash reserves, a tenant eviction may rapidly eat away at your rental property's cash flow. If you aren't ready, it might cause you to miss payments on your bills or dig into savings you never planned to use for your real estate investment business. 

The best way to reduce the costs of eviction is to avoid them in the first place! Work with a Boston property manager to place better tenants, manage them well, and resolve problems before it becomes necessary to evict. 

Avoid Evictions With a Boston Property Management Company

Every property owner will probably experience an eviction at some point. However, there are things you can do to prevent an eviction, like finding high-quality tenants for your rental properties. Let the experts at CHARLESGATE Property Management help you find the most qualified tenants for your investment and manage them to boost your returns! Reach out to learn more about how our property management services can help. 

Need some quick help with an eviction? Download your free copy of our Rental Property Owner's Tenant Eviction Checklist!

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