Evicting a tenant in Georgia is a fairly straightforward process, but your work isn’t over once you have the eviction judgment from the courts. There’s still a lot of people to involve and another whole process to follow. Actually removing a tenant from your property takes an average of two months because the courts are so backed up. That’s a lot of lost rent, and vacancy costs even more, so an eviction is definitely a no-win situation for landlords.
These are the things that will happen once you have your eviction judgment. Landlords need to know what to expect, and they need to do everything they can to remove tenants in alternative ways.
Eviction and the Writ of Possession
After you win your dispossessory action and an eviction has been granted, the tenant still has 10 days from that date to move out of the property. The sheriff will provide a 24-hour notice to vacate if they don’t leave after the 10 days and if the tenants refuse to move out, the sheriff or marshal has to forcibly remove them. Obviously, this is stressful for landlords who aren’t sure if it’s going to go peacefully or if there’s going to be a lot of personal belongings and property damage left inside the home.
The waiting period can be difficult, and you have to involve several different third parties. If the tenants don’t immediately vacate after an eviction judgment is handed down, you have to work with the sheriff’s department and you have to be prepared to manage the personal possessions that might be left behind. You’ll also need a locksmith on the day that the tenants are finally removed from the home so you can change the locks and begin the long road of preparing the home for new renters.
Collecting Back Rent and Money Owed
Getting non-paying tenants out of your property is one thing. But, you’ll also have to try and collect any unpaid rent or balances that the tenants may have. It’s important to be realistic. The tenants are probably not going to be very eager to pay you anything at all. You’ll need to decide how much energy and time you want to invest in following up on the money that you’re owed. You can take them back to court and you can hand the account over to a collections agency. But, spending a dollar to chase a dime is not a great business model.
Be Proactive in Avoiding Evictions
There are some obvious ways to reduce your eviction risk. A great tenant screening system, for example, will help you select and place tenants who are qualified and don’t have a history of not paying rent. Working with a professional Decatur property management company can help you have better results with tenants and rent collections.
You should also be creative when tenants aren’t paying rent and it’s clear they’ll have to be evicted. Sometimes, you can work out a deal with tenants where they’ll leave voluntarily and avoid having an eviction on their record. You get the property back sooner, and you save a lot of money.
If you have any questions about evictions or what happens after the eviction in the Decatur area, please contact us at 360 Real Estate Network.