How to Limit Tenants Not Paying Rent and the Eviction Process in Hampton Roads

How to Limit Tenants Not Paying Rent and the Eviction Process in Hampton Roads - article banner

Landlords in the greater Williamsburg area count on rent being paid on time. It impacts your cash flow, your long term ROI, and the relationship you have with your residents. 

Avoiding eviction and ensuring you get paid when you expect to get paid illustrates the importance of good tenant screening. You want to make sure you’re placing residents with a documented history of paying rent on time. 

We’re sharing some tips on how to limit nonpayment of rent and what you should do if eviction becomes inevitable. 

Avoiding Late and Missing Rent

You can avoid late and missing rental payments with a few simple precautions. 

  • Always screen tenants effectively, looking for a history of late rent payments, verifying income, and checking national eviction records. 
  • Include your rent collection policy in the lease agreement and discuss it with your tenants before you’ve handed over the keys and signed the lease.
  • Enforce your late fees and collect them consistently.
  • Send automated reminders when the due date is approaching, and reach out to tenants as soon as the payment is late.
  • Provide a number of ways for tenants to pay rent, whether that’s check, money order, or online payments which most tenants today tend to prefer.

These tips aside, many tenants are still struggling to pay rent after the pandemic, especially if they found their wages lowered, hours cut, and employment eliminated. Even if they’ve gone back to work, catching up can be a challenge. Work with those tenants to get them caught up as soon as you can.

When rent is late, a good tenant relationship will help you get it collected. Consider payment arrangements. Talk to your residents. Find out what they need to get caught up. Make sure they’re accessing all the resources available to them if they’re struggling to pay.

Evicting Williamsburg Tenants

If rent is overdue and tenants refuse to work with you, reclaiming your property may be your only option. 

After a year of eviction moratoriums, you can expect a backlog at the courthouse. Prepare accordingly and try to incentivize your non paying tenants to move out without being evicted. If that doesn’t work, serve your eviction notice and prepare for your court hearing. You’ll have to serve a 14 Day Material Non-Compliance notice. If you don’t hear from your tenants after those 14 business days and they don’t move out of your property, you can move forward.

A Summons and Complaint will be served to your tenants and an unlawful detainer hearing scheduled. Make sure you bring all the necessary documents to court, including your lease agreement and proof that your tenant hasn’t paid. Don’t forget records of all the communication between you and your tenants, including the 5 Day Notice to Pay or Quit.

Assuming you win the case, you’ll get a Writ of Possession and the tenants will be ordered to vacate the property. 

Working with Professional Williamsburg Property Managers 

Whether you’re evicting or simply trying to collect rent on time, working with professional Williamsburg property managers can make the process less stressful. It can also save you money. Mistakes are easy to make, especially if you find yourself having to go to court. 

We have systems in place for tenant screening, rent collection, communication, and tenant relationships. Evictions are rare with the tenants we place, but if they become necessary, we know how to handle the process. 

Rental property

If you’d like some help collecting rent on time and avoiding eviction, we welcome you to contact us at Berkeley Realty Property Management.

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