Evicting a resident due to non-payment of rent is the last resort, but must be done. All procedures, fees, and time frames are based on Missouri Statutes and Landlord/Tenant Laws.
When do we file for rent and possession or commonly referred to as eviction?
We typically file a Rent and Possession Suit on the 25th of the month if a resident owes at least one month rent and has not made a payment arrangement with us.
How long does it take to evict a resident due to non-payment of rent?
Once our attorney files the suit, the court will notify us of the date and time of the hearing. The hearing is usually scheduled within 30-45 days from the filing date depending on the court and its docket. The resident will be served usually within a few weeks. During the hearing, if the judge grants us rent and possession of the property, the resident will have ten days from the date of the hearing to pay their account in full, voluntarily move out, or appeal the ruling. After the ten day period, our attorney will confirm with us the resident did not pay the balance in full, did not move out, or did not appeal the ruling then the attorney will file for eviction execution. The Sheriff’s office is responsible for executing the eviction on the resident. If the resident still occupies the property, the Sheriff will remove the resident and turnover possession of the property to us. We will change the locks and begin the process of trashing out the unit and completing the turn for re-occupancy. During this process, we will continue to make attempts to communicate with the resident in order to collect the rent that is due to avoid eviction. After the eviction is ordered by the court, we will encourage the resident to vacate the unit with their property to avoid physical eviction and the loss of personal property.
How much does this cost and who pays for it?
The cost of filing for eviction with the courts vary based on the county in which they are being filed. Typically, the legal cost of filing is $300 or less which we charge to the resident after filing. There is also an additional expense for changing the locks on the property which will vary based on the number of locks and the type of locks at the property. The cost is typically around $50, but may vary as stated above. Since these fees must be paid upfront, they are charged to property operating account. If payment is received from the resident, the property operating account will be reimbursed.
Will I ever get the money owed to me?
The resident’s security deposit will be applied to their outstanding balance which can include unpaid rent, fees, maintenance repairs and any damages to the property. The remaining balance owed will be billed to the resident. They will have 30 days from the date of invoice to pay the balance or make payment arrangements with us. If the balance is not paid and they do not setup payment arrangements their account will be turned over to a collection agency to attempt to collect the debt. It will also be reported to the credit reporting bureaus by the collection agency. If any payments are made by the past resident to the collection agency, the agency will deduct their fee from the amount collected and forward the difference to us. The fees charged by the collection agency are 30% of the amount collected. The amount we receive will be credited to your property operating account upon receipt.
What if the collections agency is unsuccessful in collecting the debt?
The collection agency will determine if the past resident has sufficient assets or is employed and will file for garnishment. If the resident is not working or does not have assets then, unfortunately, there is not much else that can be done legally. Their credit history report will have a collection account on it as unpaid. The blemish on their credit report will make it difficult for the resident to finance anything or rent another property in the future. We will also give negative rental histories for the resident to anyone who asks. There may be some tax advantages to this unpaid debt. Please consult your tax advisor for advice regarding write offs for uncollected debt.