How Much It Really Costs to Evict a Tenant

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Landlords occasionally run into scenarios where they have no alternative but to evict a tenant. You never want it to reach this stage, but you have an investment to protect, and bringing in new renters is sometimes the only way to maximize your asset.

Eviction typically becomes the only option when you have a problem tenant who is annoying neighbors, breaking the law, or making it more challenging for you to earn a return on your investment. Starting from scratch allows you to find the ideal renter for your property moving forward. You will incur additional expenses if you have to evict a tenant, though, so you should be aware of how much it could cost you.

How much does eviction cost? This guide examines why evicting a tenant may become necessary and goes over the expenses you could be on the hook for paying in this situation.

Why You Might Have to Evict a Renter

Understanding some scenarios where you might have to ask your tenants to leave makes getting ahead of the problem easier. Waiting too long to evict a renter can lead to more significant issues and damages. Some reasons to consider eviction include the following:

Rent Collection Problems

It usually isn’t a big deal if a tenant occasionally pays the rent a couple of days late, but you’ll want to address the situation if it becomes commonplace. Landlords sometimes run into scenarios where a renter stops paying altogether, which is a surefire reason to start the eviction process.

Property Damage

You’ll want to get your renter out of the house as soon as possible if you notice significant property damage. Having a tenant inflict damage to the interior or exterior of the unit leaves you with additional expenses and makes the entire property less attractive. Some minor wear and tear is normal, but you must address major damage immediately.

Noise Complaints

You can overlook the occasional noise complaint, but tenants who frequently ignore your reminders and insist on playing loud music or having large gatherings are an issue. Giving a written warning or two before escalating the situation is advisable, but you don’t want to become liable for fines and other legal problems if your renters don’t comply.

Illegal Activities

Noticing any illegal activities on the property is cause for immediate eviction. You could be liable if local authorities intervene in these criminal acts, so it’s best to get your renters out of the house immediately if you learn about these activities.

Lease Violations

Ignoring the terms of the lease agreement could give you grounds to evict a tenant. These terms could involve smoking, drug use, pet ownership, subletting, or any other conditions you notice your renters violating.

You never want to evict a tenant, but dismissing these situations could devalue your investment. You must do what’s right for your future by collecting rent and keeping the unit in excellent condition. 

Five Expenses You’ll Encounter When Evicting Tenants

One reason to avoid evicting your renters is the expense. Keeping your existing tenants in the building will typically cost you less, making it the ideal option. Some fees you’ll encounter when eviction becomes the only choice include the following:

1. Lost Rent

There’s a good chance you’ll miss out on some rent money if you evict your tenants. The place will likely sit empty for at least a couple of weeks as you sort the situation out, and a prolonged vacancy could be necessary if there’s significant property damage. Any period the unit sits empty is money out of your pocket and something you’ll have to prepare for ahead of time.

2. Property Damage

Situations in which you evict your renters because of property damage will certainly require repairs before allowing someone new to inhabit the unit. The expenses you’ll be responsible for depend on the amount of damage, as hiring a contractor or purchasing new appliances could be necessary in more extreme cases.

3. Turnover Expenses

Turnover expenses aren’t unique to evictions, as there’s always a cost when bringing in new renters. You’ll be responsible for replacing the locks, cleaning the unit, painting the interior, and advertising the property, all of which can cost you some money. There’s also the time it takes to show the house, collect rental applications, contact references, and finalize the lease, which could force you to take time away from work.

4. Legal Fees

Legal representation is recommended when evicting a tenant because you want to ensure you do everything by the book. Failure to follow D.C.’s judicial eviction protocols could land you in legal trouble, so it’s wise to have a lawyer walk you through the process to ensure you follow the rules. You’ll also have to file paperwork with the Rental Accommodations Division before evicting a tenant for any reason other than nonpayment of rent.

5. Court Costs

A court order must accompany any eviction in Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Marshals Service must supervise the process. Attaining this court order will cost you some money, and although you can demand repayment of these fees through the courts, there’s a good chance you’ll never see the funds. The tenant can also avoid eviction for nonpayment of rent in this scenario by paying the total amount owed before the removal is executed.

How much does eviction cost? It depends on multiple factors, but you can expect to pay a significant amount to legally remove a problem tenant from your property in the Washington, D.C., area.

Get Help Managing Your Renters

You can minimize the problems you encounter with your tenants by properly vetting everyone who applies to rent your property, thoroughly checking references, and inspecting the home regularly to search for issues. Hiring a professional property manager can make your life easier because they will handle all the day-to-day work for you, including dealing with any evictions that become necessary. 

Nomadic Real Estate offers property management services in the metro D.C. area. Our experienced team will vet potential tenants, hold them to the lease terms, and assist with the eviction process if it ever becomes necessary. Contact Nomadic Real Estate for more information on how we can help protect your investment property.

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Enhanced Reporting

Your portal includes a selection of extremely useful reports. Reports are available in the “Reports” section, and are distinct from the financial statements. Unlike financial statements which are static records, Reports are dynamic real-time records that will update with current data every time you view them. 

Scroll down to learn more about Reports:

Navigate to the "Reports" module in your portal:

Owner Portal Reports
  • Keep in mind, these reports are dynamic records. They will refresh to display current information every time you view them. 

Enhanced Rent Roll Report:

Enhanced Rent Roll Report
  • The Enhanced Rent Roll Report will show the rent amount, last payment date, move-in date, lease expiration date, and security deposit amount for each of your tenants. 
  • It will also show a portfolio summary with occupancy percentage, vacancy loss, and more!

Unit Comparison Report:

Unit Comparison Report
  • If you own multiple units (or buildings) with Nomadic, you’ll get access to the Unit Comparison Report. 
  • This report enables you to quickly compare financial performance between your units at a glance without toggling between individual reports. 

Income Statement Month-Over-Month:

Income Statement by Month Report
  • The Income Statement Detail – Monthly Report serves as a month-over-month record of portfolio performance. You’ll see itemized income and expense categories and can track monthly. This report will update with fresh data every time you view it. 

Financial Statements

Financial statements will be published to your portal on a monthly basis. The statements are found in your Documents library, and provide a historical record of all financial performance. The statements serve as a snapshot of financial performance over a given period, and are static documents (unlike Reports, the statements do not update/change in real-time). 

Scroll down for more info about the Financial Statements in your Documents library:

The Documents area contains monthly financial statements:

Owner Portal Documents
  • The statements in the Documents are are static documents. They are posted to the portal once a month to serve as a historical record of financial performance. 

Download a statement to see month and YTD financials:

Owner Portal Property Statement

You'll also find a month-over-month operating statement:

Month over Month Statement

Portal Communication Tool

You can use your owner portal to communicate with our team. Any messages you send through the portal will go straight to your Account Manager. When we reply, you’ll get an email notification and you’ll also see the message in your portal next time you log in. 

Here’s an overview of using the communication platform:

Click "Communications" and navigate to "Conversations":

Commincation Dashboard Screenshot
  • The communications module will contain a record of all messages that you create through the portal. 

Click the "New Message" button and send your message:

Owner Portal New Message Screenshot

Responses will show up in the conversation ticket:

Portal Conversation Response Screenshot
  • You’ll get an email notification whenever you get a response, and you’ll also see the message in your portal next time you log in. 

You can reply in-line using the comment box:

Owner Portal Comment

Each conversation will be logged in its entirety:

Portal Conversation Snapshot

Understanding the Ledger

Your portal includes a ledger with all transactions. The ledger is populated with data in real-time as transactions flow through our accounting software. Much of this information is also available in the Reports area, as well as the Statements in your Documents library, but the ledger is the most comprehensive resource for diving into the details. 

Please scroll through the sections below to get a better understanding of how to interpret the ledger. 

By default, transactions are sorted chronologically:

Owner Ledger Dates
  • The date reflected in the lefthand column is the actual transaction date, not the “bill date”. This is the date the transaction was actually processed. 

If you have multiple properties with Nomadic, you'll see the address for each transaction in the "Location" column:

Ledger Property Column
  • You can filter the ledger to look at just one property, all properties, or specific sets of properties. 
  • If you only have one property with us, you’ll just see the ledger for that property. 

The Description column displays the transaction type:

Owner Ledger Description Column
  • BILL: this is an expense transaction, such as for repair costs or management fees.
  • CHARGE: this is a transaction  billed to the tenant, most typically a rent payment. 
  • NACHA EXPORT: this is a credit we processed to your distribution account. This type of transaction is how you get paid! 

The Amount column shows the dollar value of each transaction:

Owner Ledger Amount Column
  • Positive Amounts: if an amount is positive, it reflects a transaction that is payable to you. Typically, this will be a rent payment that we collected from your tenants. On occasion, a positive number could also signify a journal entry or credit adjustment. 
  • Negative Amounts:  if an amount is negative, this is a transaction that is either payable to Nomadic or is an amount that has already been paid to you. Typically this will be for repair costs or management/leasing fees. Owner draws (net distributions into your checking/savings account) also reflect as negative amounts, since they have already been paid to you. 

The Account Balance column shows a sum of positive/negative transactions at a given point in time:

Owner Ledger Account Balance Column
  • Account Balance should always equal zero after a net distribution has been processed. When the balance is zero, this means that all expenses have been paid and you’ve received the remainder as net operating income, leaving a balance of zero (meaning: no one is due any money, as all funds have been distributed appropriately). 

Navigating the Propertyware Owner Portal

Your portal includes some extremely useful features that help you understand your property’s financial performance at a new level, with real-time transparency into every transaction.

Scroll through the snapshots below for an overview of portal navigation! If you need more help or have specific questions about using the portal, you can reach out to your Account Manager any time for a screen share. 

You can filter all info by date range or property:

PW Portal Filters

View a snapshot of income and expenses on your dashboard:

PW Owner Dashboard View

See every transaction in real-time on your ledger:

Owner Portal Ledger View

Statements and forms will be posted to your documents library:

Owner Portal Document Library

View a suite of real-time financial reports:

Portal Reports View

See a running list of all bills, and drill down for more detail:

Owner Portal Bills View

Under Bill Details, you'll find dates/descriptions/amounts and more:

Portal Bill Details

You can also communicate with your Account Manager through the portal:

Owner Portal Communication Tools

How do net distributions work?

Net distributions keep your accounting clean and simple. Each month we’ll collect rent from the tenants, deduct any repair expenses for the previous month and any management/leasing fees for the current month, and credit the remaining net operating income to your account. 

Net Distribution

You’ll receive a statement via email each time a net distribution is processed, and can view all transaction details in your Propertyware owner portal.