An eviction process is a very delicate process for both the landlord and the tenant. An eviction process has four or more persons involved which are the Landlord, tenant, bailiff, and of course the locksmith. Prior to the eviction process contact your locksmith two days prior to the eviction notice. Provide images of the locks and the doors to the locksmith to give you the best price. If you are unable to provide images, try to check the property inventory report as you will surely have these images on your file.
During an eviction process, bailiffs are sometimes late to arrive when booked via a court process, as they may have had the police involved in the previous eviction booking. Therefore you must remain patient. As a Landlord whilst you are waiting, we advise all landlords to stay well away from the property, ideally, hiding is the best option but keep the property visible to you so that you can see any bailiffs entering the property. Always switch your phone on and be ready to answer your phone straight away.
If you are seen by the tenants be sure to stay quiet and remove yourself from the premises. Any delays could delay proceedings which in turn have immense detrimental effects especially financially.
A Bailiff’s Time is Money
When a bailiff comes with you to evict a tenant from your rental property, they are very much on the clock. Anything that you do to delay proceedings could have a hugely detrimental effect on your bank balance, which is the last thing you need if you’re already losing money on rental income.
As a cost-saving exercise, sometimes people opt to change the locks themselves. This might seem like a good idea at first, but it can end up looking like a false economy when all things are said and done. First of all, you will invariably take longer than a professional would to complete the job – adding more time to the process.
Then there’s the chance that you might not change the locks properly. This could ultimately lead to you having to call out an emergency locksmith to rectify the problem, which equals more hassle and more cost.
From a financial point of view, choosing to opt-out of employing a professional locksmith for access could cost you much more than you’re trying to save.
I’ll just give you an example; If a landlord had to call up a locksmith at the last minute, he or she would cause the bailiff to have to wait longer or even have to come back again, both of which would result in a significant increase in charges. This in addition to the fact that emergency rates for locksmiths are higher.
Choose the Professional Route
Opting to get your locks changed by a professional locksmith is the only shrewd move to make in an eviction scenario. As we’ve seen there are several very good reasons relating to security, cost, and legality for doing so. Take the sensible route with the law by your side. Take the imprudent option or you could be counting the cost in more ways than one.
Another factor during an eviction is that emotions can run high, particularly if there has been a dispute of some kind beforehand. If you’ve arrived at a point where you’re having to evict your tenants, then there’s a very good chance that there is some hostility in the air. If you’re changing the locks when they’re trying to move their belongings out, you’re going to be right in the firing line.
When you employ a professional locksmith, you’re obviously getting the benefit of their expertise where your locks are concerned. However, you’re also getting an impartial observer who has no emotional involvement with the matter at hand. If the locksmith is changing the locks for you and you’re keeping a respectable distance, the likelihood of any heated words or even violence drops significantly.
I have worked for 8 years as a property manager and I can tell you that confrontations and even fights do occur in this kind of emotionally charged atmosphere. Unpleasantness does happen and more often than you might think. The best thing to do is to take a seat back and let the professionals do their job. This way, things should pass much more smoothly.
What you also really need is a shrewd locksmith who’s a bit streetwise, such as myself. On occasion, I’ll pop out of the property under the subterfuge of getting tools from the van. What I’m actually doing is giving the landlord an update on the property’s overall state and the progress the bailiffs are making with the eviction. We know how important this information is to the landlord, so we treat it as part of the service.
Bailiffs are Very Necessary
If you’re thinking that you could avoid the expense mentioned earlier by not involving the bailiff in your eviction, then you shouldn’t. There’s a very good legal reason why bailiffs have to be present and if they’re not, you could very well be breaking the law.
An eviction can only take place after a court order has been made and the bailiff is there to enforce that order. In this circumstance, you are entering the property legally and with the full authority of the courts behind you. Choose to ignore this and you yourself could end up in trouble, as you’d be totally in the wrong.
By forcing unlawful entry into the property (even though you own it), you are technically trespassing and could end up in jail for doing so. Even a bailiff needs to have the correct documents, identification, and proof of ownership of the property before they can get in. So, without any of this, you haven’t got a leg to stand on from a legal standpoint.
My advice to you would be to avoid doing this at all costs or you could pay heavy penalties.
Advice and guidelines by the court
Always research any court guidelines as this could cause immense problems for yourself. If you require any further advice please do not hesitate to contact us or contact the Citizens Advice Bureau.