Advice for a Property Eviction Process
If you have a problem tenant that you want out of your property in a hurry, it can be easy to get carried away and attempt things like changing the locks yourself. You could be losing money and be under pressure to get the problem sorted, but it’s imperative that you do things right and that means calling the professionals.
There are a number of reasons for this, some of which could cost you money and others that could land you in hot water. Here, we look at those reasons in closer detail.
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. And this before we even mention the security and insurance issues that would arise if you were to leave your rental property with inadequately secure locks in place.
From a financial point of view, choosing to opt out of employing a professional locksmith for the job 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.
Emotional Flash points
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 things 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 in hand. If they’re the ones changing the locks for you and you’re keeping a respectable distance, the likelihood of any heated words or even violence drops significantly.
I 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 back seat 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 declaring that it should be so 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 your 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 a heavy penalty.
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 and you have the law on your side. Take the imprudent option and you could be counting the cost in more ways than one.