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Eviction – What does it really cost to evict a tenant?

Property Management and Tenant Placement

Eviction – What does it really cost to evict a tenant?


Eviction is something that everyone in Portland is talking about right now especially owners, tenants, and the media.

Sadly, even though eviction is a common buzzword, the reality is that nobody takes the time to talk about what it costs a landlord to evict a tenant. This is why in this article; we will break down the real cost of eviction and provide landlords with solutions that they should consider first before moving forward with evicting a tenant.

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Portland Oregon Eviction Moratorium

Before breaking down the cost that landlords have to pay to evict tenants, you need to know that the state of Oregon is currently under an eviction moratorium until the end of 2020.

Governor Brown issued a second Executive Order related to the eviction moratorium for residential tenancies. Executive Order 20-56 creates another eviction moratorium for September 30, 2020, until December 31, 2020. It prohibits landlords from issuing termination notices due to non-payment and most terminations without cause until December 31, 2020. This order was signed on September 28, 2020.

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Once the eviction moratorium is lifted, unless the Federal Government steps in to permanently cancel evictions, we can expect evictions to move forward and this aspect of the rental market to resume business-as-usual.

Until evictions are allowed to move forward, landlords can start getting prepared for the eviction process but, they need to know what it costs to evict a tenant before they decide to move forward with evicting someone from their rental property.

The Real Cost Of Evicting A Tenant

In many cases, evicting a tenant is not as easy as going to court, paying a small filing fee, and then moving forward with the eviction process. The reality is that after crunching the numbers, the actual cost of an eviction can range from $4,000 to $7,000.

The following is a breakdown of fees and expenses that most landlords can expect to pay during the eviction process:

Legal fees

Legal fees are some of the highest costs of evicting a tenant. An eviction attorney will make sure all your paperwork is accurate and have a legal basis to evict the tenant.

Real estate attorneys can charge by the hour, or you could find one that has a flat fee for evictions. However, the costs can vary depending on the complexity of the eviction and where you live.

Expect to pay at least $500 in legal fees in an uncontested eviction.

Court costs

Court costs can depend on several factors. First, you’ll have to pay court fees to file a claim. But if the tenant contests the eviction, the cost to evict someone in court will jump up. If the trial drags on, you can soon find out you’ve must pay a few hundred dollars in costs.

The average court costs for filing an eviction are around $50.

Fees for hiring the sheriff

If you win the eviction hearing, you can almost breathe a sigh of relief. However, you need to get the tenant out of the rental unit. In an ideal world, the tenant vacates immediately and hands back the keys. However, in many cases, you must get the sheriff involved.

Costs of getting the sheriff’s office to serve notice can range between $50 and $400.

Lost rent

Not paying rent is the most common reason for an eviction. On average, it can take around three months to remove a tenant from your property legally. According to Statista, the average rent in the U.S. is $1,463. Now, you see that the total cost of evicting a bad renter has shot up.

The cost to evict someone in terms of lost rent is around $4,000.

Repair bills

There is always a clean-up job after a tenant vacates a unit. But after an eviction, repairs and deep cleaning is almost always necessary. Of course, the repair costs and cleaning fees will vary depending on the level of damage.

For the sake of argument, let’s say that the total costs for repairs and cleaning after an eviction are around $1,000 for repairs and $500 for cleaning.

Other miscellaneous costs involved with evictions

The total cost of evicting a tenant who violates the lease is more than just legal fees, lost rent, and property repairs. Here are a few more fees to add to the breakdown of eviction costs:

  • Locksmith: $150
  • Traveling expenses: $100
  • Advertising a vacant unit: $50 to $200 depending on where you place your ad
  • Stress: Your health is too valuable to put a price on

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How Can Evictions Be Prevented?

Let’s face it, when considering the cost of an eviction and finding a new tenant, eviction is an option that most landlords would hope to avoid because no landlord wants to pay thousands of dollars to get a problem tenant out of their rental property.

The big question is how can evictions be avoided? The answer to this question depends upon whom you ask but, as a property management company, we can tell you that one of the best ways to avoid eviction is tenant screening.

When you take the time to screen and place the most qualified tenant in your rental property, you will in most cases avoid the hassle of renting to unqualified tenants who are only going to cause you trouble.

During the process of screening tenants, you should be looking for people who have credit scores that are over 700, a steady employment history, and they should make at least 2 ½ times the rent.

Once you find a tenant who meets your criteria, you should next do a full background check because this will also give you the confidence that you’re going to be renting to the most qualified tenant possible.


Alternatives To Eviction

Sometimes despite all your best efforts, you still may have a tenant that you have to end up evicting but before moving forward with eviction, it’s best to consider one of these options.

Cash For Keys – An agreement between an owner and a tenant for a renter to move out on an agreed-upon date in exchange for cash. Cash for key deals gained popularity during the Housing Crisis when banks offered cash for keys to occupants of foreclosed properties.

Payment Arrangement – If you have a tenant who has paid on time in the past, and you feel that you can preserve that relationship, you may want to consider offering them a payment arrangement especially if that will get them back on track with you financially.

Don’t Renew The Lease – Let’s say that your lease agreement is set to renew in 2-3 months, if this is the case you should consider not renewing that lease. Just let the lease expire. Send the tenant a notice informing them that they should be ready to move out once it expires then you can choose to collect the money that they owe you through small claims court.

Mediation – Last of all is mediation. This is another solution that you can use to avoid eviction since a mediator is a neutral 3rd party who has it in their best interests to come up with a solution that’s for both parties.

Contact Rental Portland Homes – Professionals

For help with evictions in Portland Oregon, or to learn more about the property management services that we can offer you, contact Rent Portland Homes – Professionals today by calling us at (503) 447-7735 or click here to connect with us online.