Eviction Protection: What Lynchburg Landlords Need To Know

Eviction Protection: What Lynchburg Landlords Need To Know

Since 2020, Lynchburg has seen over 5,000 eviction fillings.

This might not sound like a lot, but Lynchburg's population is under 80,000. If you're a landlord, you know how difficult it is to find tenants you can trust. No landlord ever wants to deal with the eviction process, but when your property is at risk, there's no other choice.

It's important to put eviction protection measures in place to lower the risk of eviction. In today's post, we'll tell you what these measures should include and how they can prevent and deter poor tenant behavior. Keep reading and you'll be able to keep your investment safe.

Understand Virginia's Eviction Laws

Every state has unique laws around evictions. In Virginia, you can evict a tenant for nonpayment of rent, lease violations, or illegal activity.

If your tenant fails to pay rent, you can serve them a 5-day eviction notice to pay or quit. For other lease violations, they get a 30-day notice to comply. Illegal activity can be met with an immediate eviction filing.

It's important to follow due process to avoid penalties. Attempting an unlawful eviction, such as a self-help eviction, will result in severe penalties and fines.

Tenant Screening

The best way to prevent evictions is to screen tenants. This involves looking into their criminal and financial backgrounds to determine if they'll be a good fit for your rental.

If they've got a violent criminal history, there's a good chance they'll cause problems in your rental unit. Poor credit indicates a lack of financial capability, which could lead to nonpayment of rent.

You can also speak to former landlords and employers to understand an applicant's character. When you employ all of these tactics, you'll find a tenant that lowers the risk of eviction significantly.

Inspections and Security Deposits

The other side of eviction protection is deterrence. If you can manage to deter poor tenant behavior, you're not going to have to worry about failed rent payments or property damage.

There are two common ways to do this. Always collect security deposits at the start of a new tenancy, as it acts as insurance against poor tenant behavior. If the tenant damages your property or fails to pay rent, you can deduct the money from their security deposit.

Perform rental inspections throughout the tenancy to catch any tenant wrongdoing. If your tenant knows you could pop in for an inspection, they're less likely to do anything incriminating.

Knowing When to Cut Your Losses

Whether you're constantly chasing down tenants for rent or you've found something suspicious during an inspection, you need to know when to cut your losses and start the eviction process.

Before you do so, always have an eviction diversion meeting with the tenant. Here, you might discuss options moving forward, such as having them enroll in a rental assistance program.

If that doesn't work, send an eviction notice and wait for the court hearing.

How Property Management Can Help with Eviction Protection

Eviction protection can take many forms. The things discussed here should help you avoid evictions, but they're not guaranteed to work. If you want to stay out of trouble, hire a property manager with eviction protection services.

PMI Lynchburg offers these services, as well as tenant screening and property inspections. Contact us today to learn more about us.