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Eviction Notice: It’s Both Easier and Harder Than You Think | Ep 19

James and Jessi in front a drawn house with an eviction notice
In this episode, we delve into the challenging aspects of being landlords, including evicting a non-paying tenant. James shares his journey to the courthouse to file for eviction, emphasizing the importance of the eviction process, tenant communication, and how such situations are handled legally. This episode encapsulates the realities of real estate investment, the landlord-tenant relationship, and offers insights into dealing with non-paying tenants while highlighting our personal experiences and strategies for managing rental properties.

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Show Notes

  • 00:00 Welcome
  • 02:33 The Realities of Being a Landlord: Eviction Stories
  • 09:23 Navigating Tenant Issues and Eviction Processes
  • 13:26 A Look Back: First Eviction Experience
  • 16:59 The Eviction Process: A Detailed Walkthrough
  • 20:17 Reflections and Future Steps for a Landlord

Key Lessons

  1. Keep your cool even under legal heat: Eviction proceedings can be a mix of emotion and procedural rigor. By staying composed and ensuring all legal boxes are checked, you stand a better chance of prevailing without unnecessary drama.
  2. Patience is more than a virtue; it's a strategy: Even when the process drags on, understanding the full extent of eviction procedures can help you manage expectations and prepare for each phase effectively. Knowing that initial hearings might not resolve the issue can save you from premature celebration or despair.
  3. The paperwork is mightier than the sword: Always double-check that your notices include all occupants to avoid legal loopholes that could delay proceedings. A simple oversight in eviction documents can turn a quick resolution into a prolonged battle.
  4. Preparation meets opportunity... in court: Showing up prepared with evidence and proper documentation is half the battle. Ensure you can prove claims like continued tenancy to avoid reliance on a no-show victory, which might not always be granted.
  5. Safety first, even if it means stepping back: In volatile situations, assess the safety risks before proceeding with confrontational actions like evictions or property repairs. Sometimes, the wisest course of action is to delay repairs until the environment is secure.
  6. Communication can defuse escalation: Before reaching the point of eviction, open lines of communication can often lead to agreements that avoid the legal route altogether. Being proactive in discussions can save both time and emotional energy for everyone involved.

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Read the Transcript

James: Welcome to the Furlo Capital Real Estate Podcast, where we dive into the intricacies of passive real estate investing. And our mission is to equip people to invest wisely in both properties and people so that together we can build our wealth and improve housing. I'm James, and this is my wife, Jessi.

Jessi: Hi. I'm here and having a good hair day.

James: All right, sweet. We'll take advantage of that.

Jessi: Got lots of compliments today.

James: Yeah. Yeah. I blow

Jessi: dried. Oh, that's a thing. It takes like 40 minutes though. I'm just like, Oh my word. I'd rather sleep for the extra 40 minutes and just air dry my hair.

James: So what precipitated the blow dry decision?

Jessi: I don't know. I was up, I was up earlier this morning for some reason. I was like, Oh, I have a few extra minutes. Might as well blow dry. Let's

James: do it.

Jessi: I was waiting for you to bring the van back home so I could take some chairs back to the office.

James: That's true. And so

Jessi: I was like, all right, so I get credit on both ends.

James: I woke you up early.

Jessi: There you go.

James: And it took my time to get home so that you're

Jessi: the reason I had a good

James: welcome. I'll take credit for it. I was listening to a Cal Newport podcast today and he was talking about how there are artists who are ditching social media. And, and part of the reason is because they found that they were just chasing the likes.

They were chasing the compliments, right? So you're getting that in real life. Wow. And so they find, so like

Jessi: the, the motivation for creating their art. Was to get the likes.

James: Right. Which is different than how it initially started out. Sure. Right? And so like, so I'd be curious to see if you're like, ooh, I liked all the compliments.

So I'm gonna wake up early. Well,

Jessi: this isn't the first time I've blow dried my hair, but I have been blow drying it more often because I do get compliments. I actually, I had a whole conversation with a lady today who was like, wow, your hair is great. Like it really looks nice. She's like, what have you been doing?

I was like, oh Great. I blow dried. And I knew it like I knew

James: Yeah,

Jessi: that's what I did different

James: Yeah, that's interesting. Well, I'm trying to think of a really smooth transition because I did something today that was not fun at all. And it's just hard. Not a good hair day. Not a good hair

Jessi: day. I mean, your hair does look good.

It's not a good

James: day. I've, I'm letting mine go. Just not a good day. I'm letting my hair go. Just, we'll see how long that lasts.

Jessi: I know. I'm surprised.

James: Usually, usually what happens is something, quote, important or that I would say is important comes up and I'm like, all right, time to trim it up. And I

Jessi: like it.

I don't have anything on

James: the horizon. So we're going to let it roll.

Jessi: Anyways,

James: we're not talking about hairs. No, we're not talking about hairs. We're talking about your bad day. In some ways, we're not even talking about splitting hairs. We're talking about something really big. So,

Jessi: today,

James: I had to go to the courthouse.

That's part of being a landlord, you know? Sometimes. Sometimes you get tenants who don't pay their rent and Like, your only choice is to remove them forcibly, unfortunately, and it's a shame. In the, what are we up to, 16 years now that we've been doing this, this is only my second time that I've had to evict somebody, and I was trying to do the math in there.

I mean, if we include, like, storage people, I've had hundreds of tenants, but I don't think that counts. In terms of residents, I was like, I think we've had like 50?

Jessi: Which is legitimately different. Like, I don't know. Yeah. Oh, totally. Kicking a person out of the place where they're staying is different than saying, Hey, your Well, you don't even evict

James: a storage person.


Jessi: You lock

James: them out. There's an auction process. It's a thing. But yeah, so it's just, it's hard. And honestly, like that ratio is not too bad if you think about it. How many rentals we've had and how many people have gone through and, and it's not like everyone's been super easy to work with. Like usually it's when someone gets behind, we start talking and we start coming up with plans and usually what will happen is they will pull some sort of strings and figure out how to catch up and then they get behind again and it's typically it's around that second or maybe even third time where they just go, okay, writing is on the wall.

Like time for me to find somewhere that I can actually afford.

Jessi: Yeah. That's what I was going to say is. It probably has not happened as frequently, because you, you do have a process, we have a process that we kind of came up with, that you talk with people, you have open conversation, and you know, it's, this is not the, you know, Initial response to an issue that they're having.

I have overwhelmingly

James: will have situations where people are effectively being kicked out, like, you know, removing them, but we've come to an agreement. Here's how this will work. And they thank me for being super patient with them and working with them and effectively not evicting them. And so this was just hard and it's it's one where.

When I was screening him, it wasn't a straight forward like, Oh yeah, absolutely. Like he had a job and he barely qualified on the income side of things. There were a couple other minor red flags, but he had, there's a, there's an organization in a local organization and he had a vouchers, not the right word, but like they paid him He had a thing where they, yeah, some assistance.

Thank you. Where they paid, I can't remember. It was like his deposit and the first rent or month or two worth of rent.

Jessi: Yeah. I think I remember that.

James: Yeah,

Jessi: happening for,

James: I, I also remember, I don't know how to struggle with, I think I'm, we have certain rules and I, I, I broke the rule and, and I knew it and there was a risk there.

And part of like, this is just hard, right? So we so my general process, someone applies online and, and then we talk on the phone. We set up a time to take a tour and then if that all looks good, run a background credit check and then eventually like if that all looks good, we then move into them actually signing the lease agreement.

We've got a whole online class thing. It's a whole bunch of stuff and, and then they get the keys and they move in. Like that's very high level, very quick how it goes. And I'm trying to remember exactly when this was, but he filled out. somewhere that he didn't smoke. And I think when I was going to give the original tour for the place.

So he applied, we talked on the phone and in the application, it asked about smoking. When we talk on the phone, I asked about smoking. And then when I arrived there, I saw him vaping.

Jessi: Yeah.

James: And I was like, what the heck, you know? So,

Jessi: okay, wait, I have a clarification. So, yeah. I remember us having this conversation at one point, it may have been related to this particular

James: screening,

Jessi: but it was like, I think it was related, and you were like, okay, I asked about smoking, I asked about Like specific about things.

So when I get on the phone, I didn't specifically ask about vaping. No.

James: So when I get on the phone and I talk to them, I say, do you smoke? And that includes cigarettes, marijuana, and vaping. So

Jessi: you said that to him? Oh yeah.

James: I ask everybody that because I've had people where I say, do you smoke? And they assume.

Right. Like cigarettes.

Jessi: Yes.

James: And cause like, so the fun story was we were we were actually the exact same unit actually.

Jessi: Yeah.

James: It was this couple and the husband had a job. She did not. And they like. Barely qualified and which is like three times the rent is our thing or like they were slightly underneath it I think is actually what it was and I was like, oh my gosh, you're so close And so I told them I was like well a couple things Let's show me your budget like I want to see your budget How can you make these numbers work until she finds a job?

Because I figured like once she gets a job like they're gonna be fine Yeah, and but they just had to bridge that gap. I didn't want them to fall behind And then I was like, and I just want to hear about your job prospects, like, what are you doing to find a job? You know, it was more like life coaching really, or instead of just like being a landlord, that's the kind of thing that we'll do and I'll entertain it.

Yeah. Well, we so we're meeting with them. It was two things that I thought was funny. Number one, when they handed me their budget, their internet expense was ridiculous. It was like 200 bucks a month. And I was like, yeah, that was my reaction. Well, it turns out, like, he likes to do Twitch gaming. And so they need a super fast upload speed.

Which is apparently really expensive. And I'm like, you are struggling to qualify to live here. And you, like, okay, alright, that's cool. So that was that. And then she handed me her, like, she goes, here's my resume. It's just like, here's my food handlers license. Here's my liquor handlers license or whatever that is.

And then here's my marijuana handlers license. And that was when she handed me that. And that was back when I only asked like, Hey, and that includes like, do you smoke cigarettes? And and I was like, Oh, yeah. Interesting. And I, and this was like, this is pretty early on. It was before, I think things had just gotten legalized if I remember correctly,

Jessi: which is why she now

James: had a land handlers license for this thing.

And I am so awkward about it. I was like, so do you do you partake and and she goes, well, only when I'm stressed out. I was like, oh, okay, well like, fair enough. How often would you say that you're stressed out? She goes, do you like. Every day, at least. I was like, Oh,

Jessi: okay.

James: Interesting. Yeah. Ultimately didn't rent to them.

There were other reasons why not, but I definitely felt like I had dodged a bullet on that one.

Jessi: Yeah.

James: So with this guy, like we'd gotten far enough. I was giving him a tour. I saw him out there and I, and I told him straight up, I was like, dude, I don't rent to smokers period. Whether that's vaping, cigarettes, marijuana, like nothing.

I don't even care if you tell me I'll smoke outside the building. I don't do it. And, and he was like, well, I don't need to, like I can, I can give this up. It's fine. And I was like, so there's already like some question about the income. There was this thing, but I knew that it was like the CSE person was working with him and they were trying to find him a place and I, you know, I was like, ah, we'll see how this goes.

Hey buddy. A little dog just came in. He's going to mess

Jessi: stuff

James: up. Yep. He's trying to get through that.

Jessi: Okay. Oh, there he goes. Oh, yep. Okay.

James: Okay.

Jessi: Ah.

James: It's all right. He doesn't, for some reason he doesn't trigger the light. It's smart enough to know he's too short. Yeah.

Jessi: Okay. Anyways

James: yeah, so he so I just, I, I, it was one of those where I walked into it and I went, okay, there's some risk here.

And I, I even knew I was like, ah, this probably isn't going to end perfectly. Well, but. I was like, well, give him a shot, you know, why not? And so he was fine for a while and then got behind on his payments and we started on that process. He went back to CSE, they caught him back up and I don't have the tail of the tape, but I think that happened a couple of times where he would like, and, and he lost his job.

Which obviously didn't help. And then he found that he was working at like two places, like, you know, fast food type stuff. And I don't know, it was just, it was hard. The rent's like 800 bucks a month. It's for a pretty large studio, honestly. And and I pay for water and garbage and then he pays for electricity and gas, but it's not like it's reasonable.

It's what it is. And it's still one of the cheapest places around. I did notice one of the times. Like, cause I'm, you know, I'm around doing stuff. Like there was someone else who was going in and out, I guess. And and I don't know if like just visiting or living there. I have no idea. So one of the interesting things is when you do file for an eviction and that's the process, right?

You have to give them notice on this piece of paper that says, Hey, you got to pay. You have like 10 days to pay your rent or I'm going to go file with the court. Yeah. So I do that.

Jessi: And this is after several attempts to. Call and talk and figure things out. So it's, this is not like day one,

James: he's had plenty of chances.

Yep. And I'm super nice. I usually wait until like day 10 before I actually, Do the 10 day notice. So I'm not like day six, boom, let's get on it. And so which, you know, that's just, that's a choice that I made to try to give them extra time to talk to them. But I do charge late fee, so, you know, I'm not like totally nice.

And so. One of the things they say on the form is, it's this person who you rented to, and then there's a little thing at the end that says, and all other occupants. Because I was talking with the sheriff, because what happens is when I file with the court, it's essentially it's like, Hey, is it the court date?

And then the sheriff will post a notice on his door saying, Hey, you've been summoned to court. And, and on there, they'll say like, you have to say. And a lot of the occupants. Cause what will happen, let's say this thing goes all the way down the line. And in this case he didn't show up to the court hearing.

And so I essentially went by default though. There's an interesting nuance there that happened this time that didn't happen 15 years ago. And And so they say if it gets to the point where the sheriff gets called to remove him, they go, we will only remove whoever is on that piece of paper. So

Jessi: interesting.


James: were like, if it's his name and there's someone else living there, they will remove him.

Jessi: Interesting.

James: Yeah. And so the way you get around that as you say, and all other occupants, it's kind of an et cetera,

Jessi: anybody who's in there.

James: Yeah, yeah, yeah. So that was kind of a, which when I first filled it out, I didn't do that.

And thankfully the sheriff was like, Hey you need to redo this. I was like, Oh, okay. So I, they're on the third floor. I had to run back down to the first floor, redo it. It was a thing. Yeah, it was tough. So interesting thing the first time, like, again, this was like 15 years ago. That was our very first tenants.

We had just moved in. It was a, it was another like, I, now that we know more, I would have handled the situation differently, but at the time, like we just didn't know, like, we're like, please move out. And because it was two moms, single moms. One moved out, like, right away, after they gave us a 30 days notice, like, we didn't ask them to leave.

The one mom moved out, the other one just stayed, stayed, stayed, we were like,

Jessi: what the heck? Time to move on.

James: Got no response from her. Like, you know, I was even doing like, it was a duplex and we lived on one side. And I'd be like, I don't even see her there. You know, that kind of thing. So when I showed up to that one, I was like, I was super pumped.

I was like, dude, I've never seen inside of a courtroom. This is so exciting. I've seen Law and Order. I'm going to see it. And so, so I go inside and there's a whole group of people. And then I'm like, dude, this is going to be awesome. I'm going to see so much. And we sit down. The judge comes in and we all stand.

You know, all rise. We all sit down. The judge calls my case first. And the other tenants didn't show up. This is our very first time. And I'm going, Hey, I'm here. He goes, awesome. Is the other person here? I'm like, Nope. He goes, okay, you win. Boom. Hits the gavel, fills out a piece of paper. Says, take this down to this floor.

And I was like, I didn't see anything. I was just like, are you kidding me? Like, yeah, I didn't even get there. Like there was nothing. It was like, boom, instant win. You're done. I was like, huh? There's no debating.

Jessi: There's no presenting of evidence.

James: Well, and I knew like, and I knew like she wasn't there. Right.

But I was really excited to see other people go through this process. At least let me go

Jessi: like fifth or something. Yeah, I

James: know. Nothing. I couldn't believe it. So this time around, I go. It's me and one other like a collections agency. Interesting. Is all this there this time. And their slot's actually like 130, I'm 115.

Like, I am it. And it sounded like there was like four other cases that were supposed to be there. We are all like landlord tenant issue type of stuff. That's what this courtroom is for. And so, so now I'm like, well, I'm definitely not going to see anything cause I know which is fine. But they, she like, they ran through the other ones, they weren't there, you know, but they got a call and ask and, you know, run through the process, which totally makes sense.

I get up and this time she's like, yeah, come on up, let's chat. And like, and he's not there. I'm like, huh? And that's not an instant win. Interesting. Interesting. And so she said, she like. She read all the paperwork and was like, okay, looks like you gave proper notice. Looks like you did this. Looks like, and it's like, and she was like, okay, you gave notice on this date.

It's now this date. Yep. That's your 10 days. Like she was

Jessi: checking, double checking everything that

James: I went through the process. Right. Which is

Jessi: cool. Like, yeah,

James: she should do it because he's obviously not there to represent himself and I can say whatever and you know, and, and go through that. And then she'd asked me, she was like, do you have.

Do you know that he's still living there? And, and I was like, yeah, I do. And she was like, what's your evidence for knowing that? Yeah. And I was like, well, just so happened that I was there on Friday and I saw him go in and out of the building. So that's how I know. She goes, okay. Like she wanted to know, which I guess.

Jessi: What's the motivation for that?

James: You know, I was trying to figure it out. Like maybe, maybe I've already got the keys, but I'm just, I was super upset because like maybe he trashed the place. And so I wanted him to have an eviction on his record, even though he did his, his stuff.

Jessi: I don't

James: know. So yeah, so I still won.

I'd be like, obviously he wasn't there and I checked all the boxes. So it was fine. But even then it was, okay, now you got to go take this thing. So now the process. So I won that. Now, had he shown up. And it said it very clearly on there that it's either we go to negotiations, like we try to figure out a solution forward, or they set a court date in the future to have the actual hearing.

Like this is just, this is a warmup round. Like I wasn't, if he had shown up, there was not going to, they weren't going to pick a winner or loser that day.

Jessi: Interesting.

James: Yeah. Super interesting. So you could like, you could drag this out if you really wanted to. Yeah. Yeah. It was kind of interesting. So I wonder if

Jessi: tenants know that.

Cause it's like, I don't think they want to move out, but obviously he can't make his payment. So I don't

James: know. My hope is that like he was maybe just at work getting money. I don't know. I don't know, man. Cause this property is like, it's three blocks away from the courthouse. Like it's, it's harder to get further away.

Yeah, like if he was

Jessi: sitting in his apartment, that doesn't make any sense.

James: Yeah. I don't know. And I know when I saw him on Friday, he looked pretty casual. I was like, man, I would not be that just relaxed if. Which, yeah, which by the way, I have a hunch he was walking from somewhere else. I have a hunch he was off vaping somewhere else that was walking back.

I don't know that I didn't see it, but like, that's just where like, it just had that, I don't know, that feeling. So so now what's going to happen is I won and he now has until the 14th. What's today, today's the 8th, so he's got six days to move out or he's got through it. 14th is technically a Sunday, so he actually has until the 15th.

And then if that doesn't happen, then I go back to the courthouse and I pay the sheriffs to then give him, it's like another, like, it's like a three day notice type thing. Like it's a thing. And then on that day, well then they'll schedule a time, like, okay, they will then physically remove him and I got to be there and get the keys and do all that stuff.


Jessi: You have to be there when they take him, when they remove him. Well, otherwise,

James: like, how do, like, who's going to secure the unit afterwards? Oh,

Jessi: yeah, I guess.

James: I was going to do a repair project there this week. I decided not to, just because, because I was like, I've, I recently bought a can of pepper spray just because I've read enough stuff going on and I know I'm a tough guy, but I'm actually surprised

Jessi: you've never had, like, I've been in a situation where you've had to use it because there's been enough weirdness at like the storage units and I don't know,

James: just not the apartment necessarily, but I usually don't go anywhere at night.

That's true. I think that makes a difference. That's pretty smart. But but I was definitely like, I found myself saying like, I could just carry this with me and I'll be fine. And then I went, you know what? This is not an emergency fix. I can just wait. Just wait. That is actually the safest thing to do.

Yeah. So yeah, so it's kind of a bummer day in that regard. You know, like. And I was talking to one of the clerk lady peoples afterwards and she was like, Hey, congratulations. And I was like, well, yeah, I'm like, honestly, this is kind of lame. Yeah. She goes, yeah, I get it. But at least you're moving on to the next step now.

Jessi: That's

James: true. I was like, yeah, I get that. Cause I've always had it in the past where it's like, they usually pay, they catch up, which I like, I don't like being out the money. And And then we just, we kind of leave on their terms, right? And they have a little bit more control over it. And I like that. And this is just not going to be that.

So now the hope is that he moves out in the next week, essentially, and we shall see what happens. But yeah, anyways, that's my, that's my story of woe. It's part of being a landlord, you know,

Jessi: verify if he did or didn't.

James: Well, I'll get the keys eventually. Like that's how I will know.

Jessi: Well, right. But before you go back to the sheriff to say he didn't move out.

James: Oh, huh. I don't know. I haven't really thought about that.

Jessi: I mean, I suppose if he moves out, he'll,

James: I will probably, so they are going to post, so this is all like a one today. Yeah. They will post notice tomorrow

Jessi: that I

James: won. And so I will probably reach out to him tomorrow afternoon or the next day. She'd be like, Hey, obviously, you know, now this happened.

I'm happy to coordinate a time to get the keys from you. What time works for you? I can be pretty flexible outside of Sunday morning. And so yeah, so that's probably what I'll end up doing.

Jessi: Do you have to get the keys in person?

James: I would like to, I would like to just to, I mean, yes, we do have a box. He could put it in, but I just think it would be, I don't know.

I might give him that option. I haven't really thought that far through yet, but yeah, it's just kind of a bummer. But again, that's like, that's one of the things about being active and is what it is. And I don't have to do it that often. Usually we come up with other solutions, but I'm thankful that these are here.

And even though we're in a state that is very landlord friendly, like it still works and everything that I went through today seemed very reasonable at no point it was like, Oh my gosh, like I can't believe they're getting them to do this and that. Yeah. So I thought it was very fair. The way I was treated at least.

But yeah.

Jessi: There you go.

James: That's all I got, man. Bummer day. Do you want to, you want to close this out since I did like 99 percent of the talking on this one?

Jessi: Yeah, you, you did talk a lot.

James: I guess, let's just be processing my day. It's alright. This is cathartic.

Jessi: I'm here to listen.

James: Yes, I'm listening.

Thank you, Frazier. Oh, we didn't even get to like, I had this whole thing about how we actually screen. Forget about it. Yeah, that'll be a different episode. We're gonna tease that for another episode. That's right.

Jessi: We'll talk about that later.

James: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Jessi: I did not practice the ending. That's okay.

Okay, I can do this.

James: Yeah, you got this. Here, here, here, watch. Go ahead. I'll just, I'll just, I'll hold it up so you can pretend like you're being all cool about it. No, I can do this. No, you got it? Alright, go for it.

Jessi: All right. If you enjoyed listening to this podcast, we would love if you like and share and subscribe and do all of those amazing things.

I've changed that because I didn't remember what it was.

James: But,

Jessi: Wherever you listen to podcasts and thanks for listening and have a better day than James had.

James: Yes.

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Furlo Capital Podcast

Furlo Capital
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A conversational podcast between James and Jessi Furlo that dives into the intricacies of passive real estate investing. Our mission is to equip people to invest wisely in both property and residents so that, together, we can build wealth and improve housing.

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