It is something all of us possibly want to prevent and not be a part of but in reality, tenant eviction does happen and it can get messy at times. The process is not as simple as just texting your tenant to chase them away. It is crucial to ask yourself, “How long does it take to get a tenant evicted?” because it is surely not a stroll in a park.
With that said, it is good to get yourself prepared to better understand the flow and what will follow suit if action is taken. The whole process can be summarized in a few steps.
- Have a Tenancy Agreement.
- Have a Valid Reason for Eviction.
- Try to Reason with Your Tenants.
- Give out an Eviction Notice.
- File an Eviction Order.
Step 1: Have a Tenancy Agreement.
This is the most basic and necessary thing to have when you want to rent out your property. Unfortunately, only a handful of landlords and tenants these days have this legal document in their relationship. The agreement is vital as it protects both parties. So, before even passing the keys to the tenant, both landlord and tenant should have a tenancy agreement first. This is so that you have something to refer about your rights in case anything bad happens.
Although the “Residential Rent Act” that will help outline the basic rights of both landlords and tenants in the Malaysia Budget 2018 was proposed recently, it will still take some time until the act comes into effect. Hence the tenancy agreement is the only document that protect the rights of both parties.
Step 2: Have a Valid Reason for Eviction.
It is better to check yourself before you wreck yourself. Sometimes, a reason can be blown out of proportions when it is influenced by anger and ego. So, you honestly do not want to start this messy process unless you have a valid reason to do so.
Usually, pinpointing the reasons might be simpler than you think. Listed are the reasons which will be sufficient for an eviction but do give fair notice to the tenant in case of reasons such as personal problems or time to pack.
- Failing to pay rent.
- Cause significant damage to the property.
- Violating the tenancy agreement
Step 3: Try to Reason with Your Tenants.
Always be the bigger person when handling the issue. Yes, anger might be building up inside of you because of the late rent payments or the damage done to the property but sometimes there are other less messy ways to settle the issue. Try to reason with them. Discuss alternatives that work best for both parties.
Invite them for a drink. Sit down and discuss about the situation. Be the understanding one, but firm in your demands. Do it in a public area, to reduce the chances of any one of you to making a scene.
Step 4: Give out an Eviction Notice.
You have tried your best to prevent from this but if the tenant has chosen not to cooperate, it is time to exercise your right as a landlord. An eviction notice is not a simple matter. It has to follow legal procedures to ensure everything will move smoothly.
Usually, a notice of eviction should list down the reasons why the tenants are being evicted and what they can do to prevent it from happen. A deadline should also be included, whether for them to settle their dues or to give enough time for them to pack up and move out. The grace period is important so that all the necessary handovers can be done including the returning of the keys and payment of the overdue rent.
The ball is in their court now. It is time for their move. Whether to comply or continue to resist. But all in all, the tenant should know by now that you mean business.
Step 5: File an Eviction Order.
If the tenant refuses to budge and stays beyond the deadline, you as the landlord can now file an Eviction Order in court to claim all the outstanding payments as well as all the necessary charges for the damages done to the property. This is where things can get messy. Usually, an eviction order can take three to six months to be processed at the Sessions Court and will cost you between RM7,000 to RM25,000 and if the tenant decides to contest it, the cost will be higher.
Protecting Yourself in the Future.
Evicting a tenant can cost you a lot of money and time. Hence, it is vital for you to know more about potential tenants before choosing the right one.
At Speedrent, there is a 3-layer tenant screening process from knowing the tenant generally, to their employment or study details and lastly their financial repayment record.
For a more in-depth look of being a landlord, check out our all-in-one guide here.
If you're a tenant, get to know your rights.