Today’s topic is one of those where I tell my clients, “Sit down, take a deep breath, and think about giving something up in order to get the Tenant out.” And I always approach this sensitively because I get it.

Now you’re thinking, “What? They haven’t paid me rent, but you want me to be in a giving mood to them?”– Yes, actually. So, one thing to be certain of is that time is money. So, think about the following.

Let’s assume that your monthly rent is $1,000. Let’s also assume that you filed for eviction, and they have appealed. Every month that passes is $1,000 in unpaid rent that you will not likely recover. If this has happened, you’re looking at from the point of your filing to the exercise of their appeal a potential of three to four months going by.

And what is typical, is that during those three to four months the Tenant may pay for two months of rent, may pay for one month, but sometimes they get by paying no rent into the Court’s registry.

So, four months of rent passed. The day you filed they were already delinquent. Let’s say, you did it quickly, and they were only delinquent one month, but the process has elapsed in another four months.

And now we’re talking about a $5,000 difference. If they paid a couple of months in the registry, that amounts to $2,000. But it’s still a $3,000 loss which, let’s face it, is going to be difficult to collect from them. Not to mention that the County takes 6 to 8 weeks to refund the registry payment after your trial.

So, we’re talking about potentially limiting what could be four months of time and five months of loss to something much less significant. Particularly, in the Justice Court arena.

For example, we know that when you get your judgement in Justice Court, the Judge tell the Tenant, “You’ve got five days to appeal, and then you’d better go. In practice, it really comes out to about a week.

At this time, I strongly recommend to Landlords to give them two weeks to move out and tell the Tenant, “I know I can get a Writ in one week, but I won’t. I’ll give you two weeks. Heck, I’ll give you three weeks to move out.”

In our scenario, every extra week is worth about $250. So, why would you be that generous? That’s because if they appeal, it’s going to add 8 to 12 weeks to the process minimally. And you don’t want that.

They’re never going to pay you this rent, but if you give them the three weeks, and it takes them the full three weeks to move out, you might prevent them from filing that appeal and adding the 8 to 12 weeks. It is going to save you 5 to 9 weeks’ worth of rent at $1,000 a month putting $1,000 – $3,000 back into your pocket.

Helpful tip: If you purchase the Writ of Possession, you can enforce your own deadline using the Constables, if needed.

So, the faster you get your property back, the better off you are. You don’t want to lose $5,000 in the long run, if you can make it up by giving three weeks. That comes out to a $750 swing against you, but it prevents losing many more thousands of dollars.

By strictly saying, “I’m going to enforce you,” you make them desperate, and you essentially coax them into filing the appeal which is going to cost you not three weeks, but two to three months of unpaid rent.

Your case is going to be specific to you. But sometimes you want to appear generous in hopes of losing less money in the long run. So, giving more than the week that the Justice Court automatically gives, you could sidestep that appeal, and buy yourself significant time back. 

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