Handling evictions is challenging to navigate at any time. However, it is a necessary task for Washington DC property management companies. That said, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused changes to processes and eviction laws that all landlords need to understand. Read on to learn more about evictions proceeding in Washington DC after COVID.
Essential Steps in the Eviction Process
Eviction proceedings are a legal process that all Washington DC property management companies must be familiar with. To ensure the smoothest as possible legal eviction, follow these easy steps below. Remember to avoid legal issues by never attempting to “self evict” by changing the locks, moving the tenant’s property, or harassing the tenant until they move out. As long as you have detailed documentation of violations or non-payment, the eviction process is on your side. Once granted judgment for possession, you must then file a Writ of Restitution. With that completed, an eviction is scheduled through the US Marshals Service.
- Notice to Quit – Step one is to issue a notice to the tenant. In DC, Form 1C – Complaint For Nonpayment Of Rent And Notice To Quit can be found on the court’s website. The form must include the reason for filing and a move-out by date.
- Serve Notice to Quit – There are two options for serving notice; in person or by post. Posting notice on the door or other visible location at the property Is the best way to proceed. To maintain records for your case, take a photo with the timestamp of the posting.
- Court – This is where all of your diligence and record-keeping will be on display. To evict the tenant, you will need to provide proof of lease violations or non-payment. The tenant will then have an opportunity to dispute your claims. However, if you have all the necessary documentation supporting your claim, the court will likely grant you judgment for possession.
Types of Tenants to Evict in Washington DC
Continue reading as we describe the two main reasons to consider evicting a tenant:
- Late or Non-payers: This is both the most well-known and common reason for evicting a tenant. If a tenant is consistently late with rent payments or if they stop paying altogether, its time to take action. Nowadays, most leases have a grace period, but if there is a pattern of poor payment history, action is required. However, you proceed, ensure you are holding all tenants to the same standards and keep thorough records to avoid any Fair Housing Law disputes.
- Lease Violations: The rental lease has essential guidelines and standards for the use of the property. When tenants repeatedly violate these provisions, break the law on the property, or cause neighborhood complaints, it is time to proceed with an eviction.
When will Washington DC Eviction Hearings Resume?
In order to maintain public safety, courts will reopen and begin hearing cases in stages. As for evictions, there is still a stay order in place from Washington DC’s mayor. For the most up to date information, be sure to check out the Washington DC Courts page. Here’s what we know so far –
- Cases the courts are hearing now?: The DC Superior Court is now conducting remote hearings for a limited number of civil cases. This does include some landlord and tenant complaints. However, it does not currently include any claim related to the non-payment of rent.
- Resuming Non-Emergency Matters: Courts report that all non-emergency filings have been rescheduled for sometime after August 14th. So, in other words, it may still take some time to resume normal eviction processes.
How DC Property Management Companies can Move Forward After COVID
Landlords and Washington DC property managers are now left to navigate this confusing and changing time. With unemployment rates rising, businesses slowly recovering, and courts delayed, evictions are sure not to get any easier any time soon. To give yourself the best chance of success remember to –
- Keep accurate and thorough records holding each tenant to the same standard.
- Follow the Washington DC Courts website for updates and deadlines.
- Consider hiring professional and experienced help to safeguard your interests and investment.
Are you looking to learn more about property management in Washington, DC? Perhaps you are a new landlord or a more seasoned one wanting to stay informed. Bay Property Management Group Washington DC offers full-service property management and convenient resources for your rental property needs. Give us a call today!