Automating Evictions – It Should Be a Thing
Among all the tasks onsite associates are saddled with, eviction management falls fairly low on their list of priorities. Eviction notices often either slip through the cracks or only get posted when associates finally find time in their busy schedules.
When given a choice, onsite team members aren’t going to immediately initiate the eviction process on their own. Some find it difficult to balance the business side and the personal relationships created with residents and may give residents a couple more days to pay, or procrastinate out of a desire to avoid looking and feeling like the bad guy. Onsite managers and leasing associates are there to help renters find new homes and create the best living experience possible once they move in. Facilitating a process that removes a resident from their homes simply isn’t in their DNA.
Regardless of the reason, delays in the eviction process are extremely costly to multifamily operators. With each day that passes, debt accumulates, and the likelihood of revenue recovery diminishes.
So why aren’t evictions automated? Why does the process rely on associates who are too busy to effectively stay on top of delinquency and disinclined to engage in evictions in the first place?
There is no reason that everything needed to initiate the eviction process can’t be preloaded and stored for each resident and kept ready to deploy automatically within a predetermined window after delinquency occurs. Property teams shouldn’t have to scramble to produce notice verification, rent ledgers and lease agreements each time a resident misses a rent payment. Those documents should live in an automated system until delinquency triggers the eviction process.
Of course, the best-case scenario is that residents make their rent payments on schedule and the automated eviction process would never be triggered. The second-best scenario when delinquency does occur is the prompt issuance of an automated three-day notice, spurring the resident to get current on their rent. In the worst-case scenario under an automated system, the eviction process would automatically initiate at the earliest possible date and non-paying residents would be removed quickly, limiting lost revenue and bad debt.
All three scenarios are preferable to a belated eviction process.
Automating the leasing process also assuages those uncomfortable conversations for onsite team members. When residents receive an eviction notice, they often end up at the leasing office, asking, “Why couldn’t you just give me a few more days?” With automation in place, associates can simply respond, “Sorry, but our system starts the eviction process automatically.”
Such automations would also take the inconsistency out of eviction notifications, which often expose operators to accusations of discrimination. Compliance concerns are mitigated when the potential for bias or human error are eliminated.
Management teams are further removed from the fray, and risks limited, when the automated evictions are managed by a third-party partner. Notices are automated, filing documentation is automatically sent to legal counsel, and the process is managed behind the scenes. Eviction management services work directly with residents and legal counsel to expedite filings. More importantly, they take the burden from onsite teams, so associates can focus on prospects and the resident experience.