In a previous article we posed the question: How do you collect rent? And the answer was an emphatic: Get a good Eviction Attorney! Gee, that is all well and good but how do you find a good eviction attorney? Let’s start there.
We recommend that, if at all possible, you need to go from personal reference; from a friend or your local Board of Realtors or Apartment Association. If that isn’t a possibility for you then check your local yellow pages or search the web in your area. Once you have the names there are three things you will want to make sure of: 1. That they only do evictions (unlawful detainers) or at least it is a regular part of their business. You don’t want a family law attorney who will do one for you “this time”.
Your eviction attorney should be well versed at the ins and outs of evictions, changes in the law and so on. if they are not, when pitted against a “professional Tenant” (a Tenant who know the laws and how to navigate between them) they will lose you valuable time in getting your property back.
Next, check their references. You want to make sure that they have done a good job for others they have done work for. Remember, you aren’t necessarily looking for a “nice” eviction attorney…they need to be tough and assertive. Our attorney wasn’t particularly nice to us; but he was good at his craft!
Finally the third thing is to have your eviction attorney in place BEFORE you even rent your property; or at lease before you need them. As we discussed in our article “Collecting Rent” having the eviction attorney is essential in collecting rent if you have a Tenant that is slow to pay…he will help to back up any threats (promises) you have to make to your Tenants.
In summary: when looking for an eviction attorney, just you would in any trade; you want to find the best expert you can to be on your team. Be sure they are well versed in evictions (or unlawful detainers).