Can a Landlord Charge for Eviction Fees

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“Lease agreements and the applicable laws permit a landlord to charge tenants legal costs. But, the landlord must demonstrate that they justified and needed the legal charges. Tenants and landlords must know their rights and obligations about legal fees to avoid miscommunications and possible disputes. As an owner, it is essential to safeguard your property and investment. This can mean the legal process of suing tenants who break lease agreements.”

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Can a Landlord Charge for Eviction Fees

Legal fees are costly, and landlords might wonder whether they could charge these expenses to their tenants. The answer is contingent on various aspects, such as the lease agreement and applicable laws. In this article, we will talk about can a landlord charge for eviction fees. We will also give tips on how to avoid getting into legal disputes.


Legally Sound Reasons to Evict

Landlords have certain rights regarding removing tenants, along with several restrictions. Some of the legal grounds for eviction are

  • The tenant has missed several constant rent payments.
  • The tenant violates the rental or lease agreement.
  • The property is currently being renovated.
  • This property is available for
  • The tenant is refusing to leave the premises after their move-out date.

Due to the cost of evictions and the burden of having legal representatives involved, most landlords try to avoid the possibility of eviction for as long as they can. However, if you discover that you must evict, it’s crucial to comply with the state and local laws to avoid further legal problems and expulsion.


What Is The Cost Of An Eviction?

Ask any landlord, and they’ll inform you that evictions can be one of landlords’ most stressful aspects. The work needed exhausting mental strain, and the financial burden was also heavy.

With that in mind, how much will evictions cost?

Let’s take a look below.


Serving and Filing Fees

Serving a termination notice is an essential part of the eviction procedure. You can handle this on your own. However, landlords usually prefer having an official from the public sector serve the notice to guarantee the delivery is recorded on paper. The cost for this can range from between $30 and $150, depending on the location.

After you’ve served the notice of eviction after serving the notice, you’ll have to file the paperwork to continue the process. Most court offices charge $15-$150 to file these documents.


Legal Fees

These are generally the most expensive costs associated with evicting a tenant. A lawyer who handles evictions handles the necessary paperwork and ensures you have the legal rights to expel tenants.

Real estate lawyers typically cost per hour. However, certain lawyers charge a flat fee. Costs vary depending on how extensive the eviction process is, as well as the location of your home.

If you’re looking for an attorney to draft the necessary paperwork for eviction, you should search for a lawyer offering the option of a flat-rate fee. The packages typically contain all the required documents and can allow for any court hearings. The packages typically will cost you hundreds of dollars. Expect to pay at least $500 for legal fees in the event of an uncontested expulsion.

Lawyers can be expensive, particularly if the case is taken to a court hearing. In such a scenario, you may require the payment of thousands of dollars to get the attorney’s services.

If you are considering hiring an attorney who does not offer the flat-rate option, be aware of the hourly rate of their billable hours before hiring and ensure that it is a good fit for you.


Court Costs

It is necessary to pay court costs to submit an action. It’s usually approximately $50. If you have a tenant opposed to the claim, the cost of the court will rise significantly because you’ll likely have to spend longer in the courtroom. If the trial runs for a long time, it could cost you hundreds and even hundreds of dollars for court costs.


Sheriff Costs

Even if you prevail in your expulsion case, you’re not entirely out of the woods. We still need to ensure the removal of the tenant from the property. In the ideal scenario, the tenant will return the keys and leave the property without issues. But there are times when you’ll have to contact the sheriff’s office.

It will likely cost between $50 to $400 to have the sheriff serve notice on your behalf and take the tenant out of the property.


Missed Rent

The most typical reason for expulsion and the most frequent reason for eviction is the non-payment of rent. It typically takes about three months to expel tenants from your property legally.


Repair Costs

When evicting the tenant, you may need to repair and deep clean. These costs will fluctuate based on the extent of damage. In addition, you’ll have to replace the locks, so plan for that regardless of the damage.

The cost of changing locks is usually approximately $150. In addition to this, it isn’t easy to calculate the other repair costs. They can vary from hundreds to a few thousand dollars based on the extent of damage.


Other Costs

Alongside the expenses we’ve mentioned previously and discussed, it’s important to realize there are other factors to consider. Let’s take a look below:

  • Costs for travel. Because of the removal, you’ll likely have to travel between your property and another.
  • Marketing vacant units. Depending on the location you place advertisements, they typically cost between $100 and $200.
  • Time lost. It is the most expensive cost of an expulsion. It is necessary to spend time on something when your time could be more productively spent on other things. This is an essential part of why it’s crucial to ensure tenants are as secure as possible.

There are also other expenses associated with Evictions. Every eviction could have different circumstances, which may demand specific things from you. That is why you should be aware of the law and follow it the best way you can.


Who pays legal fees for eviction?

The laws governing legal fees can differ significantly from one state to another. In some states, the landlord is responsible for the legal costs of evicting tenants. In some states, the tenant is responsible for these costs.

There are also states with mixed laws where responsibility depends on the circumstances surrounding the eviction. To avoid surprises and misunderstandings, tenants and landlords must understand the state’s legal fee laws.


States where Landlords pay

In some states, landlords must pay for the legal costs of evicting tenants. The conditions that require landlords to pay the legal fees associated with evictions do so because they recognize that it is their responsibility. California, New York, and Washington are some of these states.


States where Tenants Pay

In other states, tenants are required to pay the legal fees for evictions. In these states, tenants are expected to pay the legal fees if they do not follow the lease agreement.

Texas, Florida, and Arizona are examples of states that charge tenants for legal fees. These states warn tenants of the costs they could incur if facing eviction.


What Can I Do To Avoid The Possibility Of Eviction?

While the costs of eviction could drain your finances, companies can offer tenants prequalification and application and screening procedures to safeguard your financial security. The best way to avoid an eviction is to screen tenants thoroughly. Investing in tenant screening is worth it because it ensures responsible tenants who pay rent and maintain your property. To prevent eviction, checking a tenant’s income, credit score, criminal record, and rental history is crucial.


What Can I Do To Avoid The Possibility Of Eviction?


When considering property costs, including unpaid rent and legal expenses, is essential. These can include filing court cases and property repairs. Additionally, you should account for the time spent on unpaid rent during eviction. Using the prequalification feature lets you remove tenants who don’t meet the requirements before they apply. In other words, you’ll be able to present the property to the most suitable three applicants, not just the first three tenants.


Factors That Can Affect The Cost Of Hiring An Eviction Lawyer

How much do eviction lawyers cost? The details of each eviction process will differ. The details of each matter depend on the parties and laws in each jurisdiction. So, the price for an eviction could vary between one eviction case and one for various reasons.

For instance, some renters may omit the eviction notice rather than contest the eviction in court. Evicting someone is cheaper than the eviction lawyer cost for tenants and landlords in court. In addition, some tenants might decide to vacate the property, and others could cause extensive damages to the property before the arrival of police.

A great neck eviction attorney cost approximately $5,000 to evict a tenant. Furthermore, the location of the tenant in dispute determines it. For instance, if someone in New York City faces deportation, they will have to pay more than someone who is being evicted. There is a link between this and the rent expense and legal fees required by the law.


The Following Factors Can Affect The Cost Of The Eviction Process:

The tenant may be exempt from expulsion if there is retribution, discrimination, or an illegal motive.

  • If the landlord wanted an in-house eviction instead of requesting police or judicial intervention.
  • If the eviction case is complex, you must file and pay multiple court papers and fees.
  • The tenant wants to ask for a jury trial. This will require additional legal work and add to the legal cost, such as the cost of a jury.
  • If parties must call in experts from outside, for instance, legal experts or others, to provide evidence.
  • Time-sensitive cases cause an enormous increase in lawyers’ billing hours, increasing legal representation costs.
  • If the tenant wants to challenge the trial court’s decision, the cost of serving the eviction will depend on the state’s laws.


Can a landlord charge a tenant for legal fees?

Depending on the lease and applicable laws, a landlord may be allowed to charge legal fees to a tenant. The landlord will have to prove the legal fees are reasonable and necessary.

To avoid confusion and disputes, landlords and tenants must understand their rights and obligations about legal fees. As a landlord, you are responsible for protecting your investments and property. Legal action against tenants that violate lease agreements is often necessary to achieve this.

Legal fees can be expensive, so landlords might wonder if passing on these costs to tenants is possible. This depends on several factors, such as the lease agreement or applicable laws.


Why Hire an Eviction Lawyer?

Individuals must follow many complicated rules and procedures when executing the eviction process. Additionally, all parties involved may experience stress while evicting a tenant-landlord. So, we recommend hiring a local lawyer representing landlords and tenants for additional legal advice to ease the stress and issues that an eviction proceeding may cause.

The rules for evictions differ between states. However, a knowledgeable attorney for landlords and tenants will know the rules for your area. If you are facing eviction as a landlord or tenant, your lawyer can explain how the laws may affect your case. He will also explain the rights and alternatives under laws in your area.

Your lawyer can investigate any counterclaims made to the eviction you to be better represented in your rights as a tenant. What should you expect if you are unsuccessful in your case? What can you do to stop the eviction? The best way to file appeals is just a few issues your lawyer can assist you with.

If you are a landlord, an attorney will ensure you’ve met all the legal requirements and regulations to initiate an eviction in your state. If the tenant appeals the eviction, your lawyer can defend your rights and clarify your rights as an owner of a property.

Lastly, working with a lawyer has many benefits, as mentioned earlier in this text. If you have a lawyer dealing with eviction, they can assist you in dealing with your landlord.


FAQ on Eviction Costs


How long will the process of eviction last?

The eviction process can last between one and three months. However, it’s highly dependent on the particular case and the state the tenant is in. Check your state’s eviction laws to know what you can expect.


What can I do to find out if I have been evicted before?

Conducting a screening document, which includes an eviction report, can let you know the past Evictions on the prospective tenant’s history. It’s also beneficial to talk with references to landlords from the past.


Are there other options for evicting tenants?

There are several alternatives to evictions, like an agreement for cash for keys, cooperating with tenants to work out the best payment plan, or a lease with shorter terms to allow you to change the lease more often.


Are Legal Fee Charges Common In Lease Agreements?

A landlord may charge a tenant legal costs for evictions or lease violations. It is contingent on the specifics that are in the lease. Certain lease agreements contain legal fee costs. Tenants may dispute legal fee charges in court or discuss a payment plan with the landlord.



After careful thought, investigation, consideration, and research, it appears that landlords cannot charge a tenant legal fees on their own. Though each state has laws on this matter, in most situations, a lease agreement, state laws, and the Fair Housing Act will determine how landlords can legally demand a tenant to pay legal costs incurred in an ensuing dispute.

Also, if a landlord doesn’t act in good faith or breaks the lease, a judge may order them to reimburse the tenant for legal expenses. It is essential to fully comprehend your lease contract, state laws, and fair housing laws to prevent legal problems and misuse of authority by landlords.

Always seek the advice of a lawyer to get more details on the specific circumstances. Landlords should only think they can pass on legal costs to tenants if they know their rights and the risk of legal repercussions.

Hedy Ghavidel

HEDY GHAVIDEL Managing Partner  Roseville Office  1-866-471-6981  Bio...

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