Affordable housing evictions are foolish!
I believe that evictions are just “sunk costs,” wasted money, and unlikely to be recouped by the owner. Site personnel, whether they’re managers or leasing agents, specialize in what I call “acquisition” marketing — using their customer service talents to convince prospects to sign leases. These abilities often do not translate to aggressive efforts to collect rent. Semi-friendships develop between the site people and residents; collecting rent is unpleasant, often controversial, and the result is evictions filings, simply as a reflex, a default.
The alternative, a program that I now call “RE-LEASE!” allows delinquent residents to simply move out, sign an agreement to do so within a very short period of time, and not be subject to eviction. Low-income residents are easily “tipped over” economically — medical bills, car repairs, whatever — and evicting them is unfair, unnecessary, grossly expensive, and equally important, doesn’t speedily return the subject apartment to available inventory.
I also believe that one person in a position of authority, perhaps a consultant for the management company, should be tasked with responding to residents’ problems, whatever the subject. I think it’s particularly effective to have a lawyer do that work and let the resident know that the company’s attorney is on the phone or responding to the email. These phone calls/emails are resolved immediately, authoritatively, and consistently, leaving site personnel to handle their other responsibilities.
Another benefit of this approach is that site personnel, with easy access to an attorney, have a ready resource to resolve troubling legal questions that might otherwise result in unnecessary litigation.